How to Prepare for a Home Renovation in Gainesville

September 27, 2023

Home renovations in Gainesville, FL can add a huge amount of value to your house. But they can also be messy, noisy, and disruptive. In this article, we’ll guide you through the practical steps to prepare for a home renovation, ensuring a smoother journey from start to finish.

Mentally Prepare

Drop cloths, tarps, and dust can be exciting (at first), but seeing your home in disarray can become psychologically taxing surprisingly quickly. To stay at your best throughout your home renovation process, it’s crucial to get in the right mindset.

When it comes to interior major home renovation projects, understand that however messy you might imagine the project will be, you should double it in your head. While you’re dreaming of that stunning contemporary kitchen, expect that hallways will continually be busy, the noise of power tools will echo around empty rooms, and that dust will find its way to unexpected places.  

While it’s helpful to mentally prepare for the disruption of home improvement, imagining the future is also valuable. Dust cloths mean progress is underway and the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or completely new home are coming to life. A great way to get excited about your upcoming project is to take comprehensive “before” pictures to look back on once the work is complete. 

Remove as Much as Possible

The biggest contribution you can make is to clear away as much furniture and other objects as possible from the hallways and project areas before the renovation starts. While we take careful precautions to keep dust to a minimum, the safest option is always to move things somewhere else. Not only will this protect your furnishings, but it also helps our team to work faster and more efficiently through the house. 

In the weeks leading up to the home remodel start date, try to use up consumable items like food and toiletries so that they won’t have to be stored (and potentially go out of date). If you have a lot of food to thin out, you might even consider donating items to a local Gainesville food bank

Move out any clutter and decor that might slow the builders down, wherever possible. In areas affected by the renovation, completely clear the following: 

These items can be stored in out-of-the-way rooms which will be unaffected by the renovation, brought with you if you’ll be staying off site, or moved into storage such as a self-storage facility or a temporary on-site storage container. 

Leaving for the Renovation

If you’re planning on having an exterior renovation in Gainesville, living at home is usually manageable throughout the entire process. However, it’s much harder to relax when the construction site is inside your home. That’s why whenever possible, we strongly recommend residents live off site for the duration of an interior home renovation. Not only will this minimize noise, dust, and disruption for you, it will also help our team to work faster as we won’t have to base any of our work around your schedule. 

If you’re able to stay in a guest room with family or at a suitable venue, here are a few things you might want to consider before leaving. 

Think About Security

Heavy door ajar showing 4 sliding bolts for keeping a home secure

Speak with us about gaining access to the property (and keeping it secure) during the project. We don’t recommend hiding keys or leaving doors or windows open. Instead, we’ll work with you to ensure we have access while maintaining a reasonable level of security overnight. 

Video doorbells, cameras, and checks around the outside of the home are always a good idea to protect your home. 

Clean Out the Fridge

Unless you’re planning on replacing your fridge, now is a good time to clear it out, removing any potential sources of mold and mildew while you’re away. Leaving an open packet of baking soda in the fridge can be a big help in keeping your fridge odor-free until you get back. 

Unplug Appliances

If you’re not using them, unplugging major appliances can save on electricity and prevent damage from power surges in those Florida thunderstorms. 

Redirect Mail and Newspapers 

If you’re staying away for more than a couple of weeks, consider temporarily redirecting your mail and any newspaper subscriptions to your new address. Not only is this more convenient than making the trip back to your house, it also helps you to feel more at home during the renovation. 

Staying for the Renovation

We generally don’t recommend staying at home during interior renovations – even for smaller projects. While the house becomes a working construction area, the level of noise, deliveries, and mess can feel hard to manage. You may also have to find alternative options for having a working kitchen and bathroom which can create a raft of additional expenses. 

However, sometimes it just isn’t feasible to stay off-site. In those situations, we’d recommend preparing by doing the following.  

Set Expectations

Chat with us ahead of time about how you’ll be staying in the house – which rooms you’ll be using and how we can help you maintain a level of privacy. Working from home can be especially difficult, so let us know what your expectations are in terms of quiet periods where you can get things done. 

Depending on the renovation, you may have to do without certain creature comforts for a time, so plan ahead to make sure you’re able to cook, sleep, and bathe throughout the project. This might mean getting a minifridge, hot plate, portable toilet, or a gym membership so you can get a shower when needed. 

Get Comfortable with Chaos 

Job sites are extremely busy with crews coming and going, deliveries being made, hammering, sawing, drilling, and more. Power and water may need to be cut off for large portions of the day, and dust and debris are hard to avoid. 

For us, it’s a job site, but we know that for you, it’s a home. While we’ll try to minimize disruption as much as possible, renovation can and will feel chaotic at times. 

Have Shoes Set Aside

With saw dust, demolition debris, loose fasteners, and other hazards, you’ll quickly find out that moving around the house in socks or slippers is risker than usual. You’ll be living on a construction site, so it’s a great idea to keep additional footwear handy so that you’re always able to move around without worrying about your feet. 

In Closing

We know a home renovation, especially an interior remodel, can be a huge disruption to your daily life, and at McFall we’re here to help you every step of the way. 

If you follow our recommendations and live off site during your interior renovation, we’re more than happy to answer any questions and make local recommendations to make the process as easy as possible. For those who opt to stay, we’ll help to set clear expectations so that you can better prepare for a temporarily disrupted routine. While chaos and mess are part of the process, they are temporary, giving way to the beautifully transformed space you’ve envisioned.

As you embark on your home renovation journey, remember that while the process may present challenges, it also holds the potential for substantial growth. With the right mindset and a trusted renovation team by your side, you’re on the path to creating the home of your dreams.