Things to Prepare For When Planning a Home Renovation

So, you are planning to renovate your home. It is an exciting prospect for the whole family. Perhaps everyone has contributed ideas to the changes that will be made. It can be only on certain areas of the house or can cover the entire household. Sometimes, there is a lot of discussion over things like paint color or the kind of tile to use.

There can be arguments between putting in a deck or a pool, between having a shower or a bathtub. These are all important decisions. They are not the only decisions that are necessary, though. There are many other things that you must also prepare for.

Apply for All Required Permits

Different states have different requirements for home renovation permits. Various types of projects also require different types of permits. Make sure you inquire about every piece of work that you intend to do and the permits required for each of them. This can be a tedious process and it can also cost a lot in certain states, especially if the fee for a permit is a percentage of the cost of the project. You must include this in the budget. If you cannot afford it, then shelve the project and save up first.

You must also discuss permits with your contractor. For instance, heavy machinery rental companies require their customers to show proof of proper training in handling the equipment they will rent. The rental company may also require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for the operator and general liability insurance to cover injury in case of an accident. A professional contractor will know about these but watch out for those who claim to be contractors but are not fully qualified and knowledgeable.

Some people may want to go ahead with the renovation without a permit. They will definitely get caught because homes are often reassessed, with an assessor inspecting a home’s condition and features. The assessor will discover any work that is not in the initial blueprint and impose a hefty fine. A home inspection is also compulsory if ever the homeowner puts it up for sale. Worse than paying fines, you may also have to undo any work that is not allowed in the building code.

Furthermore, these permits protect you from shabby work by the contractor. If you do not have the required permits, you cannot take legal action against a contractor who does substandard work or leaves a project unfinished. In the first place, a legitimate contractor will refuse to do work without legal permits.

Prepare for Relocation

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Depending on the kind of renovation you will be doing, you may have to relocate while the work is underway. For instance, if you are remodeling your bathroom, and you only have one at home, or if you are making over the kitchen. In such cases, you can check into affordable accommodations or move in temporarily with family members living nearby. Plan for this and have an agreement beforehand or have a budget for renting.

There is also the matter of moving heavy furniture. If you are redoing the flooring and painting the walls throughout your home, you may need to put your furniture into storage for a while. Make sure you know the costs involved in this.

There is an even bigger problem if you are renovating a house built before 1978. The paint in such houses contains lead and any work that disturbs the paint causes dust that is toxic and can be life-threatening when inhaled. This is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule that requires EPA certification for renovators. Even if the renovation is only done in a certain portion of the house, you will definitely need to move out along with all of your furniture and other belongings. The renovators will then cover built-in furniture with plastic.

An EPA-certified crew will know how to thoroughly clean the house of toxic dust after the work is through. It is still best, however, to include in the contract that lead dust testing will be conducted afterward and a re-cleaning will be required if the test comes out positive for lead dust. It will be the homeowner’s responsibility to contact the EPA to request the services of a lead professional to do the test.

It pays to be thoroughly prepared before undertaking a home renovation project. It prevents headaches and additional expenses along the way and in the future. You and your family can truly enjoy your newly retrofitted home.

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