Potential pitfalls during a home renovation comes from a Realtor.com article about seven terrifying things that can happen during renovations.

If you are going to get involved in home renovations, you need to be aware that sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

Many times, these issues are not foreseeable, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of some pitfalls you could potentially encounter, and to prepare for some to prevent possible accidents.

  1. To start, in Maryland, call MISS UTILITY before beginning any project that may involve water or gas or electrical lines. Have them come out to mark the utilities before the project begins so your contractors know where the utility lines are and can avoid hitting those lines. Here is the website for Maryland properties for Miss Utility.
  2. Water problems. Say you hit a pipe inside the house when you are demo-ing and water starts spraying out. First, turn off the water in the house before you do any work that could come near pipes. Make sure that you keep all the electrical components and water separate.
  3. Electrical Problems. What if you hit electrical wire? Or gas? Be aware and be careful where you knock into walls!
  4. Critters, bugs, animals. If a house hasn’t been lived in for some time, it is possible that other living creatures (think spiders, snakes, mice, raccoons, bees) have made it their home. You may want to wear protective eyewear, long sleeves and pants – in case those critters are still alive and aren’t happy to have their homes disturbed.
  5. MOLD. This is a big one. In Maryland, it could be in a bathroom – especially if there weren’t ventilation before. Another place where you can find it is the basement, which can potentially be an indication that water infiltration has happened at some point – either in the past or currently. A third place it could be is the attic. If you find mold, don’t just assume that bleach will remove it correctly. You need to find the source of the problem and fix it – and your safest bet is to hire a professional to remove the mold.
  6. Lead or Asbestos Release. Older homes may have lead based paint, and most older homes that are undergoing renovations by licensed contractors in Baltimore City and Baltimore County must be performed by those who have lead certifications, if the homes are confirmed to have lead paint. What you may not realize is that some flooring or ceiling could contain asbestos, and when you rip them up or out, could release those particles into the air. Take precautions, and again, it is probably best to hire a professional to do these renovations.
  7. Foundation Issues. As you work on the house, foundation issues could arise. Keep an eye on things. Have a structural engineer look at things if you are concerned.
  8. Hearing Damage. This one is on you, if you are doing any of the loud work, or even if you are just around the loud work. Use protective headgear while doing the work – or if you are home while work is being done.
  9. High VOC Exposure. A face mask can help while working around materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many paints, carpets and upholstery contain VOCs. Make sure to ventilate your home when installing or working with these items to reduce exposure.

Thank you to Realtor.com for the inspiration and meaningful points in their article. These are important details to take into consideration when renovating a home, and things to be prepared for as possibilities when renovating a home.

For more details about homes in Towson, please contact me. I would be happy to help.