Owning a home is never a straightforward journey. Sometimes, bumps and bends can pop up down the road, other times, preferences and wishes can change. This is when home owners will often look at renovation to shake up their living space. Sometimes renovation comes from an issue needing solving, sometimes its simply time for a change. Regardless, here are a few tips to ensure that your renovation goes as smoothly as possible, for everyone involved.
Make a Clear Schedule
Communication and scheduling is key for renovations. Big NZ cities like Wellington are busy and its likely you will be scheduling for deliveries and workers wherever you can. This is your home that is being worked on, you need to be able to live around the work and workers that are in your space. It is important that you are on top of all appointments and schedules in order to make sure that the project goes smoothly for both you, and any contracted workers who you have hired.
Buy a scheduling book or keep a calendar and keep notes of every appointment or job that needs doing and when it will be done by. This way you can make sure that you and your family are safe while the renovations are ongoing, and that you are not in the way of, or creating conflicting appointment with any of the workers who you are working with. You can also keep track of who will be coming and going from your house and when. If you have home security, then you will need to keep of top of when alarms need to be deactivated, when keys need to be left out, or when temporary digital lock codes will need to be created.
Having a tight and well kept schedule also ensures that you can track the project’s progress and budget. It helps to ensure that the workers also know the timeframe which they are running on and when they need to have aspects of the project finished by. It also helps to minimize potential conflicts or complications that could arise from workers being scheduled at the same time.
Research Your Workers
There are a few reasons why it is important to research trade workers before hiring them. The first reason is that you want to make sure that you are hiring a qualified and experienced professional. For example, if you are looking for a plumber, you don’t want to just hire someone off of the street. You want to make sure that you have found an experienced and trustworthy professional with good reviews to complete your job. You want to make sure that the trade worker is reputable and has a good track record.
The second reason is that you want to make sure that you are getting a fair price for the services that you are paying for. Take a look around the market and ask for quotes from a number of businesses to find the general price for the type of project that you are planning. Make sure not to simply fall for the cheapest offer. Consider all of the offers which you receive and make sure to research thoroughly before making a final decision.
Keep Dangerous Items Away
While your house is under renovation, it will be shared. This is a pretty unavoidable fact. Workers will be coming and going and equipment will no doubt be left behind sometimes. If your household includes children or animals, you will need to be aware of these tools or equipment pieces and will need to create a space where you can put them away and out of reach of curious hands or snouts. Find either a spare room or cupboard that you can secure to keep potentially dangerous items away from vulnerable household members.
It could be worth investing in a good padlock or a secure door lock on the room or space that you are keeping these tools, and also for the rooms or areas which are being renovated too. This you can leave a key out for workers who need their items or need access to the renovation areas, and you can ensure that there is no chance of anyone fiddling with things who shouldn’t be.
Another fact of renovation is that it makes a mess. Floors might be dug up, walls might be knocked out, and, more often than not, wires, cables and outlets will be exposed to the world. While these are always put back where they belong before too long, chances are there will be periods where wires and cables are out in the open.
This can be a significant safety hazard, again particularly in homes with kids and animals. On top of being a fire hazard, you don’t want vulnerable members of your house to injure themselves by grabbing or tripping over things like this. Therefore it should be a priority that any exposed wires or cables are covered responsibly when not being handled by professionals.
For low voltage wires, you can simply use electrical tape to cover the dangerous exposed ends. This will keep anyone from getting a shock, and will keep the wires from damaging parts of your house. Your electrician should have covered any high voltage wires professionally, and if not, you should have them do that, as high voltage wires are more dangerous and should not be handled irresponsibly.
Keep the Little Ones Safe
It has been mentioned before, but if you are renovating your home and have children or pets around, keeping them safe will be one of your highest priorities. Renovations will often involve dangerous tools, heavy equipment, unsafe areas of the house, and lots of people and vehicles coming and going. You want to minimize the risk that any of these things will have on the most your most vulnerable family members.
Secure locks are a good way to go about this goal. As renovations will often involve tools and dangerous equipment, being able to lock these away will be an essential task. Often having a room or dedicated space for these items will be beneficial as not only will it protect the younger ones, but it saves things being misplaced or lost around the house.
Taking steps to protect the house from sharp and dangerous debris such as wood splinters and exposed wiring will also be a good idea. Sweeping or vacuuming will help to minimize the risk of injury and tears, while covering exposed wiring can help to avoid burns and electrocution.
It will also be a good idea to limit areas that pets, particularly dogs have access to around the house. This can help to minimize not only the risk to your dog, but also the risk that your dog could pose to the workers if left to roam.
Restricting home access to your child is potentially a bit trickier than for a pet, so it would be worth it to discuss the planned renovations with your child and make plans for how to keep them safe. You could ensure that someone is supervising the child at home or making a plan for what rooms the child should stay away from while at home.
In conclusion, following these tips will help ensure your renovation project is safe and easy for everyone involved. By keeping a clear schedule, researching your workers, taking steps to minimize hazards, and knowing when to call in professional help, you can avoid many stressful and dangerous situations, while keeping your loved ones safe. Keep these suggestions in mind as you embark on your next home improvement adventure.