As a homeowner, it can be very exciting to get a major remodel like a deck or patio installation on your home’s exterior. A proper renovation is often needed, especially after recently buying an old home, to make it livable again. You may also be considering this after living in your home for years and deciding that it’s time to upgrade certain parts of your home.
The actual remodeling process, however, can be a daunting task, especially if you encounter problems that won’t only delay your project, but also disrupt the daily activities of your next-door neighbor. Luckily, most of these problems are avoidable, and, if they do happen during your remodeling project, they can still be resolved properly.
To ensure that your home improvement project goes by smoothly, you’ll need to work with a reputable and locally trusted contractor in patio and deck building, such as The Deck Store. We’ll make the necessary precautions and deal with any problem that happens unexpectedly during your project.
Even if you plan out your project well, it’s still best to prepare for the unexpected. Here are some of the likely problems you’ll encounter and how they can be resolved:
Trees Obstructing Machinery During Renovation
To avoid this, check local tree ordinances. Many towns won’t willingly issue a removal permit for mature trees that contribute to the character of the neighborhood or are outside the building footprint. Another way is to prune the tree branches rather than removing them altogether, if possible. Overhanging branches should be removed to accommodate machinery. You may also have to chip in for preservation and replanting costs.
Property Line Disputes
This can sometimes happen during a normal patio installation. To solve this, compare your survey with your neighbor’s, and check if there’s more than a few inches difference on a common border. If it will affect you adversely, you can ask your neighbor to share the cost of a new survey that includes both properties. The setback lines are measured from property lines, and, while most homeowners value their privacy and views, they also don’t want neighbors’ homes to be any closer than needed. Trees, shrubs and fences are often on or near property lines as well, so keep this in mind before some of your own landscape gets removed by a neighbor who thought it was intruding into their property.
Unsafe Working Environment
Even before your renovation project starts, ask the contractor for prior notification of excavation and/or demolition times so that you have time to keep your pets and children safe. An orange safety fence should also be set up to surround the working site, and hay bales should be positioned to prevent soil, mud and rock slides onto your property or the street.
Having a proper working environment during your patio or deck building project also means checking for drainage problems that result from changes in grading and paving formerly pebbled or unpaved surfaces. The windows must be closed to prevent damage to the interiors, and consider moving outdoor furnishings and personal vehicles to a safe area. Other siding safety procedures must be checked as well, especially for disposal of chemicals like lead paint and asbestos.
As you plan your patio installation, make sure to check the local building code for the days and hours of when construction is permitted. We suggest scheduling barbecues for Sunday when construction isn’t permitted. Also, talk to your hired contractors before the job starts, and set your ground rules so that it’s made clear to them what you want and not want to happen during the renovation process.
Unexpected Water Damage
Having water damage can be a serious issue, especially if it unexpectedly happens while a deck installation is ongoing. Most composite decking contractors understand that it can be complicated to resolve immediately as the origin of the damage isn’t always found. Water damage starts with a leak in the roof, which can go undetected until the water works its way through the ceiling and into the walls of your home. In the case of your deck remodel, it can also be caused by faulty plumbing, such as a broken or leaky pipe, and it won’t be easily detected until your deck floor is opened up for renovation.
The effect of water damage can range from rotten wood and plaster to mold, mildew and termites. This should be addressed first before the actual remodel, which means your hired contractor may have to bring in a number of specialists to deal with secondary issues like mold removal to ensure your home’s health and safety.
Make sure to read your local area’s parking ordinance so you know when and where parking is legal. Streets and driveways can’t be blocked, but the delivery trucks that can’t get to the worksite may have no choice but to unload from the street. The contractor should be notified beforehand about the days and times you need immediate access to the street; you’ll need to be accommodating when you can, even if it means parking at a distance and waiting patiently.
Workers also need permission to be on your property. If a contractor asks to use your outdoor electric outlet, water faucet or anything else, and you agree, specify the conditions and put it in writing.
Handling Unsafe Materials
Old and dangerous materials can turn up during the remodeling process and will need to be dealt with before they create serious health damage to you and anyone who’s unaware. As such, these hazardous materials require special handling and disposal. The laws on handling and disposal of such materials can vary between jurisdictions, but in many cases, licensed remediators and specialist contractors may need to be called in to ensure that these issues are dealt with safely and effectively. Experienced contractors like us know the rules and guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure the materials are safely taken care of, so don’t hesitate to hire us for your next deck remodeling project!