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Oh yes, we know, you thought it was your home.  And it is.  But once those renovations begin, it is also a construction jobsite.

Sometimes we work on one room, or one deck or one area.  Then it can be very easy to close a door and keep everyone safe.  But often, we are working in multiple areas.  And these days, many people are trying to do their own work from home.

So what’s a homeowner to do?  If it’s a big project, with a timeline of a month or more, we will often suggest that people move out, or at least rent office space somewhere.  Truth?  We are not quiet.  There are no sound guards for saws and hammers and powerdrills.

ADULTS:  Usually it is common sense—but not always.  If there are holes in the floor, avoid them.  If there are tools plugged in, avoid the power cords.  If there are ladders, stay away.  If there is a work fence – it’s there for a reason, stay out.  And for goodness sake’s, if there is scaffolding, please don’t climb on it, just to get a better view!  Our tools are not toys.  And the worksite is active during the day:  no steel-toed boots and no hard hat and no safety training—usually means NO Entry.  In the evening, proceed with caution.  We want your feedback as soon as possible if you see something where we have misunderstood, or if you suddenly decide to make a change.  We will always tidy at the end of the day to remove as many obvious hazards as possible.

KIDS:  Oh ya, this is a tricky one.  Kids love tools and especially the big equipment.  Many families will plan a vacation.  If you’re staying at home, it’s near a full-time job to make sure their curious minds are NOT exploring the jobsite.  We always pay special attention to kids when a homeowner is getting a roof repaired, or a new roof installed.  Roofers use big nails.  Almost 100% of the time, there will be nails on the ground around the house.  Roofers will go around at the end of a project with a magnet—but I’ll just be honest:  sometimes they miss a few.  The more eyes we have looking at the ground, the better the chances that all the nails are recovered after a new roof install.  Another challenge is kids and deck building.  Demolition and the initial deck framing are the biggest risks.  That old deck has all kinds of interesting (rotting, old, disgusting) wood, with nails sticking out of it.  We discourage any helpers, to avoid splinters.  And we make every effort to get as much of the old deck into a bin as fast as possible.  Many parents just send their kids out to play—but if they can play at a buddy’s or a water park, or anywhere else for just a few days, then we’re all safer and happier during deck-building season.  A deck under construction looks like a jungle gym in a kid’s mind.

PETS:  True story.  At one renovation, the guys drywalled the walls.  Then they went for lunch.  Then they came back to finish drywalling the ceiling.  Later that night, there was a rather perturbed meowing from the family cat.  The family looked everywhere before they realized – the cat must be behind the new drywall.  Late night cat rescue it was!  Turns out the cat had crawled into a nice warm place by a heating duct, and had fallen asleep—out of view of anyone.  We all love our fur-babies, but they can also be a tripping hazard for our crew when they are carrying materials to and from the jobsite.  Plus, they can be almost as curious as the human babies.  We encourage pet daycare, or fencing, or some other designated area for the pets during a renovation.

It’s a bit of a harsh post today, but safety really is everyone’s responsibility.  Our team members are focused on their work at the jobsite; and no one has eyes in the back of their heads.  We encourage parents and pet owners to take extra care and watch your loved ones while we’re busy renovating.  And if you see something concerning, please say something.  We all want to be safe.