Having worked in the removals and storage industry for more than 30 years, I am well aware of the challenges involved when having your home renovated. More specifically, I know how hard it is to keep all of your belongings safe and intact while there is construction work going on all around the home.
Dust, paint, heavy objects, careless tradesmen – the list of threats to your belongings is lengthy. Luckily there are a number of things you can do to limit the chances of damage.
1. Rent some portable storage
If you’re worried about valuable items getting damaged, lost or stolen during your renovation, then put them someplace together. And hiring out some portable storage space could be the perfect way to do exactly this. You simply rent out a secure container and house it somewhere on your property.
You can then lock it down to prevent unwanted access. It means that none of your valuable belongings need to even be anywhere near the house. So they can’t get in any way damaged or stolen.
2. Use a trusted storage company on a short term lease
Arguably the best solution is to remove your valuable possessions away from your property altogether. By finding a trusted storage company, you simply transfer all of your necessary belongings and house them there.
But remember, only ever agree to a short-term lease. Otherwise, if the work is done early and you can move everything back home, you might get stuck for a few months paying for storage space you no longer need.
3. Use a building contractor with trusted reviews
If anything does go missing or gets damaged, it will be largely to do with the builders who are in your home at the time. And nowadays, honest trustworthy reviews go a long way.
If you opt for a cheaper builder who you’ve not heard of before and who has no online reviews, then you literally have no idea who they will be bringing in to work each day. And worst of all, what they might get up to when in there.
4. Invest in a security system
Home security systems really are amazing. Not only for when you are having your home renovated, but for the future as well. If someone does decide to break in when no one is home, then your system will quickly wake the neighbours and scare them off.
Homes that are getting renovated are naturally at increased risk. Largely because thieves expect there to be expensive building tools lying around that can be quickly sold on for cash.
5. Keep an inventory of your valuable possessions
Draw up an inventory list of what is in your home and where it is exactly. You can even go so far as to make the contractors aware that you have done this.
If you wish, you can then check it off each evening to make sure everything is where it’s meant to be. At the very least, you have proof that something must be missing if you can’t find it there later on.
6. Check in from time to time
This will help to keep the contractors on their toes, as you are making your presence known. Of course, you don’t want them to feel like you are spying on them every ten minutes.
But do feel free to pop in at a different time each day. Better yet, it can also help to stop them from slacking off when they think you won’t find out!
7. Be careful about giving out keys
You should try your best to not give out any keys to your contractors. The ideal scenario would be that someone is always there to let them in and to see them off at the end of each day. If needs be, ask a neighbour to take the keys from them at the end of each day if you can’t make it.
Giving out keys unnecessarily is just asking for trouble as you never know where they might end up. They might even get cut and reproduced and held onto for a few months until after the work is done.
Ultimately, it is largely about being sensible with your valuable belongings. If you are truly worried about something getting damaged or stolen, then the best course of action is to remove it prior to the work commencing and storing it somewhere away from the home. Then, as long as you have a smart and reliable firm doing the renovations, hopefully nothing should go wrong.
Max Oldfield founded Ants Removals in 1985. Originally the company specialised in residential furniture deliveries and small removals. Under his guidance the company has gone from strength-to-strength, operating throughout the UK.