As we approach the new year, I think we can all look back on 2020 and collectively agree — thank you, next. What a year it’s been! While there are lessons learned in patience and gratitude, many of our lives have been put on hold, and this includes any remodeling plans you might have had. 

But this pause can also come with a benefit, giving you a chance to prepare for the renovation that’s in store. Many people jump right into a project without first drawing a mental landscape for what their home and its occupants will be facing. There will be demo, dust, noise, unusable space; not only can this  be frustrating, but possibly pose safety hazards if you’re not prepared to live around these circumstances. 

Here are some things you can do to be prepared for when your contractor finally gives you a start date on that delayed project:

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

If you have the luxury of staying somewhere else while renovations are taking place, especially a big project, like a kitchen – we suggest you take this option. Some projects are easier to live with, like a guest bathroom remodel or outdoor work, but if the project is major and can disrupt the everyday flow of the household, it might be wise to stay with family, friends, or in a hotel, for at least the more messy parts in the beginning of a renovation. Understandably, this may not be an option for many of us, and the rest of this list can help with prep-work to help you while in the home during a remodel.

Designate a ‘Project Related’ Hub

You will be coming across contracts, plans, permits, materials, samples, business cards, so and so forth, and one thing you can do to keep organized and keep your sanity, is to have them all in one place where whatever it is you’re looking for can be found. Having a filing cabinet or a binder is also a good idea to make sure nothing gets lost or damaged. 

Prepare and Protect Adjacent Rooms & Belongings

Know that the space being worked on is not the only space that can be affected by the work. Surrounding rooms, walls, floors and furniture can easily be damaged or dirtied by construction nearby. We suggest removing anything hanging on walls, as drilling and vibrations from machinery can cause movement. Plastic covering over furniture and floors, removing any heirlooms or fragile decor, etc. It’s also advised to remove anything that may be a tripping hazard in hallways and walkways leading to the project space, such as area rugs or floor mats, as there will be a lot of foot traffic. 

Have a Plan for Pets 

If you have any furry four legged family members, it is super important that you have a plan for them if they will be at the home during construction. Most animals are frightened by loud noises, so keeping them away and in a safe place is highly recommended. Make sure that they’re not free to wander as this can put them at risk for many things, such as physical injury, chemical ingestion, or getting outside if there’s a door that’s been left open. 

Prepare Yourself

Last but certainly not least, make sure you and your family members are aware of and ready to accept that life may be a little inconvenienced for a short while. Go easy on yourself and your loved ones, and remind yourself that this situation is only temporary. Plan family outings that you can do together outside to get some relief from the noise and bustle. Practice some self care in the evenings when the crew has left and some quiet has set in. The more mentally prepared and strong you are, the easier it will be to handle any stresses that may arise. 

We hope these suggestions will help you get ready for and get through an experience that can be challenging, but oh so worth it in the end. We wish you a very Happy Holiday and a brand spankin’ New Year!  


By Tania Mahmoudpour