Pandemic Planning: How to Make your Home Safer
Many people are calling the pandemic state our “new normal”, that we can’t just go back to the way things used to be in the heydays as early as one or two years ago. Home owners should prepare for the potential resale, or general livability, of their homes during the developing course of the Covid pandemic and take into account the potential for lockdowns and stay-at-home orders so that their homes don’t feel like prisons.
Social distancing is the most useful standard practice to prevent the spread of disease. Not just of Covid, but in general. The thought of staying socially distant at home is foreign, especially in smaller homes. There are whole rooms dedicated to being together with the family, or with friends and guests. Should they be removed? Or remodeled? The ideal environment going forward is to give everyone their functional single-use space. Stay separate to stay safe, but don’t sacrifice comfort for it. Make each room for individual family members highly functional, expand electrical outlets or reorganize furniture to provide safe distance in wider, open-space rooms.
Kid offices/schooling rooms
More and more stay-at-home orders are going to come out. This will apply for adults, working from home when possible, and kids as schools transition to distance and remote learning. Allocate adequate space that is separate from other rooms and create new office and learning spaces. Add an extension for an in-home daycare room where kids can play and still be in reach for emergencies, and set up simple monitoring like a webcam and tablet, for the little ones. And don’t let teenagers study where they sleep or where they play. Separate school and work from the home, within the home.
If you’re running out of space to store everything you can’t get rid of, try expanding your storage options outside. Build a shed, or have a pre-made shed installed in an open spot of your backyard. Sheds can add value to a home, as well as appeal if properly taken care of, and will keep your valuables safe in an ideal environment where they won’t take precious space in the main house.
Easy to clean surfaces
The days of rustic designs and materials may be over, and the styles that went with them must be sacrificed for the sake of safety. Wood work and porous stone are hard to clean, which means germs and viruses can fester inside of them and stay active for longer. Consider remodeling to replace compromised surfaces with easy to clean vinyl, plastic or metal substitutes. You can still have a stylish home without risking your health for it.
Cost and labor increase
Unfortunately, there is a cost outside of the home to all these renovations. As with all personal labor industries, home renovation and contracting has taken a hit from the pandemic. Due to restrictions and guidelines it may take a longer time, and more money than previous year estimates would project, to make these changes. However, the investment of safety outweighs those prices and timelines. If you remain patient, and work with a professional contractor, you can make your home a haven.