Adding a room or rooms to your Toronto home is an exciting undertaking. Unfortunately, it also involves noise (lots of it), dirt (ditto), part of your home being exposed to the elements, strangers in your kitchen while you’re trying to eat, power outages, cold showers and more. While none of that sounds particularly inviting there are steps you can take to make the whole process a lot more palatable and in this post we’ll talk about some.
Surviving Home Additions is All About Planning
Some people find the process of home additions so odious they move out during construction. While people are free to do as they wish abandoning the home may not actually be necessary if you engage in some pre-construction planning, such as:
- Designating a “contractor free zone” – Unless you set limits the various contractors are going to assume the public areas of your house are, well, public. So make sure you establish at least one public area of the house where contractors are not allowed. This way you’ll always have a place to go where you can just be yourself and feel normal.
- Setting start times – The last thing you want is to be eating breakfast accompanied by a symphony of hammering and circular saws. Having some quiet time at the beginning of the day can go a long way toward making the home additions process more bearable. So even if you’re just able to push the start time back a half hour, do it; it can really help.
- Renting a Porta-Potty – Nothing brings workmen into the family areas of the home like the need to use the toilet. You may be able to circumvent this unwelcome intrusion however by renting a portable toilet for the contractors. You may have to be creative and smart (think odours) where you place it but it’s worth looking into.
- Requiring notice of utility shutdowns – You don’t want to be in the middle of a shower when the water is unexpectedly turned off by the plumber. Talk it over with the general contractor and insist on as much notice as is practically possible. That may be a day or two days, or it may be a few hours. Still, something is better than nothing.
- Sealing off vents – Construction work is dirty business and trying to contain dirt and dust during home additions can be a formidable job. There is one thing you can do though to stop the mess from propagating more than necessary: seal off any heat vents near the construction area. This will prevent your HVAC system from spreading the mess.
- Moving flora before the work starts – One complaint many homeowners share about large scale construction is the destruction of bushes, flowers and the lawn. While it’s unlikely you can do much to prevent the lawn from taking a beating you can move bushes and plants out of harm’s way before construction begins.
Deciding to stay at home during a home addition project doesn’t have to be the trial-by-fire some make it out to be. By creating an off-limits zone for yourself and your family, by making sure no one is hammering outside your bedroom window at dawn and by providing the contractors with their own toilet you can minimize some of the biggest issues associated with this type of project.
If you’re contemplating a home addition in Toronto call Karen Homes and talk to one of our building professionals about what’s involved and what additional steps you can take to keep the process livable, and even enjoyable. Home additions don’t have to send you running for the hills. All you need is a plan and the right company to do the job.