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Home Renovations

1. Plan

Have a clear final goal in mind before starting a renovation because making changes along the way costs time and money.

Hire a contractor or someone who has a good reputation on the reno that you have in mind. It can save the For Sale By Owner[FSBO} money in the long run. Also be sure to check references on the contractor there are alot of them in the Lower Mainland, and in B.C. Ask for a fixed price quote and be sure to find out how and when you'll be expected to make payments.

2. Partition

Create a division between work area and your living space. Seal it off with vapor barrier, stapled and taped to the wall. If you have two bathrooms, designate one for family and one for the contractors.

To avoid construction chaos, save for a vacation away while renovations are being done. If not possible, create a calm space away from the work zone where you can retreat and lead a "normal" life.

3. Protect

Don't be fooled into thinking that dirt only travels downward. Drywall dust in particular moves up, down and sideways and persistently migrates into everything you own.

Protect floors with barrier - heavy construction paper that comes in a giant roll from home renovation's stores. Lay the paper out like a carpet in overlapping strips and seal all edges with wide masking tape.

Hang plastic over the doorways to minimize the dust from traveling from room to room.

Pack up your belongings, label the boxes and store them away from the work area. Cover furniture with plastic and move it out of the way. Store clothing in zippered garment bags.

Consider investing in a shop vac. It will save your regular vacuum cleaner's motor and will make the worst clean-ups easier.

4. Provision

Buyer or For Sale by Owner{FSBO} this is not the time to worry about gourmet dining. Pretend you're camping and think simple. Set up a satellite kitchen consisting of a table or a flat surface, microwave, kettle and basic utensils.

Stock-up on ready to eat foods in individual serving sizes like single serving cereal boxes, soup cups juice boxes, etc.

If you have a freezer, add a collection of microwaveable foods.

5. Play Nice

Talk to your neighbors before the renovation starts, you'll need them on your side. They may worry that the changes you're making will affect their privacy or alter some sun patterns in their gardens. The noise and mess will likely annoy them too.

Keep your sense of humor. Try to calmly deal with unexpected events and setbacks, should they occur. Enjoy quiet times on the weekend when crews are not around (even though you may wish they were on-site getting the work done).

Renovations are not mechanical or automated but are done by human beings; a group of trades people. With them, come errors, delays, undelivered materials, incomplete materials, personality clashes and scheduling nightmares.

Have patience - it will definitely be a virtue!