Contributed by Joe Roberts
In today's mile–a–minute culture, many homeowners want to renovate their homes at the same time they're moving in or out of them. "All of my stuff is already in boxes and out of the way," they think, "so it'll work perfectly."
What these homeowners tend to overlook is how inconvenient – and stressful – it can be to do both at the same time. And it can be just as bad or worse for the contractors doing the renovations.
Fortunately, there are a few rules of thumb to help you navigate this tricky situation.
1. Avoid especially large projects
Homeowners aren't always aware of what renovation projects require. So, they may have unrealistic expectations, believing that they'll be able to easily navigate around the project area to carry boxes and furniture through their house.
For especially large jobs like kitchen remodels and re–flooring projects, it's recommended that clients keep out of the house entirely, staying elsewhere while the professionals do the work. Since people who are moving can be even more obtrusive than people who are just living there, it's usually best to take on only smaller renovation jobs for people who are moving in or out of their homes.
2. Communicate openly before starting the project
If you've decided to take on a project, you should discuss your requirements with the clients directly. Try to answer the important questions they might not know enough to ask:
- How many renovators will be working in the house?
- When will your team be there every day?
- How much space will your team require?
- What areas should the clients avoid during the project?
Again, homeowners are often oblivious to what renovation projects actually require. So, they might be surprised by some of the information you're sharing with them. The good news is that most will understand and appreciate this up–front information. If they want the job done well, they'll do their best to accommodate you and your team while they're moving. And keeping the lines of communication open throughout the project will help to avoid conflict and ensure a successful outcome.
3. Stay out of the way whenever possible
Movers have a lot to worry about, so it's best to stay out of their way when you can.
If the home has two serviceable entrances, try to use only one of them when you and your team are going in and out. You can also ask the homeowners if they can keep their comings and goings to the other entrance when they're using dollies and carrying furniture. This will help avoid collisions and bottlenecks.
You should also do your best to keep your work area clean. Avoid leaving tools around when you leave for the night, and make sure your crew cleans up any rubble, dust, or trash they create throughout the day.
If you need to use extension cords or other long power cords, make sure they aren't in the path of anyone who might be carrying heavy belongings through the house.
Lastly, if you need to bring in a dumpster or a large vehicle for the project, avoid parking it between the front door and the moving truck.
While some renovation jobs are best avoided while clients are moving, open communication and a willingness to share the space can make renovation jobs with movers go just as smoothly as any other job.
Joe Roberts is a moving expert and writer. His areas of expertise include packing moving trucks, safely moving with pets, and avoiding the pitfalls of the moving industry. In his free time, he volunteers as an amateur handyman and helps his friends and family with various home improvement projects.