June 29, 2011

Portable Storage Can Save You Hassle During Remodeling

When my husband and I remodeled our small 100 year old city house, it was a big production.  We put an addition on the back of the house to make our kitchen bigger, have a real master bedroom and bath above it and connect the basement with some interior stairs.  We were in the historic district, so had to go through a lot of approval processes.  It took us almost a year to get all the permitting.  So by the time our contractors could finally start working, handy tools like portable storage were the furthest thing from our minds.  But after having been through it, I really wish we would have thought to use portable storage.  It would have been the one convenience in all the many things that were not so convenient.

We borrowed big plastic bins from friends and bought a few ourselves.  We emptied the kitchen into those bins and bought some plastic to hang when the real stuff started happening.  But a few days in, the contractors cut through a piece of the foundation right next to our heating and air conditioning blower and the house was instantly filled with fine dust that looked like smoke.  My infant daughter and I ran out into the snow and to a neighbor's house.  My husband covered everything in plastic and we rented a temporary apartment for the next 6 months.  And under the plastic in our 17 foot wide row house was a fine dust that we would revisit again before we were allowed to move back in. 

If we knew then what we know now, we would have rented portable storage containers.  No matter how good your contractors are, things can happen, especially when you are dealing with an old house.  We should have not just put the kitchen stuff in portable storage, but the contents of most of the house.  A self service mover would have delivered our portable storage unit and we could have slowly loaded things that were not dust proof in there at our leisure.  We could have left the portable storage unit on our property for the duration of the project or had it taken to a storage facility temporarily.  Portable storage could have saved us days of cleaning, as well as the damage to some things that we could not repair.