Managing security during a remodeling project

Security of your home during a remodeling project is of paramount importance.

Security of your home during a remodeling project is of paramount importance.

Not only for preventing unwanted access, but also for keeping the elements out, the pets in, and for the general safety of the occupants. Remodeling jobsites are most frequently occupied homes, so diligence must be placed on clean up and lock up procedures. This generally means rolling up cords, covering holes, securing power tools, and boarding up openings.

Contractors usually employ the same trade contractors on their various projects, though not all are contracted to work on every project the contractor performs.

To limit access to only authorized personnel, a lockbox is installed at the home for key access to the designated doorway. Each lockbox should have a unique code to prevent unwanted access. By allowing only a few members of the staff to have the code to the box, the key is only removed to unlock the access door, and then returned to the lock box.

With this policy, no one enters the home that the contractor does not authorize. If your contractor has experience with new construction, properly securing a site at the end of each day may mean something different than you expect so do not proceed until you feel confident.

Of course, even though a contractor has a security policy in place, it will not be practiced unless all employees and trade contractors are trained on the unique procedures for working in occupied homes. Training should include care for your home’s finish surfaces, furniture, electronics, pets, children and valuables. For best results, an out of sight, out of mind approach is best to reduce your risk of loss. Whether you like it or not, it is ultimately your responsibility to secure your valuables.

In addition to security, it is important to have a warm, clean, getaway space during the remodeling project.

It should be a space all to yourself, and set up for you to enjoy your normal lifestyle. By spending time to discuss which areas will be affected and which will not, you can plan with your contractor the most feasible way to set up your temporary living situation.

Best practice is to install a semi-permanent dust barrier to divide the construction areas from the non-construction areas. This way, the family can continue to operate comfortably without concern for the construction zone interfering with daily functions of the home. It is important to note, however, you need to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the noise, vehicles and other inconveniences associated with construction before entering into the project.

Michael Tenhulzen is President of Tenhulzen Remodeling in Redmond. For more informatio, call (425) 885-9871 or go to