When you’re remodeling your dream home, transforming it even closer to your vision, you are at risk of being vulnerable to theft or burglary. This is not always, the case, of course, but it’s definitely worth making the effort to put some security measures in place.
The fact that you’re paying the workers is no guarantee that they won’t steal from you. Moreover, even if all the workers are honest; it’s not always the workers who might decide to take something; burglars are tempted, too.
Someone off the streets might see an opportunity to take full advantage of missing doors and windows to just walk into the house. Perhaps, too, the front door is left unlocked while the owners are at work so that workers can come and go during their shift.
6 Security Measures
Here are some steps to take to keep your house more secure during remodeling:
- Use a monitored home security system.
One of the most sensible, inexpensive, and efficient ways to protect valuables in your home is to use a monitored home security provider. Some have state-of-the-art ADT equipment. For instance, since cords or wires can be cut through, advanced home security services provide wireless home alarm systems.
- Carefully screen your contractor.
When you start interviewing contractors, don’t be overly polite and compromise your security by not asking the tough questions.
Here are some screening tips:
- 1. Ask for I.D. so that you can verify who they say they are and for references in writing.
- 2. Ask for proof of general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
- 3. Ask for timelines and for work processes. You want to know who will be supervising, the worker’s schedule, the length of the entire project, and the milestones reached during which you will pay them.
- 4. Ask if the contractor has any experience with your particular remodeling needs and how changes or delays in the project will be handled.
- 5. Ask if all the required permits will be pulled, about the workmanship warranty, and if the contractor belongs to any trade organizations.
- Take sensible steps to secure valuables.
If you have any jewels, cash, or small electronic gadgets, lock them up. Remember, even if you get to know the contractor, supervisor and workers and believe they are honest, someone might sneak into the house when they are on their lunch break or have gone home for the day. Besides personal items, thieves at construction sites have been known to steal copper wires, pipes, brass fixtures, plumbing fittings, aluminum siding, metal roofing, appliances, and tools because many of these things can be sold off at pawn shops. Usually, these things are not stolen during working hours, but when the house is temporarily vacant, so discuss security measures with the contractor to keep the house safe when the workers are not there. Ask the contractor to make sure the workers take their tools home with them because you don’t want to be responsible for any losses.
- Use night lighting.
Keep the area where the construction is taking place well-lit at nights. This will deter burglars.
- Stay on site when you can.
If it’s possible, stay on site as much as possible during the remodeling. Your presence there will make a huge difference, even if you’re in another part of the house away from all the work.
- Change the locks after the project.
After the work is done, change the locks. Although the contractor may be honest enough, a worker could have made a duplicate. Just to be safe change all the locks.
Is All This Necessary?
Although it might seem a little paranoid to take so many security measures when working with contractors on home improvement projects, it’s better to be safe than sorry. According to a remodeling blog that discusses the risks of theft during remodeling, “Security Management Magazine estimates that 3.3 percent of homes under construction will suffer a break in or theft. This means that roughly 1 in every 33 homes a contractor is working on will get burglarized or suffer some level of theft. The cost of this theft has an average cost of 1.5%-2% of the total remodel, according to estimates from the National Association of Homebuilders.”