After more than a year at home, homeowners are looking to improve their living space while the hot housing market has more home buyers purchasing fixer-uppers. With all the excitement of a remodel, however, it's important to remember some remodeling best practices along with COVID-19 safety.
Plan Your Home Renovation
Every successful renovation starts with a clear plan.
Know your budget. Make sure you have a clear budget plan before starting your project. This should include an "emergency fund" so you aren't left in a lurch in case of unexpected over budget costs.
Make a list of renovation priorities. Define the projects that are the most important. If you're not sure where to start, consider having a home inspection to check the current condition of your home. A highly trained home inspector can help you determine health and safety priorities, and provide suggestions for mitigation.
Plan your timeframe. Consider when the renovation can start, how long it will take, and what to do if it takes longer than scheduled. If you have travel plans coming up make sure to build in a buffer in case renovations take longer than expected.
Consider how comfortable your home will be during a renovation. Large remodels can make your home messy, noisy, and uncomfortable. When working from home, make sure you have a designated office space away from noise and distractions of the project. If you need to spend nights at a hotel or order in food instead of cooking, make sure you factor those costs into your budget.
Health and Safety Steps to Prepare Your Home
Help ensure that your family is safe and healthy during and after the remodeling project.
Close air vents and replace filters. Dust and other debris in the air can contribute to poor indoor air quality and serious health issues. If the construction area contains your return vents, it’s best to completely shut down your HVAC system to avoid the transfer of dangerous particles throughout the rest of your home. If running the system, simply keep the zone’s air vents closed and clean or replace your air filters before and after the project, or as specified in user manual.
Use a temporary plastic wall. To keep dust and debris from certain parts of the home, create an airtight barrier of plastic sealed with tape.
Set up a fan. To keep the air in the jobsite clean, setup a fan blowing out of a window in the renovation site. This creates a slight vacuum and makes sure that any gaps in your plastic barrier will let air flow into the worksite, rather than into your home.
Wear protective gear. Anytime you enter the construction site, wear a mask and/or gloves. This will keep you from breathing in dust and bacteria and reduce air quality issues and potential for COVID-19 exposure.
Questions to Ask your Contractor during COVID-Time Renovation
While questions about scope, budget and insurance are top questions to ask, but it is equally important to inquire about some COVID safety related questions before hiring a contractor.
What precautions is your team taking to minimize risk of COVID-19 infection? Simple practices like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, limiting the sharing of tools and equipment, disinfecting high-traffic surfaces, are important precautions your contractor should agree take.
What steps are taken if infection is suspected? Find out if the contractor has a plan in case a home resident or company employee suspects they have COVID-19, and what projected project delays that may cause. It's important to factor this into your overall project plan and budget where necessary.
After the completion of your home renovation project, you should consider having another home inspection. This inspection can help identify any remaining health and safety issues. A full service home inspection company like WIN Home Inspection can also provide additional services like Air Quality Testing that is especially important after a dusty renovation.
To learn about the current condition of your home pre or post renovation, contact your local WIN Home Inspector at wini.com. We are here to help with professional inspection services, and recommendations for next steps.