Ten Tips for Staying Sane While You Remodel: Plan Ahead to Maximize Safety and Minimize Disruption



  1. Schedule a pre-construction walk through with your contractor because if you are planning even a minor remodeling project, your home is about to become a construction site. Decide where they can drop lumber and store materials and where you and the crew will park for the duration. Where does the trash get stashed? And where, if at all, is smoking permitted? Which bathroom will be available to the crew?
  2. Discuss how the contractor will protect floors and carpets in areas of the house that are not involved in the construction from dirt and dust. Pack away antiques, fragile and/or valuable items. Consider sending window treatments to the dry cleaner or packing them away for the duration.
  3. Temporarily close off the job site from the remainder of the house. A plywood or plastic blockade keeps the kids from being in the wrong place at the wrong time and cuts down on the dust and dirt that inevitably gets dragged into the areas you are still living in.
  4. Collect on babysitting favors. Don’t wait until you’re in the thick of things to call on friends and family who might be available to help with the kids. Pre-plan play dates for your kids off-site. Or try to schedule the project to happen during the summer months when the kids can be away at camp or visiting grandma or Aunt Liz, at least during the most dangerous phase of construction, usually from the start of demolition until the walls are enclosed.
  5. Make sure the fence is in good repair. And that latches and locks are in working order before the project begins if you’re relying on existing fences and gates to protect neighborhood kids from harm and you from lawsuits.
  6. Make plans for pets too. Don’t assume your dog will behave well during the stress and general upheaval. Contractors can’t carry long lumber through a gate or door without propping it open, which means the dog could run off unless he’s securely leashed or in a pen. Confine indoor cats to an out-of-the-way room with food, water and litter. Tape a large sign on the door at eye-level to alert everyone that the cat is temporarily in residence there.
  7. Set up a temporary kitchen. But not in the bathroom or you’ll disrupt the two most crucial family spaces at the same time. Better possibilities: the laundry room, basement, garage or even the deck in the summer months. Don’t discard the old refrigerator. Move it to your temporary kitchen. Ditto for the base cabinets and countertop. Keep cooking utensils in covered containers so you don’t have to wash them all before you cook each time.
  8. Simplify life for a few weeks. Live on soup, sandwiches, salads and take-out. And use disposable paper or plastic plates and cups. If you must cook, plan meals that can be prepared in an electric fry pan, the microwave and/or a charcoal grill. (Always set up outdoors.) If you have time make up a few of the family’s favorites (meatballs, chili, meatloaf, a casserole) ahead and stash in the freezer in microwavable containers
  9. Don’t move back into your new space too soon. Wait until the project is completely finished and for the construction dust to settle a bit or you’ll clean shelves and everything you put on them four times.
  10. Most importantly, keep your sense of humor. If you can implement these suggestions they’ll go a long way toward helping you stay sane during the exciting, but messy process of remodeling.

All About Shutters

Shutters are more than an additional decor of your home, it has variety of reasons. One is controls the sunlight that enters the room, privacy, security and protect against weather or intruders. Here are the basic types of shutters (indoor and outdoor).

Lovely Louvered (exterior)


Louvered window shutters are constructed with overlapping uniform slats of wood set into a frame. They remain popular for many styles of architecture. Choose an eye-popping paint color to set them off against a white saltbox-style home, or simply stain them if you prefer a natural look.

Raised Panel (exterior)


These decorative, raised panel shutters and coordinating window box combine to create a formal yet inviting country-garden style. The dark paint choice offers a dramatic contrast to the window frame and cascading flowers.

Board and Batten (exterior)


Board-and-batten shutters are available in arch-top or square, spaced or joined styles. As their name implies, they are constructed from individual boards joined together with shorter crosspieces, or battens. The black, arch-style joined shutters shown here work well for curved windows.

Plantation (exterior)


Aiming for a laid-back Southern look? Try functional plantation shutters, exterior shutters with wide louvers that can be closed against storms, or opened to let in warm breezes.

Cut-Out Shutters (exterior)


Use your creativity to customize your own cut-out design shutters. Ships, stars, and geometric shapes are common choices for this style that was popularized in the 1920s.

Scandinavian (exterior)


Scandinavian shutters are distinguished by their solid, joined board-and-batten design, dressed up with cut-outs and bright colors. These shutters can be closed to keep out howling blizzards and snowstorms, and their decorations provide spots of color in snowy Alpine regions.

Combination (exterior)


A combination shutter is simply a mix of two or more shutter styles—in this case, the shutters are a louvered, raised-panel, cut-out combo. This style is a great choice for homeowners who want a customized, one-of-a-kind look that reflects their style and personality.

Shaker Style (interior)


The flat, solid panels of these interior shutters block out bad weather and bright lights. Their plain, functional simplicity is a hallmark of the traditional Shaker style.

Café Style (interior)

Café-style shutters get their name from the French cafés where they are so popular. They are easy to identify: They’re usually louvered, and they cover just the bottom half of a window to give café patrons privacy.

Household Jobs Checklist: Creating a List to Keep Track of Home Maintenance

Home Jobs

Unlike making the beds and cleaning the bathroom, many household chores do not need to be completed daily or even weekly. With busy lifestyles, it is easy to lose track of when such tasks were last taken care of, especially if they only need to be attended to annually.

Some chores, such as checking smoke detector batteries, are necessary to ensure that important household items are working correctly. Other jobs, such as regularly washing curtains and throw cushion covers, help to improve the appearance and longevity of these items. It is important to plan these regular maintenance and cleaning tasks so that they are not forgotten.


Prepare a List of Chores

In a notebook, allocate a page each for regular, monthly , quarterly, bi-annual , and annual tasks. List all the tasks that come to mind on the appropriate page.

Individual Needs

The frequency of some tasks depends on individual requirements.

  • Changing water filters – This is determined by the style of unit and amount of water filtered. Read the instructions accompanying the filter and mark the replacement date on a calendar. If replacement is required at regular intervals, include it on the appropriate checklist.
  • Swimming pool maintenance – It is best to consult a pool supplies business to discuss the appropriate maintenance schedule.
  • Spas and spa baths – Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Pets – Many factors affect what is needed to care for a pet. A local vet, pet store owner or reference book will provide the most reliable and appropriate advice.

Create a List to Suit

Differing environments and lifestyles will affect how often certain chores need to be performed.

In some areas, autumn leaves will need to be cleared from gutters more regularly than others. Extreme weather temperature conditions require more frequent cleaning of air-conditioning and heater filters.

Gutter Cleaning

People who smoke indoors generally need to launder curtains, throw cushion covers and similar items more regularly.

Asthmatics or others with respiratory problems may prefer to replace bed pillows more frequently to reduce dust mite irritation. They may also benefit from more frequent airing of pillows and blankets and washing of bedroom curtains.

Households with young children have an extensive list of additional tasks to be taken care of regularly, such as cleaning bath toys and sorting through toy boxes to discard broken or damaged toys.

Home Jobs Checklist

Make a Checklist

A checklist can be prepared in two ways.

  1. Make a page for each month and list all the jobs that need to be done in that month. Monthly tasks will need to be listed on each page, quarterly tasks can be spread out over three months, bi-annual tasks over six months and annual tasks throughout the year so that each month has a reasonably even number of tasks.
  2. Make a jobs chart spreadsheet with all the chores listed in the first column. For a monthly chart, list the days of the week (repeated four times) as column headings (28 in total). Columns only need to be wide enough to allow a check mark to be made to indicate when regular and monthly jobs should be completed. For a yearly chart, use the months of the year for the column headings and list quarterly, bi-annual and annual tasks.

Keep the checklist in a folder for easy reference. By keeping the lists up to date, you will ensure that no important household chores will be forgotten.