7 Safety Tips For Renovations

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Renovation

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 @ 2:53pm

I’ve been helping my dad on the construction sites since I was a little boy and staying safe was always a top priority. My dad taught me why we do things right the first time, and safety is part of that – a big part.

He would always educate me on safety considerations that are essential to a safe job site; keep the job site clean, keep it organized. He always made sure I used my safety glasses, safety gloves etc for home renovations and home improvement projects. That’s all part of safety.

#7 Keep your Work Site Clean

One day I was helping my dad gut a room. I was young, so I was just ripping things down. The floor got completely covered by garbage. My dad tells me I should stop and clean it up but I was almost done, so I told him I’d clean it up later. I needed to pull down the rest of the ceiling so I grabbed a chair – not smart – and I put it over some garbage.

What I didn’t know was that it was covering a hole in the floor for the heat register. When I stood on the chair, one of the legs went through the hole and I hit the ground. The first thing my dad asked was if I was okay. The second thing was, “Does that teach you anything?” It did.

#6 Hire a Pro For Your Home Renovations

A lot of homeowners don’t have experience doing certain projects, so they don’t know what to expect. If you don’t know what to expect you won’t know what safety equipment you’ll need.

A person is a pro for a reason. They have the right skills. They have experience. They know what to expect from different jobs, different tools, and different materials. Do you know if the materials you’re removing have asbestos, lead, or mold?


If you are renovating an older home (build before 1980), contact a professional testing and abatement company to have materials in your home tested for asbestos, including walls, ceilings, vinyl floor tiles, siding, insulation and roofing materials.

When you don’t bring in the right people, you risk your safety and your family’s safety, too. Look at gasoline-powered tools. You need proper ventilation if you’re going to use them. And opening a window or door isn’t going to cut it. No amount of CO is safe. People have suffered serious neurological damage because they didn’t know better.

#5 Use Products that can keep you Safe

You can also protect yourself with some products that I use in my home. The Eaton Surge Protector is designed to provide protection at the point of entry to the home. 

Protection at this location can reduce surges entering the home and avoid destroying your appliances during a storm.

A whole-house surge protector involves accessing the main power panel and should be installed by a licensed electrician


A smart lock essentially replaces the need for keys, opting for a digital key. Don’t worry, there’s still a key but you’ll be able to lock and unlock your door from your phone, or the lock’s touchpad. A Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt comes with additional security features, like an alarm system to give you peace of mind and to keep your family safe.

#4 Keep a Well-Stocked Safety Kit

  • Safety eyewear: Don’t cheap out. Make sure you have a couple of pairs of good quality, all-purpose safety glasses or goggles that are scratch and fog-resistant. Safety glasses come in a variety of styles for many different applications. Do your homework.
  • Work gloves: Gloves will add protection and help keep your hands clean.
  • Earmuffs & earplugs: Come in a variety of safety ratings based on noise exposure. If you are working with any power tools or machinery make sure you have the proper ear protection.
  • Dust Masks and Respirator: Dust masks should be worn for general purposes, like cutting wood, and respirators should be worn when sanding, painting, or varnishing. Do your homework and make sure you are properly protected for the task at hand.
  • Hard Hat: Hard Hats are required for any site deemed a construction site.
  • Steel toe work boots: There is a wide selection of styles and grades to fit everyone. The bottom line is, they are mandatory on a job site and provide both sole and toe protection. DIY’er should also make sure they are properly protected – no flip-flops or sandals!
  • Proper workwear made from durable material: Even if you are doing just a small renovation, make sure you wear the appropriate clothing for the job.

Home Safety & Maintenance

#3 Stay Away From Jobs that Require A Permit

Nothing that requires a permit, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or changes to the structure. If you don’t know what you’re doing you can even screw up paint.

I always say hire a pro to avoid mistakes that can end up costing you more.

#2 Stick to Finishes

If you want to try something for yourself, finishes are pretty safe. That includes drywall repairs, baseboards, painting, and minor tile work.


#1 Heights and Ladders

When working from any height on home projects, even a few feet up, you need to be careful.

The general rule is 4’ x 1’, meaning for every 4’ up, the ladder goes out 1’.

There are hundreds of ladder accidents each year from people not taking the necessary precautions. To prevent accidents, make sure your ladder is secure. Consider using a ladder-locking device that prevents kick out and reduces lateral movement. Whether you are cleaning your eves, changing a light bulb, or stringing holiday lights remember to stay safe when working with heights.

Even on small home projects, you need the right safety equipment, so make sure you have protective eyewear, gloves, respirators, and earmuffs or earplugs if you’re using loud tools. And remember to wear safety gear on the job site, even if you’re not doing the work-especially hard hats and steel toe boots. 

Avoid the risk of injury in your work environment. Don’t just use one safety tool but make sure you have all the tools needed to do the job correctly because you must protect yourself at all times.

For more important tips on safety and home renovations check out 

Make It Right®