August 7, 2020
How to Protect Your Home During a Renovation
If you are considering a renovation of your home, no matter how large or how small, follow these tips for keeping your home safe.
- Notify your home insurance provider before you start the renovation to make sure your policy will cover any associated losses.
- Obtain a certificate of insurance from your general contractor with yourself listed as an additional insured.
- Verify that the general contractor’s coverage is at least $1 million per occurrence.
- Place UL rated fire extinguishers in your house. One for every 1,000 square feet.
- Post “No Smoking” signs in the work areas.
- Install a temporary fire and burglar alarm system if you need to move out of your home during construction.
- Conduct pre- and post inspections of your home and use your camera to take videos/pictures for reference.
- Require (in writing) your contractor to have all flammable materials, such as rags and other combustible materials, placed in an on-site fireproof cabinet when not in use.
If you plan to move out of your home during construction, here are some additional safety measures you should take:
- Install a temporary fire and burglar alarm system
- Install temporary night-lighting.
- Add driveway and/or perimeter fencing to prevent unauthorized access.
- Install video surveillance cameras that link to your smartphone or monitoring service.
To protect your belongings, staying diligent about cleaning is key.
- Remove everything you can from the room being renovated.
- If you have heavy furniture that cannot be removed, cover it up with plastic. Seal the openings with packing tape. Don’t forget to cover ceiling light fixtures, fireplaces, and window treatments as well. Cleaning the slats of your shutters or blinds is a tedious process.
- Isolate the area being renovated. Ask your contractor to make sure the area is sealed off from the rest of the house with either plywood or sealed plastic “walls.” Make sure any air vents are also blocked.
- Keep up with daily cleaning. Ask your contractor to make sure the site is left clean and swept every night. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of Swiffer type dusters on hand too for as well as you plan, dust gets into your home. If you can, vacuum first, then dust. This will help cut down on surface scratching. Don’t forget to cover your stairs, and vacuum soft/fabric surfaces too.
- One trick for vacuuming is to use a shop vac with a second hose attached to the exhaust port, with the hose running to the outside. This keeps recirculated dust from recoating areas you just cleaned. There are also filters that trap even the tiniest dust particles, but the extra hose is less expensive.
- Circulate the air with open windows and doors when you can. Open the screens so the dust doesn’t get stuck to them. You can use a box fan directing air out of your house to help eliminate dust and odors.
- Consider putting a protective covering like Floorshell on the floors in your house and X-Paper on countertops or other surfaces you may need to keep clear. This will help protect them from the dust that will settle there.
- If building materials will be coming through your house to the renovated area, protect wall corners, door jambs, and baseboards with cardboard adhered with painters tape.
- Lay down plywood or wood chips along the path workers will be using. Plywood can sink into the mud, and woodchips act as a sort of doormat, removing debris as it is trodden.