12 home renovation safety tips
Renovating one’s home can be quite a challenging prospect. No matter what you might have seen on TV or the internet, renovating a home is not easy. Aside from renovation being mentally and physically taxing (no matter who is actually doing the renovation), it is also a process where things can go wrong. Staying safe while renovating your home needs to be your #1 concern, before anything else. That is why you might want to look into investing in one of the best-buy home security systems on the market before you start renovating. For everything else, you can simply follow our home renovation safety tips!
Planning a home renovation
Every good renovation project starts with a good plan. While every project is unique, of course, there are some parts that are universal and need to be planned for. Here are the most important things to focus on:
- Figure out your budget ahead of time
- Create a timeframe
- Plan for a “safe” space
Also, you might want to consider doing other things while you’re in the whole “renovation mindset”. For example, you might want to take the chance to improve home security with landscaping, as it will provide you with something to do while the renovation work is ongoing. If you have any similar projects in mind, make sure to include them in your plan.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the planning process.
The fact of the matter is that almost every renovation will require more money than you might expect. When making a renovation budget, you need to make sure to allow for unexpected costs. For example, you might be in the middle of renovating when you spot some signs that you need new doors and windows. The ideal time to replace them would be there and then, as the renovation is already underway. But if you don’t have any funds left in your renovation budget, you will either be unable to do so or will need to go into debt.
Another very common aspect of renovations is the fact that they almost always take longer than expected. While you do want to plan for the start of the renovation and its duration, you need to make sure that you have a backup plan in mind if the renovation takes longer. Therefore, try to refrain from creating strict travel plans under the impression that the renovation work will be over when you think it will.
Furthermore, there is also a chance that, at some point in the renovation, you will realize that more work is required. You never know what’s behind the walls, so to speak, before you start breaking them. Try to have a plan in mind if that happens.
Many people choose to live in another place while their home is being renovated. Those people would be best served by reading our 10 security tips for apartment renters. However, not everyone can afford to rent an apartment throughout the renovation process. For most people, the best solution is to create a “safe space” inside their own home, a space where they can live relatively normally while the renovation is in progress.
Going through the process of creating a safe space inside your home is similar to downsizing (moving into a smaller home). You will need to figure out which items are absolutely necessary and which items you can live without for the time being.
Home renovation is a never-ending process if you allow it to be. There will always be something that you can improve on given enough time and money. But the reality is that you need to prioritize. We recommend that you start with health and safety improvements, followed by any other improvements you may have in mind. Renovating your home is one of the best ways to improve your home security, after all, and you might want to make the most out of that. Ideally, you will want to have a renovation inspector visit your home prior to the planning process. They will help you identify any health&safety priorities and provide you with recommendations on what you should improve first.
Now that you know how to plan the renovation, it is time to see what you can do to make it safer.
12 home renovation safety tips
- Clean as you renovate
- Know your tools and materials
- Hire a reputable contractor
- Use safety gear
- Don’t do any “permit work” on your own
- Install smart locks
- Employ surge protection
- Utilize a temporary plastic wall
- Use a fan
- Be mindful of excessive dust
- If you’re working with electricity, turn the electricity off
- Try to maintain your regular routine
As a bonus tip, you should never compromise on safety. There will be a lot of situations where there will be a safe choice and an unsafe one. It is always in your best interest to prioritize safety over anything else. Your home security might also suffer due to renovation, which is why you might want to look into home burglary statistics for your area and make the necessary calls. For example, if your area has experienced a lot of break-ins recently, you simply cannot allow having any compromised entry points.
With that in mind, let’s dive a bit deeper into our home renovation safety tips.
Clean as you renovate
Keeping your home clean while it is being renovated is easier said than done. However, making sure that your home is as clean as possible is the #1 tip that we can give you. The best way to approach the cleaning process is to clean as you renovate. For this, you are most likely going to need a disposal bin of some sort to “stash” the renovation waste.
The main reason why you want to be diligent with cleaning is the fact that all the debris and garbage that the renovation produces pose a serious safety hazard. Your floors may become slippery over time, debris can make it hard to place the ladders on an even base, etc.
Know your tools and materials
If you are to undergo a DIY renovation, or DIY some of the renovations, you will want to make sure that you understand how to use all of the necessary tools. Many of the tools you will be using may be gasoline-powered, meaning that they will require adequate ventilation. And, for some tools, simply opening the windows might not be enough. That is why you nee to carefully read the user’s manual for each tool you will be using throughout the renovation. If you are renting equipment or tools from a third party, have the company explain how to operate the tools safely.
Aside from knowing about your tools, you may want to take some time to acquaint yourself with the properties of common materials found in homes. Some of these materials, such as adhesives and paints, may need extra ventilation, for example. Furthermore, you need to know how to handle any hazardous materials (mold, lead, asbestos, etc.) should you encounter them.
Home renovation safety tips – Hire a reputable contractor
Unless you are an expert in home renovations, you will almost always be better served by working with a reputable contractor for your renovation. The more complicated the project, the greater the need for professional help. A professional team of workers will make sure that your home is safe at all times, even during the renovation effort. And if you are planning to install a home security system as a part of the renovation process, it will be much easier for the two teams of professionals to figure out the best way to do it. Under your direct supervision, of course.
Use safety gear
Whether you’re renovating your home on your own or hiring a contractor, it is always a good idea to invest in some safety gear. You will want to have at least a mask, safety eyewear, work gloves, and possibly earplugs in case of working with high-power tools. Unless you are not there when the renovations are taking place (a bad idea in almost all situations), you are going to need these things to ensure your safety.
Don’t do any “permit work” on your own
Many homeowners do not realize that some renovation work requires a permit from the state. For example, you can’t do your own plumbing without a permit, nor can you make any structural changes. You can’t do any work on HVAC systems without a permit, either. Basically, the more complicated the work is, the greater the chance that you will need a permit for it. The reason behind this is that there are considerable risks involved in any such work, risks that pertain to both installation and the period following the installation. Even if you want to burglar-proof your home on a budget, you need to make sure that you either have a permit for the necessary work or hire a contractor who does. The penalties that you might be paying otherwise can be quite significant.
Aside from the fine for breaking the building law, you may be fined $500 or more for each day of the renovation work without a permit. Worse, your project may be halted or even demolished.
Install smart locks
We mentioned that renovation presents a great opportunity to improve the security of your home. Even if you don’t plan on living anywhere else while your home is under renovation, installing smart locks is a very (pardon the pun) smart idea. These locks will make it much harder for any burglars to enter your home.
Employ surge protection
Unless you are 100% sure that your renovation is not going to affect any electrical lines in your home, you will want to invest in a couple of surge protectors. Surge protectors are there to protect everyone from an electrical shock, as well as protect your electronic devices from harm. Actually, investing in surge protection is never a bad idea, renovations or not.
Utilize a temporary plastic wall
The best way to keep some parts of your home from being full of dust and debris is to utilize a temporary plastic wall to serve as an airtight barrier. There are numerous ways to build such a wall. You can create a dust containment plastic bubble on your own, or you can use one of the ready-made solutions on the market, such as ZipWall, Dust Shield, etc.
Use a fan
To follow up on keeping the dust away from your home, you may want to set up a dedicated fan for this task. Simply have the fan (or a couple of them) blowing out of the windows where the renovation is taking place. By doing so, the fan will create a slight vacuum and take some pressure off your plastic wall.
Be mindful of excessive dust
As you can see, a lot of our home renovation safety tips involve dust. Even though you might have limited its effects by following our previous two tips, there is still a chance that some areas of your home will accumulate a lot of dust. While you can’t do much about it, what you need to do is be mindful of it. If anyone in your household has sensitive airways, make sure that they are nowhere near areas with too much dust.
If you’re working with electricity, turn the electricity off
Shockingly enough, many people work with electricity without first turning it off. Needless to say, this is a huge risk, one that you do not want to accept. Every time when you or a contractor are working anywhere close to an electrical line, make sure that you flip the circuit breaker.
Try to maintain your regular routine
Lastly, your mental health and safety cannot be forgotten. That is why the last one of our home renovation safety tips has to do with prioritizing your mental health throughout the renovation. Try to make sure that you are capable of performing as many of your routine tasks as possible. The ultimate goal is to simply keep doing what you were doing. The closer you can get to that goal, the better.
Renovating your home is a perfect time to really “crank up” the safety by installing a professional home security system. You can find all the best home security system companies, their reviews, and everything else you might need to know about home security right here at Consumer Opinion Guide. Our knowledge repository will help you get the most bang for your buck!