Home Improvement Articles

Preparing for your Renovation Project
Step 12: Whether you are getting a new roof, renovating your kitchen, remodeling a bathroom, upgrading your basement, or simply making some basic repairs, there are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth and easy process for both you and your contractor.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Preparing property for a contractor to work in your home is essential to ensuring a great renovation experience. This article & video will give you a list of helpful tips to ensuring your family is ready for your contractor's arrival.   Proper preparation will help ensure the best chance our team being able to complete your project on-time and on-budget, and it will make the experience far more pleasant for you and your family, when we're all on the same page regarding the expectations and procedures. 
Whether we’re going to be working in your home for 6 to 8 hours, or 6 to 8 weeks, there are a couple of steps you can take to help ensure a smooth process.
(1) Clear the work areas of personal belongings. Box up sentimental items, photos, and anything that’s not a piece of furniture. This will allow our team to quickly set drop cloths, flooring protection, and hang up plastic sheeting without the risk of damaging your items. Take photos & artwork down off the wall. It’s not uncommon for the occasionally violent nature of construction to send vibrations through the structure of your home that causes one of these items to fall off its hanger and come crashing to the floor. Whether it’s a bathroom, kitchen, roof, window, door, or siding job… it’s a good idea to remove any valuable wall hangings including those plates and mugs or your collection of Cats Meow Village building cutouts on top of your door jambs… your Galileo glass ball thermometer, and anything else that you wouldn’t want to hit the floor, even if its 3 rooms away from the work area. Be proactive, better safe, than sorry.
If our team is working on your kitchen cabinets or under bathroom vanities, please empty the area we’ll be working in, as well as the adjacent cabinet so that we can access and remove fasteners as needed. Please box up these items and move them to another room. If we need to access the attic through a hatch in the top of a closet, please ensure that area is clear and accessible, including the top shelf so we can squeeze by.
Check with our office staff or your Project Consultant if you have any questions about what your responsibilities are going to be for creating an clear accessible work space.
(2) Think through how you are going to secure your pets and keep them safe during the work day. We love dogs, and most cats, but it’s very difficult to work efficiently when we are trying to be conscious of where the animals are while going in and out frequently to the truck or the cutting area. Do you have a spare room they can spend the day in? Can they visit with a family member during the renovation? Our team can’t take responsibility for ensuring Fluffy doesn’t escape, and we don’t want to be tripping over him or her during the work day, so we highly encourage our clients with pets to think through those arrangements prior to our arrival.
(3) Be mindful of your children. While the young ones tend to be too little to get into trouble, and the teenagers seem to know better, there is an age in the middle where curiosity can be 50% helpful and 50% dangerous. We LOVE empowering the next generation of Trades people and if you have a son or daughter who is interested in learning how things work, we’re happy to take a few minutes and answer their questions and satisfy their curiosity… however, power tools can be very dangerous if not handled with proper respect and only with proper training, and after reading the safety instructions and owner manuals. It’s not uncommon for saws and sanders to be setup in the cutting area, unsupervised during the work day. If you have an especially curious child, or a child with special needs who requires close supervision, please discuss these concerns with your Project Consultant and our Field-staff prior to the start of the work.
(4) Do you have bushes growing right up against the house where we’ll be working? Typically our crews need 48 inches of clear space to work safely and efficiently. Please trim any hedges or bushes in the work space prior to our team’s arrival, or speak with our Project Consultant about including this task in the scope of work.
(5) Do you have any low voltage or solar landscape lighting in or around the work space? What about garden Gnomes, potted plants, or other decorations. It may be wise to remove or protect these items prior to the start of work. It’s not uncommon for our field staff to travel the path in and out of your home 6 to 12 times per hour depending on what phase of the project we are in. These trips may include carrying large bulky materials, or long unwieldy items, tools, cords, ladders, etc. Removing or protecting these items will help keep them safe during the course of the work.
(6) Are you going to be home all day? Will you need to run a quick errand at lunch time? For most of our jobs, our teams will park our trucks in your driveway, as close to the work area as possible to cut down on the steps they have to walk each day back and forth to their tool sheds on wheels. In order to help us be efficient, and cost effective, we ask that you allow our teams full use of your driveway so that they can park and setup the cutting area as close to the work area as possible. If you foresee needing to leave during the work-day, please move your vehicle to the street prior to our team’s arrival. Is it supposed to rain? If so, making space in your garage for a cutting area may help keep projects on task. If there is space available to leave tools or materials setup over-night, this can also help keep projects on schedule by minimizing teardown and setup time each day.
(7) If you are supplying any materials, such as a vanity for a bathroom project, light fixtures, a mirror, or other items, please ensure they are on-site prior to the start of the first day of work, so that our field staff can pull measurements from them for the various required rough-ins. Failure to have these on-site at the start of the project could result in costly change orders if modifications have to be made after rough-ins are complete.
(8) It’s important we take a moment to talk about Project Fatigue… This is a real phenomenon we see in projects as short as two weeks, and frequently in projects lasting longer than 4 weeks. When someone works from home, or is a full time parent, there is only so much hammering, banging, and saws running that you can stand. Eventually, it can start to grate on your nerves and it’s important to prepare for this, with a good set of noise canceling headphones, some music or podcasts that you love, and perhaps some scheduled time to be away from the racket during the day.
It can also be a little disconcerting to have a team of strangers in and out of your bedroom or master bathroom all day long, or to have your kitchen completely ripped apart and feel like you’re not seeing any progress during the time when all the rough-in work is taking place inside the walls and ceiling. There are only so many nights of pizza or Chinese take-out one can stand before it starts to eat at you. Every family is different and some homeowners tolerate project fatigue better than others.
If you struggle with anxiety, or uncertainty, or have aversions to loud noises, it’s important to think through these potential challenges ahead of time with your family and work out some coping strategies. In some cases, families have asked us to setup a temporary cooking area in their basement or garage, where they can at least use a stove. Others line up a few weeks worth of BBQ grill meals and buy an extra tank of propane. A few families schedule a vacation for the middle of the project period, where there aren’t many decisions to be made, and like Extreme Makeover Home Addition we can send you video chats or updates if we have any questions while you are away.
The important part is that you think about project Fatigue and discuss it with your family, before your renovation starts. If a concern comes up during your project, please have an open and honest conversation with our field staff or with your Project Consultant, so that we can take steps to try to mitigate it wherever possible while still keeping your renovation on schedule.
(9) Lastly, if you have any vacations scheduled when you would Prefer to have the work completed… or when you would like to AVOID having the work scheduled for, please be sure to communicate that to our administrative team so that we can note that in our system.
With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to a wonderful Five-Star home improvement experience with the Team at Cope Construction and Renovation… so you’ll be Proud to say, “It’s not just done, it was COPEBUILT.”
In Step 13, we’ll walk you through what to expect during the renovation process!  That's next.
Let's continue the journey with Step 13: "What to Expect during your remodel or home repair?"

Step 1: Decide you want to improve your home.
Step 2: Search for a Contractor or learn about us from friends and neighbors or on social media.
Step 3: Read our reviews on Facebook and Google Maps.
Step 4: Contact us with details about your project.
Step 5: VES: Virtual Estimate System, Ballparking your repair, renovation, addition or new construction project.
Step 6: TRB: Target Renovation Budget, dialing in on what features and finishes are most important
Step 7: OSC: On-Site Consultation, Design, or Proposal Meetings
Step 8: Review a Formal Quote or our Home Improvement Agreement
Step 9: Finish your due diligence in screening us...
Step 10: Sign the Agreement and return it with your Deposit
Step 11: Scheduling the work
Step 12: Preparing for your renovation
Step 13: What to Expect during your remodel
Step 14: The Big Reveal


What type of work does COPE provide? Our team is experienced in all manner of new home design and construction, additions, garages, renovations and remodels, along with all types of home repairs. We can assist you with Kitchens, Bathrooms, Finished Basements, New Construction, Custom Homes, Drywall, Plumbing, Electrical work, Windows, Doors, Siding, Roofing, Exteriors, mysterious water leaks and more... What Problem can we SOLVE for you?

We're your local team! When we're finished, you'll be proud to say, "It's not just done... It's #CopeBUILT!

COPE Construction and Renovation is a registered and insured Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor. PA88078. We look forward to serving you soon!