Checklist for Remodeling a House in the Country


So you’ve just bought that fixer-upper you’ve been eyeing in the country. While no home remodeling project can be 100% problem-free, having a thorough remodeling checklist will keep your project moving forward. It will also give you a rough idea of what to expect in terms of how much it’ll cost and how long the project will take. Here’s our checklist for remodeling a house in the country.

1. Prepping the Site

Prepping the site is the first step in our checklist for remodeling a house. Site preparation involves planning the least disruptive entrance and exit points for the various professionals that’ll be involved in the project and putting in the appropriate measures for protecting your home during the process. While the majority of renovation projects won’t require you to move out, some involve substantial square footage or a vital room, like the kitchen. Contrary to what home improvement TV shows portray, remodeling projects can go on for weeks, or even months. This requires rigorous site preparation. A plastic sheet and a roll of duct tape might not be sufficient for a remodeling project that will last for several months.

For example, you need to prep your floors appropriately. Exposing your existing carpet to construction traffic can significantly damage it, but with a carpet protection film, you can protect it from most of the debris and dust that’ll result from the project. A painter’s drop cloth may also be effective throughout a job, depending on the kind of carpet and the level of protection required. For hardwood floors, a sturdy cardboard roll or a product dubbed ”ram board” can be used to protect your floors throughout the project. You can tape down your ram board but check with your contractor to be sure the adhesive on the tape won’t damage your floor’s finishing. Using painter’s drop cloths on hardwood floors isn’t recommended since they can be slippery.

If you’re residing in your home while the renovations are being done, you’ll need your HVAC system to be functional throughout the project’s lifespan. Make your contractor aware of any return air grilles inside the work zone. Installing a pre-filter or simply covering them will prevent dust from entering the existing ductwork and subsequently exiting into the house’s common spaces. The existing HVAC air filters should also be closely monitored and changed often throughout the remodeling project.

A lot of waste will be generated when demolition begins. For this reason, consider making use of a trash dumpster rental service as part of your site preparation as well.

2. Clearing Out the Property

Clearing the property is the next step in our checklist for remodeling a house. Many rural properties, especially in agricultural areas, will end up with abandoned construction or farm machinery that can be sold or re-purposed. If you decide to sell, presenting pictures of a spotless, operational machine to prospective buyers is a must, but going above and beyond to highlight the details can make yours stand out. Take a picture of the serial number and another one showing the degree of wear present on a specific disc or component. Your potential buyers will want to know exactly what they’re getting.

Cleaning up the house is an important step in our checklist for remodeling a house. If wood, tile, or drywall were sanded or sawed during your remodeling job or some residential demolition was involved, extended exposure to construction dust that hasn’t been completely cleared can negatively impact your health. These irritants may cause respiratory issues and allergy symptoms.

Whether you hire one or several home service professionals, be sure to ask each of them what to expect in terms of the actual work and cleanup. A reliable contractor is open and happy to go through the project with you and explain how they plan to completely clean up after a project is complete, including any leftover construction dust.

When performing the initial cleanup, the risks associated with prolonged exposure to construction dust are still present. Consider hiring professionals to clean up construction dust from your living areas if you have present or prior respiratory health issues or are sensitive to dust.

3. Sealing the Cracks

Sealing cracks is also an important step in our checklist for remodeling a house. Take a thorough look at the exterior of your property before you begin sealing any cracks and gaps. Look for gaps or cracks in the siding, trim, or foundation. Additionally, check your windows and doors for gaps where air can penetrate. Make sure the surfaces are clean and clear of clutter. The sealer won’t be effective if it adheres to dirt and grime.

A vacuum cleaner is ideal for cleaning surfaces before sealing. Use the vacuum attachment to suck up any loose grit or debris. You might need to employ an all-purpose cleaner or de-greaser for tougher debris such as sap or grease. After cleaning the area, let it dry before applying the sealant. The best type of sealant is silicon sealant, as it’s flexible, weather-resistant, and long-lasting. You can also paint over it if necessary.

Check the area after applying the sealant to ensure all cracks or gaps are sufficiently sealed. In some cases, the second layer of sealant may be necessary to guarantee a tight seal. If cracks are still visible, consider a different kind of sealant entirely, or a wider bead of sealant. If you notice cracks in your roof, using professional roofing services is recommended.

4. Pest Safety

Pest safety is another important aspect of our checklist for remodeling a house. It’s easy to get carried away with the fun aspects of home remodeling, like planning and decorating, but pest control is an often forgotten step that can end up saving you a lot of headaches in the future.

By working with a professional pest control service throughout every step of your remodeling project, you can identify potential pest issues and take care of them early on. Before commencing any remodeling work, make sure you don’t already have pests residing on your property. A qualified pest control professional can conduct a thorough pest and building inspection and make you aware of any current or potential issues. This will help you decide whether the services of a pest exterminator are necessary or not. This will allow you to start your remodeling project, having the confidence that your home is clear of pests. A pest inspection can also reveal potential pest infestation hotspots and suggest materials that would be less alluring to pests in your particular circumstances.

To prevent a pest problem from developing during the building phase, pest management is essential. The best way to do this is to address pest problems promptly and effectively. Having a pest control expert evaluate your renovation before it’s finished can save you from having to go back and undo all of your hard work. You should also have a pest inspection done once your remodeling project is complete, particularly if you skipped it during the build. A post-renovation pest inspection will make sure that nothing sneaks in during construction, and that you aren’t sealing in anything that may later morph into a much bigger problem.

5. Replacing Outdated Features

Replacing outdated features is also part of our checklist for remodeling a house. Many older homes have asbestos as insulation, which is incredibly dangerous to human health. The use of asbestos insulation stopped in the early 1980s. If your home was constructed before that, asbestos insulation is likely to be present. Have your home inspected before beginning your remodeling project, and if any asbestos is discovered, have it professionally removed. You can then consult professional home insulation services for recommendations on the best insulation for your country home.

Another feature to replace is the carpeting. Regardless of how often you vacuum, aged carpeting can still harbor pests and allergens like dust mites, not to mention unpleasant odors. Therefore, make plans to remove that worn-out carpet as soon as you can. Replace the carpeting one room at a time. If you’re lucky, you may uncover gorgeous hardwood flooring!

6. Pipes, Plumbing, and Drainage

The plumbing system is also an important aspect of our checklist for remodeling a house. For your plumbing system, it’ll be less expensive to schedule your plumbing system remodel ahead of time rather than calling them at the last minute. Plumbing projects that are carefully thought out are often cheaper and produce the same or better outcomes.

Calling a licensed plumber in advance of the remodel provides the plumber with enough time to assess and consider the demands of the job. Such demands may include hiring or outsourcing professional well pump services or a septic tank cleaning business. It’ll also allow them to provide solutions that are both efficient and affordable. Additionally, you’ll have enough time to get a quote and factor in the approximate cost of the complete job in your budget. The majority of plumbing firms offer both scheduled and emergency services. Specifying the details and features of your plumbing remodel is important when talking to potential contractors to get an accurate quote.

7. Water Quality

Addressing the water quality of your new country home is essential in our checklist for remodeling a house. Most homeowners don’t give water quality much thought during a remodel project, but that shouldn’t be the case. The ideal time to address water quality is after having appliances and cabinets installed. If chlorine is present in the water, which is quite likely because municipal treatment systems use it to disinfect water, it can transform into chloroform in steam.

If your home has lead pipes that you can’t replace, consider a system that eliminates lead and other toxins. The presence of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in your water, a measurement of the total quantity of organic and inorganic materials in a liquid, should also be measured. A high reading often signifies that your water contains a lot of dissolved particles such as metals, sulfates, salts, and other minerals. This means you’ll need to install a water filtration system in your home.

Filtration is an enhancement you can’t see, but it can improve every aspect of your home, from the taste of your meals to the brightness of your laundry, not to mention protecting you and your family from harmful water contaminants.

Installing a water softener will also lessen the hardness of your water, the scale accumulation in your pipes, and the staining caused by manganese and iron. Soft water also helps your appliances last longer. Consult local water conditioning companies to improve the water quality in your country home.

8. Closing the Project

As you conclude your remodeling project, consider driveway leveling. This upgrade offers a number of benefits. One of the key advantages of driveway leveling is that it reduces the risk of slip and fall incidents, which means your family will be safe. Leveling your concrete can also prevent cracks from escalating, which also works to keep your family safe. Concrete leveling also has the additional benefit of raising the value of your home. Leveled concrete is likely to impress potential buyers if you plan to sell your home, and could make them consider paying extra for it.

Concrete leveling not only helps to boost the value of your property but also improves its aesthetic. Uneven driveways are unsightly, and by having them leveled, you enhance your property’s curb appeal. Water tends to collect on the surface of uneven concrete, leading to issues like mold and mildew. Driveway leveling can also prevent water pooling. Concrete leveling not only aids in preventing water pooling but also enhances drainage.

A home in the country can provide a great escape from the ever-busy city life. If you’ve never done it before, remodeling a home can seem daunting. There are a lot of moving parts involved, but in the end, you will have a home that looks new, customized to your taste and sense of style. Besides, with this checklist for remodeling a house, you’ll get to enjoy the process as well.