Doing work on your home is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Teams of people coming in and out and moving items around can seem like an overwhelming, never-ending battle, but with proper preparation you’ll be able to stave off at least some of the exhaustion. This week, we’re outlining our top five tips for preparing your home for a renovation project to help you and your family make it through with as little added stress as possible.

1. Get everyone on the same page (pets and kids included)
Remodels affect everyone in the house. That means you, your partner, kids and pets should all be prepared for what’s to come. Explain the situation to children in a way that they can understand. Be sure to impress upon them the importance of staying away from work areas during the construction process for their own safety and answer any questions they may have about the process to the best of your ability.

For children who are too young to understand what’s happening, create a play area that can keep them contained and away from the construction zone. Designate a room or space which can be closed off from the rest of the house to ensure pets have their own safe space as well. All the loud noises and movement can be stressful to some pets, while more outgoing animals can get in the way and potentially get hurt, so it’s best to keep them as removed from the process as possible.

2. Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
Depending on the nature of the project (kitchens, bathrooms in a single bathroom home, etc.) you might need to consider finding another place to stay during construction. Even those who think “I can work around it” may find themselves stressed while trying to accomplish simple tasks because construction gets in the way. For example, you may think you can live off of frozen pizzas and takeout during a three-week kitchen project, but if access to the oven, microwave or refrigerator is limited, even heating up pre-made food can be a chore. If you’re worried about getting overwhelmed, think about booking a hotel or staying with a friend, even if it’s only for a few days, to give yourself a break from the construction.

3. Clear Out the Work Space
Clearing out the area that’s being remodeled as much as possible before workers arrive is the best way to start a home improvement project off on the right foot. Workers can lose days of valuable construction time if they’re tripping over knickknacks at every turn. For the quickest possible turnaround time, take everything you can out of the room or rooms where construction will take place. Furniture and other large items can stay but should be pushed to the center of the room and covered with plastic to keep them safe during construction. Additionally, point out large or immovable pieces to your contractor before work begins so they can tell their workers to be extra careful near those objects.

4. Communicate Openly with your Contractor
Some of the biggest issues that arise during the construction process are the result of simple miscommunications. Talk openly with your contractor about your expectations and ask questions to make sure you’re both on the same page regarding your project. Simple things—like whether or not workers should be allowed to use the bathrooms in your home during construction—can lead to stress down the line if expectations are not set early. (Quick tip: if you decide to allow workers to use a bathroom in your home, designate which one and have paper towels available in it. This way, your nice towels won’t be compromised, and you won’t lose valuable construction time as workers leave to use public restrooms.)

5. Dealing with the Unexpected
Sometimes projects take unexpected turns. Whether a contractor found some bad electrical work or a storm set you back, delays and changes in project outlines can happen. It’s important to be flexible and work with your contractor to find a solution that works for you, your budget, your time frame and your lifestyle. The first rule of construction is “expect the unexpected,” so make sure you have some buffer room built into your schedule in case issues arise. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong and cause a delay when you have a trip to Europe planned the day after construction was supposed to end.

Home remodeling projects can be tough on the whole family. Talk to J-Tech Construction if you’ve got a big project coming up and we’ll be ready with all the expert advice you need to get the ball rolling.