Exterior Home Remodel Preparation: Preparing the Outside and Inside

White house with brightly colored plants in yard

If your roof, siding, windows or doors are about to be replaced, find out what you can do to protect your home during an exterior home remodel — both inside and out.

Is this the year your house is getting a facelift?

There are a few simple things that you as a homeowner can do to get ready for an exterior home improvement project. A little prep before the contractors arrive helps your project go smoothly, setting things on the right track from the get-go.

It starts with planning. The first key to a successful exterior renovation is letting the seasons be your guide, says Laura Elliott, manager of exterior products for Sears Home Improvement.

“Spring and summer are great times to remodel exterior products like windows, siding and roofing,” Elliott says. “Fall should be focused on preparing your home for winter, and the winter is best spent doing indoor remodeling.”

Elliott offers these tips for prepping your home before the contractors arrive, plus a few guidelines for what to do while the job is in progress. The goal is to make it easy for the contractors to do their jobs as efficiently as possible, which can ultimately save you money and cut down on inconvenience.

1. Schedule well in advance.

Contractors are busy during the spring and summer, so planning ahead helps avoid delays in scheduling. If you haven’t secured a place on their schedule months before, you may have trouble finding a slot. Plan far enough ahead, and you won’t have to put off an exterior project until the next year.

2. Prep the exterior work site.

Cover your landscaping, clear your driveway and sidewalks, and either cover or move your patio furniture and grill. If any scaffolding will block the entrance to your garage, make arrangements to park your cars on the street or elsewhere. You want your workers to have a clear path to where they need to be, without any obstructions.

3. Remember the interior.

Consider removing mirrors and pictures from your walls, especially if you’re getting a new roof. All of that hammering can jar artwork, framed photos and mirrors off their hooks. Put away items that could be damaged in any areas where workers might be (including the garage and attic).

If you’re getting new windows installed, you need to do more extensive interior prep than for other exterior projects. Workers need easy, clear access to all of your windows, and that might mean moving furniture, lamps and any items near your windows, including window treatments.

4. Decide how much interior access to grant the workers.

May workers enter your home? May they use the bathroom? What about the kitchen? Decide with your family which areas of your home are off-limits to the contractors.

5. Inform your neighbors.

It’s best to be courteous and give your neighbors a heads-up, especially if large construction vehicles or dumpsters will be on the road at times, blocking access.

6. Devise a plan for your kids.

Make sure your children stay out of the construction zones, both for their safety and for the ease of the project. Supervise them at all times. For younger children, be aware that the renovations might be loud enough to disturb their naps and other quiet time. Also, decide the best way for your family to enter and exit your home during construction.

7. Come up with a plan for pets, too.

Most pets don’t like loud noises, so if your project involves extended banging or pounding, consider investing in a pet day care or kennel service for the duration. At the very least, pets need to be secured when workers are doing their job.

8. Be available.

Remodeling projects can inconvenience your family, but now isn’t the time for that extended trip to Europe. When the project gets underway, you need to be present and available for your contractor. Issues will come up, and you don’t want delays because of a lack of communication.

9. Remember, the contractor works for you.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask questions. You can even request daily progress reports to make sure the project is proceeding on time.

By doing a little prep work before the project starts and keeping a careful eye on things while it’s in progress, you’ll help your remodeling project go as smoothly as possible.

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