Most of us have spent more time at home this past year than we normally would. For many, this has pointed out some spaces that could use an update. If you plan on undertaking a renovation project in the near future, let’s talk about ways to protect yourself.
Consider this statement by the U.S Fire Administration, “Buildings under construction or renovation are at their most vulnerable and weakest condition. Accumulation of waste combustibles, limited access, minimal water supply and hazardous operations increase the challenge.”
CREATE A PLAN
The first thing you will want to do is make a plan. For small renovations that you are able to complete yourself, this can be simply finding a block of time on your schedule. However, if you are looking at something more complex, you will likely need to select a general contractor who can help navigate the process of building permits, architects, structural engineers, etc.
BE PREPARED FOR POSSIBLE ISSUES
We’ve all seen the renovation shows on TV where they get into a project and find something unexpected. Whether you come across mold, asbestos, or lead that needs to be removed, it can add both mental and financial stress to your project. Have material tested ahead of time so you can plan for the extra expense and time needed to have these items safely removed by a professional. You may also want to keep a little emergency fund set back in case there are items that pop up (like foundation issues or a critter infestation).
It is nice to help out a friend or family member, especially in this time where many may have been without work, but asking Uncle Ed to complete work out of his skill set could lead to additional damage and even injury to your favorite uncle. Instead, ask those friends and family members for referrals for specific trades like electrical and plumbing or a general contractor if needed for your situation.
CHECK ON INSURANCE COVERAGE
Most important to us, let’s talk about how your home will be protected during this time. If this is a small renovation such as no change to the structure and you will be living in the home during the remodel, your home insurance policy can continue to protect you. If you have a bigger project in mind and will be moving out while repairs are complete, we should discuss your coverage options. We may need to consider a builder’s risk policy.
Also, keep in mind that those professionals you hired should be carrying general liability insurance and worker’s compensation for their employees. You can request proof of this by simply asking for a certificate of insurance. Check out this previous article on certificates explaining why this is important.
As with any of your insurance questions, we are here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at 303-232-3100 so we can talk through your specific needs.