Nationwide provided me with information regarding its Nationwide Learning Center article.
It's one of those famous family stories that is told over and over again - the time my Grandpa fell through the ceiling. He was doing work in the attic and everyone else was in the living room below. All of the sudden there was a crashing sound and Grandpa's legs were hanging through the ceiling. Luckily, he wasn't hurt and the ceiling was repaired. But as we are planning home remodeling projects of our own this year, I keep thinking back to this story. And it reminds me of how important it is to consider safety in your home improvement plans. Fortunately, Nationwide has given me some great home improvement safety tips to share with you.
Staying Safe During Home Improvements
The accidents that can happen during home remodeling projects can be very scary. Not everyone is as lucky as my Grandpa. Falls from roofs and ladders or flying debris (to name just a few possibilities) can lead to broken bones or worse, which is why safety needs to be at the top of everyone's mind. Here's just a few ways to help ensure your projects stay safe.
Know Who You Are Hiring
We're planning on hiring a contractor for most of our projects this year, and hiring the right person is key to a safe project. Checking references is important, but to be truly safe you need to go above and beyond the opinion of friends or neighbors. You should also be sure to check for code violations on your contractor's previous jobs and check with your local buildings department for issues. Many states' Attorney Generals' offices also keep records of complaints and can be a great resource. Learn more about where you can find this information here.
Get Everything in Writing
Be sure that your contract is specific and includes things like materials, building permits, and insurance information. Ask for a copy of the contractor's proof of insurance and do not allow any work to begin until you have one.
You may also want to consider adding additional insurance of your own to cover the project.
Communicate Early and Often
We built our house, and it was really fun talking about things like paint colors, fixtures, and upgrades. It's not quite as fun to talk about safety, but it is far more important. You need to look at your contractor as your partner in safety, and discuss safety precautions early and often. Do not be afraid to bring up any concerns with your contractor and make sure they are properly addressed.
Set Up Your Safe Zone
Going back to my Grandpa's home remodeling mishap, it wasn't just luck that he was OK, but that no one was injured from the ceiling pieces that fell below. When your home is under construction, it is really important to make sure that you have clearly laid out which spaces are safe for your family to enter and where you need to stay away. And don't forget to make sure your pets are kept safely out of the danger zone too! Work with your contractor to set the parameters for which areas are safe, and remember there can be dangers from fumes as well as debris or work areas.
Are you planning a home improvement project this year? Be sure to read all the Home Remodeling Safety Considerations from Nationwide and keep your home, family, and project safe and accident free!