Tips for Keeping your Home Safe During a Remodel
From new floors to a full gut, doing a home renovation can bring stress and chaos to your family. Take the worry of theft or vandalism out of your remodel by following these tips for keeping your home and family safe.
A Contractor you Can Trust
The #1 protection you have for a safe remodel is the contractor you choose. Ideally you want someone who was referred by friends or neighbors and they should be insured, including worker’s compensation coverage.
- Home remodel contractors don’t have to be licensed in the state of Texas, but many trades like electrical and plumbing contractors do. Ask for details on any subcontractors doing work at your house.
- Check Yelp, Google, Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau for reviews of the contractor.
- Research the company online – do they have a website, social media pages and organizational affiliations?
Restrict or Monitor Access to your Home
Once you have a contractor and sub-contractors you can trust, you have to decide how you will provide access to your home. Most people won’t be home all day, every day and will need to allow the workers to be there unattended. Consider these options for allowing access without making your home and family vulnerable:
- Provide a key only to the contractor or his job foreman and require one of them to be onsite daily to allow entry and lock up at the end of the day.
- Use a keyless entry system – a keyless door lock can be added to most security systems allowing you to unlock the door remotely or to provide a temporary code that can be changed after the remodel is complete.
- Install a video doorbell at the front door which allows you to see who is coming and going throughout the day and also allows you to communicate via two-way audio. Combine this with the keyless entry – the worker can request entry through the doorbell and you can unlock the door remotely.
Secure Valuables and Building Materials
Keep your own valuables safe and locked away or even better, offsite, and require your contractor to keep building materials in the garage, shed or portable storage unit. You don’t want to attract thieves to your home by leaving boxes of flooring, wire or cable or other design materials out in the open.
Keep your Security System Intact if at all Possible
Sometimes during demolition, the workers get over zealous and remove everything off the walls including your security keypad and devices.
- Make it clear to your contractor you want a working security system and for them to preserve whatever they can during the demo.
- If doors and windows are being replaced, contact your security company to schedule replacing the contacts as soon as the new ones are installed.
- Sign up for remote access to your security system so you can set the alarm and disarm it from your smartphone or tablet even when you are away from home. You can even schedule the system to arm and disarm automatically at certain times.
- Keep the system monitored by your alarm company – be sure you have working Internet so the system can communicate.
Keep an Eye on What’s Going On
Monitor the work remotely and keep an eye on things when no one is at the house through video cameras. It is always a good idea to have cameras recording in case there is an injury, someone unauthorized comes on your property or to look for people who may be fishing around to see if the house is occupied or not. Cloud recording of your video protects the footage so even if they steal your NVR you can still access the video. Be sure you use the phone app that allows you to watch live video or playback of your cameras at any time.
The “Lived In” Look
If you aren’t living at the house during the remodel, it is very important that you give the illusion that the home is occupied. Burglars, vandals and even squatters will make note of a house that looks empty and take advantage of the situation.
- You can add lamp modules or new light switches to your alarm system that let you schedule lights to come on at a certain time each day and go off the next morning. You can even have the TV playing at certain times!
- If you still get a newspaper delivered, turn it off or switch to your temporary housing location during the remodel.
- You can have your mail temporarily forwarded as well or just be sure to come by several times a week to pick it up.
- If your neighborhood provides a security patrol, let them know your house should be on “vacation watch” and ask them to do periodic drive-bys.
- Ask a neighbor if they would be willing to park in your driveway from time to time to make it look like someone is home.
Despite the stress of a home renovation, the payoff is sure to be worth it all in the end. Cultris Security can help you keep your home safe during and after your remodel with security, cameras and home automation.
Call us at 281-506-8466 or visit us online .