Saturday, 28 December 2013

Dogs Suffer During Home Remodelling

If home renovation is hard on human beings, think how much harder it is on dogs. At least humans can understand what is happening and why. All the dog knows is that everything in the home is disrupted and there is no idea of when it will all end. Dog stress during home renovation is a serious matter and should not be ignored. It can leave lasting scars on a dog’s psyche. A loved dog gives more to the family that he takes, so when a home renovation is going on, it is only fair that this is the time when the family give to him. Here are a few things that can be done to reduce the stress on a pet dog during a remodel
  • Keep the dog away from the part of the house where work is going on. A curious dog could get hurt by going too near a work area. A friendly dog is a distraction to the workmen who may feel compelled to keep an eye on him while their work suffers. And the mass of movement and noise can confuse and upset a normally quiet dog and make him aggressive. The more time at least one member of the family spends with him, the better he will feel.
  • Keeping the dog confined to a small part of the house while the work is in progress can be a strain on him. This can be mitigated by spending as much time as possible with him and taking him out for walks frequently and playing with him.
  • Dogs are curious by nature and when it comes to their homes, this trait is especially strong. They want to go and investigate everything that is happening in the home, even if they don’t understand the what and the why. The problem is that nails, splinters, open wiring and other construction hazards pose a special danger to dogs. The best way to deal with this is to wait till the work has finished for the day, check out a part of the house to ensure that it is safe for the dog and then take him through it. Keep him on a short leash (literally) to ensure that he doesn’t stick his nose where it shouldn’t go.
  • Roof replacement is very stressful for a dog. They hear noise above them and see the sky where it wasn’t a few days before. It is common for dogs to look up and bark and howl when the roof is gone. All you can do is try to comfort him.
  • Falling shingles and other debris can be very dangerous for dogs that feel safe in their homes and are therefore off guard. Take the dog out of the house to a distance where he is safe and tell him look at the work going on. Once again, he will not understand what he is seeing, but at least he will feel that he is being allowed to see the action.
  • Since the dog will be confined to one room much of the time, make sure that water, snacks, favourite toys and the doggy bed are all placed in the room. Often keeping the TV or radio on to drown out at least part of the construction noise helps to keep dogs calm.
  • If none of these help and the dogs is getting more and more tense and upset, the only viable option is to board the dog at a kennel during the remodel. This can be a problem because many dogs do not take well to a change of environment and the company of strangers. But it is worth a try.
Dogs don’t like remodeling. When such a project is on, it is the responsibility of the owner and their family to comfort the dog as much as possible.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Stay Or Leave During Remodeling?

The question of staying on or moving out during a home renovation can be a difficult one. Making the right decision will depend on the extent of the remodel and the amount of discomfort, inconvenience and expense that the family is willing to put up with. Here are some of the factors that need to be considered when making a “stay or go” decision.
  • Cost: Money is a key factor in a stay or go decision. While it is obvious that staying in rented accommodation or a hotel is going to be expensive, there are costs associated with staying too. Staying on in a remodelling site can slow down the pace of the work as the contractor will need to work around the family’s needs, however much they are reduced. And some contractors even charge extra if the family will be staying on because they will have to deploy additional resources for clean-up and to keep basic amenities operational.
  • The Scope of the Project: If the roof is coming off the home or there will be no usable bathrooms, it is not going to be possible to stay in the home. A family can get by for a few days without a kitchen and dining room; bedrooms and living rooms are all things that they can do without. But with no place to bathe or clean dishes, how can they live there?
  • Pets: Your dog or cat could be in danger during the renovation or pose a danger to the workmen by distracting them. Depending on the nature of the pet, it may be possible to keep it locked up in a single room with outings a few times a day, during the duration of the remodel. But it will be tough on the animal. If the family moves to a pet friendly location, the pet will be a much happier family member.
  • Children: Small children are usually fascinated by the work being done in the house. But that can also put them in danger. And asking workmen o look after kids’ safety or answer the million questions that they always have will only slow down the work and cost the homeowner more money. Also, it is not possible for the work and noise to stop to accommodate nap times.
  • Food: The family has to keep on eating. Eating out and take outs are options but are they viable for a long duration? However, it is often possible to set up a temporary kitchen in a small part of the house with a microwave, fridge and toaster. This is workable for a few months but more than that and it becomes a strain on everyone.
  • Washing Clothes: A washing machine can be temporarily installed in a part of the home not affected by the remodel. But keep in mind that the amount of washing will increase a lot. Even with the best of protection, dust and dirt will be in the air and on the clothes. And grime really sticks to clothes that are drying.
  • When There Is No Choice: Some aspects of a remodel require that the home be emptied for safety reasons. For example, finishing hardwood floors often requires the house to be empty for a few days until the fumes dissipate. Here there is no choice but to go.
How much each of the above factors influences a decision to stay or go will depend on family circumstances. And if the family stays, the advantage is that the homeowner can keep an eye on every aspect of the remodel. But by going, the family will be able to continue with its normal life with the minimum of hardship.