Remodeling your home is a lot like going in for surgery. You know you’ll be better off when it’s done, but there’s always a nagging fear that something might go wrong. Fortunately, a well-designed remodel site protection plan can help alleviate some of these concerns.
Every day, our remodeling teams at Lamont Bros. work to renovate homes across the Portland area. The first step in every one of our remodel projects is to create and execute a site protection plan. These safety measures help ensure the safety and quality of our clients’ homes, both inside and outside the construction zone.
This article will discuss why and how we implement a remodel site protection plan. Here, you can learn about the methods, materials, and benefits of the system we use to protect your home from damage during a remodel.
Why do we have a protection plan?
When we remodel a home, our goal is to leave it in a much better condition than when we began. That’s sort of the point of a remodel. The challenge lies in making sure that, as different construction processes go on around the home, the work zone remains contained.
When we set up a site protection plan, there are three main goals:
Protect your home from damage
Not everything that happens during the process of remodeling is gentle on your house. The old space needs to be demolished before any new construction begins. Workers frequently carry large, bulky tools and materials in and out of the house. Saws kick out a lot of dust. This is why it’s important to put up protective barriers around the work zone and partition it off from the rest of the house.
Protecting everything outside of the remodel’s area is only half the battle. You should also consider how to protect the new remodel materials once they’re installed. This can often be more of a challenge since those materials tend to be right in the middle of the work zone.
When we set up site protection equipment in your home, there are three main hazards we try to protect against:
In any kind of construction, things are going to get hit. Remodeling is no exception. Even the slightest impact can leave dents, dings, and scratches on a finished surface. Moving heavy or cumbersome appliances through narrow hallways is a frequent precursor to a dented wall.
It might not be the first hazard that comes to mind, but a liquid spill can be disastrous to a remodel project. Paint, stain, glue, mortar, and even water can cause extensive damage if spilled. Hardwood floors are especially prone to spill damage since wood is naturally porous and absorbs liquid.
The thing about dust is that it is essentially unavoidable during a remodel. Even with plastic partitions, the shaking and movement of the home while it is under construction will kick the dust in your home up into the air.
When working with saws, it becomes an entirely different challenge. A single circular saw can produce enough dust in 10 minutes to cover your home’s interior in a visible film. Worse yet, dust can be incredibly difficult to clean from certain surfaces, especially unfinished wood.
Minimize remodel invasiveness
While some of our clients do choose to rent a temporary home during their remodel, many end up staying in the home as it is being renovated. One of the goals of the site protection plan is to contain the construction area so the rest of your home remains usable.
During a remodel, the construction area can get messy and, at times, dangerous. As a homeowner, you probably don’t want the workspace extending any further into your home than is absolutely necessary. This is why your builders should establish clear boundaries on where work is and is not happening.
A well-prepared build team should be able to partition off the work zone in a way that is minimally invasive. For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, your team might use plastic walls to isolate the kitchen area, plus a nearby room or open area as workspace. Everything outside of that zone should otherwise be usable.
While your team will do their best to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences, you will likely lose the use of whatever space is under construction for the duration of your remodel.
Ease of access
In addition to protecting the area where construction work takes place, your team should also set up protective barriers and covers between the workspace and the access point. This protects the walkway where materials are brought in and out of the house.
If you decide to stay in your home during the remodel process, you’ll probably want to use a different access point than your build team as you come and go from your home. Most of the time, your build team will designate a secondary access in your home, such as a garage or backdoor, as the “work access.”
How do we implement a protection plan?
A skilled remodeling team will use several measures to protect your home as they work in it. These protective materials are temporary and are designed to be removed at the end of a remodel.
The most visible features of a remodel site protection plan are the plastic walls that encase the workspace. Resembling enormous clear tarp, these barriers serve two primary purposes.
The greatest benefit of plastic walls is that they contain most of the dust and debris created in the workspace. It isn’t a 100% dustproof barrier, but it does make a huge difference in keeping the rest of your house clean. Most of these wall systems have zipper doors, which help provide access to the construction zone without letting too much dust in or out.
The barriers also serve as indicators of the work zone’s location. That way, you, your family, and your guests can clearly define what parts of your home are usable during construction.
Made of thick, dense cardboard material, Ram Board is a heavy-duty protective barrier that can be applied to floors, walls, and other hard finished surfaces. We even put Ram Board on countertops to protect them once they’ve been installed.
Ram Board keeps you home safe from dents, scratches, and spills throughout the duration of your remodel. It is especially helpful in narrow walkways where floors, walls, and doors need additional protection.
If your build team needs to walk or work over the carpet, they will probably lay down a carpet film. This usually looks like a thin plastic cling wrap. Carpet film has mild adhesive on one side, so it will stick to your carpet and protect it against dirt, mud, or liquid spills.
These protective layers are not suitable for some high-end carpets, such as wool. Chemical reactions between the carpet material and adhesive may cause discoloration. In cases like these, your build team may recommend a different kind of temporary floor covering, or simply wear shoe socks while working in a carpeted area.
One of the most versatile protective units we use is the air scrubber. These machines are capable of cleaning impurities from the air during the workday. Not only are they great for dust abatement, but they also protect your health and the health of those in your home.
The air scrubbers we use can be configured in one of two ways. They can vent the air within the workspace and direct it to the outside of the home, removing dust and other impurities. Alternatively, they can filter and recirculate the air within the home with no need for a vent.
In any case, construction equipment such as saws, grinders, and sanders can release dust, and hazardous particles into the air. As a result, it is important to take precautions that maintain safe air quality for you and your build team.
Have more questions about the remodeling process?
So, now you know more about the ways a well-prepared build team can use a site protection plan to keep your home safe during a remodel. If you’re gearing up for a home renovation project, check out our article about what to expect during your project.
Do you want to learn more about how a design-build firm can help you turn your current home into your dream home? Click the button below to schedule a video call with one of our design consultants.