Any project with moving parts needs healthy communication. Home improvement is no different. Before you even start a home improvement project, you can communicate boundaries and expectations with your contractor and others who will be affected by the project. Each project is unique, and by establishing a solid connection you’re setting yourself up for success.


One of the first things that should be established with your contractor is the workday. Set a time when they will start in the morning, and a time when they should be wrapped up in the evening. This helps you maintain your own routine, and keeps your contractor and his team on track for the day.

Home renovation is going to make a mess. Whether it’s a rented dumpster or an arrangement with your contractor, make sure you’re including a way to dispose of any bulky materials. It’s also important to not overlook small particles. Drywall or wood dust can enter other areas of the house and settle. Setting down covers can save you a lot of cleaning time if you plan ahead.

You also want to be sure that the crew working on your home has the amenities that they need. If there isn’t a bathroom in your home that you feel comfortable letting them use, make sure that you have discussed procuring a portable restroom to rent for the duration of the project. If the portable unit isn’t outfitted with any way for them to wash their hands, you also need to make sure there is some form of sanitation station for them to clean up at.


While living with others, it’s important to take their schedules and well-being into account. This is especially vital when there are children involved. Construction sites have many dangerous aspects and aren’t safe for children to be around. If your children are old enough, it’s important to talk to them about the seriousness of staying clear of the area being remodeled. If your children are too young to understand, make sure that the area is blocked or locked off to keep them from investigating.

There are also elderly and disabled family members to consider. Fumes, dust, and noise can all contribute to a poor living environment. Setting up a room in an area that is less affected by the renovations can help, but sometimes you might need to find alternate arrangements for them until the phase is finished.


With so many moving parts, talking to your neighbor about your upcoming project might be easy to miss. Regardless, remembering to keep them updated will go a long way. It’s courteous to give them a heads up about any potential inconveniences, such as noise, dust, or traffic. Always follow any ordinances in your city and neighborhood.

Another aspect of the project to keep your neighbors informed about is the timeline. Being able to tell your neighbors when a project will definitely be finished can go a long way. At the same time, listen to any concerns that they may have about conflicting schedules and their own families. While it might throw a wrench in some of your plans, there is usually a compromise that can be reached.

It can be tricky to take the first step sometimes. However, it’s important to make sure these conversations are happening. Keeping that line of communication open is vital to a successful project.