Residential Design+Build Blog

Design tips and information for renovations, additions and custom home building in West Chester and the Greater Philadelphia area.

Site Prep Before and During Your Residential Renovation Project

Site prep is often one of the most overlooked aspects of a home renovation or remodel project - but it shouldn't be! At Hazley Builders we place an emphasis on site prep, both before and during the construction phase of a project.

So what exactly is site prep? Typically, site prep is considered the process to ensure the protection of your home and possessions during construction. You may have seen this before with the use of some plastic wrap, duct tape, and cardboard. At Hazley Builders, we take site prep a step further with an emphasis on creating an efficient work environment with a focus on the safety of everyone involved, especially your family and friends.

It is important to remember that most remodeling projects don't require the homeowner to move out of their home.  This means that our client is living in an active construction site for, potentially, several months. It is critical that we are attentive to our client's daily life during a project to make them as comfortable as we can.

Let's look at the specifics of what Hazley Builders does on a typical residential job site to alleviate these concerns:


Clean, clean, clean

First and foremost, it is imperative that we keep a clean job site for both safety and livability. At Hazley Builders we maintain (and require all trade partners) to maintain certain standards for daily cleanliness. Dumpster service is provided to keep all trash neatly contained. On top of that, our Project Managers also perform a thorough Friday clean up each week, which includes vacuuming and making sure all materials and tools are neatly organized and out of the way. We understand that the weekends are for family time and we want to give you your space back in the best condition possible.  This also gives us a fresh slate to get right back into our work first thing Monday morning.

A portable job site toilet is provided for the duration of the project and is required to be used by our crew and any trade partners (and the unit is cleaned out weekly).

clean site

Organized materials and tools on site 


Floor Protection During Your Renovation

Temporary floor coverings are needed to protect existing and new flooring. Thick FlexBoard or Ram Board is secured to floors to provide extra protection and durability compared to builder's paper. It provides a water resistant and non-staining protection from water, mud, dirt, paint and spills. We also utilize Econo Runners from the main entry point of the home to the construction area(s) and your key utility areas (such as electrical panels) to protect your flooring every step of the way. It also shows our crew and trade partners the appropriate path they should be using on a daily basis. 


floor protection

The floors are fully protected for the duration of the renovation.



Runners protect the flooring throughout the house, including all areas that will be traversed by our crew


Temporary Walls to Control Dust and Debris During a Remodel

Demolition is a very messy activity! Far from plastic wrap and duct tape, we use a heavy duty plastic barrier system to keep dust and debris contained to the active construction areas of your home. We love the ZipWall system! These temporary closures need to last for the duration of the renovation and form a tight seal to the existing walls to help prevent any dust from escaping the work site into the other areas of the home. We will often use temporary framed walls for a tight seal when possible, and clients love the magnetic closures that allow for easy passage in and out of the construction areas. Additionally, we utilize a negative air machine with HEPA filter to remove airborne dust during all demolition activities. 


wall coverings

Temporary framing is used to secure heavy duty plastic barriers to contain dust and debris



Magnetic closures allow our client's to easily travel through their home without compromising the barriers


Protect your HVAC System During a Remodel

Since some clients are living in the home during the remodel, it is important for your HVAC system to be operational during the project. We will install a pre-filter on return air grilles that are located inside the construction area. A pre-filter helps prevent any dust from getting into the existing duct work and then out into the general areas of the house.


Additional Site Prep items:

  • All window blinds and coverings are removed, labeled, and saved for reinstallation.

  • All baseboard heat covers are removed and labeled for reinstallation.

  • Recommendation and setup of temporary living solutions.

  • Provide temporary heat, if needed.

  • Install security lock box for crew and vendor partner access.

  • Cover unremovable items with light plastic.


Custom solutions for unique job sites to ensure safety and efficiency

In some cases, site prep can be very customized and site specific. In one example, we had a major renovation that was in the back area of the home. Access was very tricky as there was a significant drop in grade to the backyard entry point of the home.  The only existing access was a narrow and roundabout pathway that would make it nearly impossible to transport trash, large equipment and materials. The solution? Our team built a custom wooden bridge over a retaining wall from the back of the driveway and down to the home's construction access point in the back yard.  It made heavy transport direct, quick, easy, and safe!

ramp bottom

A custom bridge was built to safely and effectively access a hard-to-reach construction site



How can we make the client as comfortable as possible throughout the entire renovation?

Site prep is more than just the beginning of a job. At Hazley Builders we also like to examine site prep in the middle and towards the end of each job to ensure our client's comfort level throughout the renovation. Some examples include: 

  • Switching out oversize dumpsters towards the back half of the project when the demo is complete to replace with smaller dumpsters. Homeowners are typically very happy to get more of their driveway space back!

  • Re-setting temporary barriers within the home as the project progresses. Often times we can "give back" certain parts of the house depending on the scope of the project and current progress. Re-setting the barriers is time consuming but worth it to give our clients more breathing room.

  • Even though the installation of items such as appliances, countertops, and cabinets means the project is getting close to completion, we like to cover and protect these items for the "home stretch" of a project.


While the end result is often what everyone thinks about in a home renovation project, it is equally important that the construction is a smooth process with a focus on the comfort of our clients.  With over two decades of experience, much of our business has been repeat clients who continually put their trust in us. Paying attention to the site prep and looking at each project from our client's perspective is a big reason why.


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