Renovating your home can be a challenging and stressful experience. Sure, you’re improving your house, the beautification of your home is happening right in front of your very eyes. However, during the entire process, you have lots of dust, chaos, damage, strangers walking around your personal space, for days on end. So, as we’ve said – pretty stressful.
And stress can be rather unpleasant, but it can have added ramifications. Maybe it will make you want to get this entire ordeal over. You’ll end up being happy with substandard work, only because you want to get back the home you had. Not to mention how much this can influence the other parts of your life, both personal and professional.
Although it doesn’t have to be that way, with some proper planning, some good ideas, and a proper mindset, you can minimize or even remove any of the stress you might feel during a home renovation. Read on to find out exactly what we mean.
Do Your Homework
First things first – do your homework. You need to choose the right contractor, and to do that, you need to get some proper research over. Understand that you are letting a stranger get into your home and practically destroy it (and then rebuild it). So, do proper research.
The best way to find the right contractor, in our opinion, is to go with word of mouth. Ask around, meet up with some friends, whose judgment you trust, over coffee, and chat. Even better if you can talk to a friend who is in some way connected to home renovation or contracting. Talk to your parents, maybe your boss, people who have experience with this sort of thing.
The other option is going online and checking local ads and companies. Try to get people with experience, with proven records that they have been doing this for some time now. Don’t automatically trust a glossy website, either. Instead, think things through.
Now, the other part of your homework is supposed to make your life, and your contractor’s experience, much more accessible. Namely, have as clear a plan as possible about what you want and present it to the contractor. We apologize to the people who find this bit of advice condescending, but you’d be shocked by just how many people expect that their contractors think of them as well. You should, of course, be open to advise. You should seek advice from your contractor. Just understand that they can never think for you and that you have to have a clear image of how you want the renovation to look.
Plan It At The Right Time
Next, a big part of stress will most likely come from your family. Indeed, you can’t expect your moody teenager or your energetic toddler to understand just why you want to renovate your home. It was most likely more than good enough for them anyway. And of course, you also need to take into account the fact that you will probably need to be available, to a higher and lesser degree, to the contractors. It means you may need to get off work early or go to work late. The same goes for your spouse. Finally, you will most likely not be able to live there anyway. We advise you time the work in such a manner in which it suits the entire household.
So, maybe setting up the work during the holidays, while still being available during the most critical parts of the entire work process. Remember not to plan the whole renovation system when the children have their exams coming up, or any other stressful event (like an essential sports competition, for example). The last thing they need is the added extra stress from the renovation work.
Also, consider your emotional state. Would you rather have all of this done during your vacation time, or do you want to power through three weeks of regular life couple with this renovation work and then relax properly when its time?
Make A Good Budget
The most annoying, and perhaps most challenging part of renovating your home is drafting a reasonable budget. It is an unpleasant, tedious affair that serves as a pretty big reality slap once you get down to it. Now, you know already that you need to consider the cost of the materials, the hourly rate of the contractors, perhaps any licenses you need to get. However, there are some hidden and not so hidden costs that people forget. Just think about what else is going to cost you money.
First of all, do you want to hire any additional help with this project? Perhaps some movers, or extra money for the contractors to help you get some heavy stuff away from the area that’s being renovated. Will you need to hire a cleaner to help you get things under control once the work is done? These expenses can seriously add up, trust us on this.
Furthermore, consider your financing options. Sometimes renovations are needed not to make our homes look better, but rather due to necessary maintenance and some unfortunate circumstances that have occurred. Understand that reliable home renovation loans are always an option, either from banks or maybe from friends. Ever think in the long-term. The damage that can be caused by prolonging necessary renovations can be downright disastrous in the long term and will cost you much more than a simple loan installment.
Clearing Out The Place Isn’t Easy.
Another part of minimizing the stress you might feel form renovation work is cleaning out your place. So, the area in which they will be doing their job must be emptied. Your cupboards, your furniture, artwork, curtains, everything should be drained or removed. No contractor will care about any of the items that are in their areas; it’s simply not in their pay grade. They also won’t want to do their work around these items.
Furthermore, everything that you can remove should be covered in as much plastic sheeting as possible. Seal everything with tape. And as we’ve mentioned before, while a contractor won’t mind moving some furniture items around the place, there are limits. They will not want to risk their backs and knees for you unless they’re paid extra.
Next, you need to think about where you’re going to store these times. You want to keep your stuff safe and sound. So, get some movers, put this stuff in your garage, or actual storage units. And while we’re at it, we should mention that this is a fantastic opportunity to declutter, to get rid of the stuff you don’t need, maybe even recycle a bit, if you’re so inclined.
Be A Good Neighbour
A big part of minimizing any stress you feel at your home is forming a positive relationship with your neighbors. This matter a great deal, it’s the difference between having people you can rely on, and people that are just there to gossip with (about?) you. In other words, you want to be a good neighbor. Of course, being a good neighbor is not easy; it’s not just inviting them for a barbecue from time to time. No, you want to be thoughtful, and be as less of a nuisance as possible. They need to know you just won’t put yourself first all the time. In other words, consider them when you start working on your home.
If you want to avoid a fence war, inform your neighbors about your plans. Tell them how long the renovations are going to last when they are going to start, and for how many hours per day. Also, avoid the temptation of having work done over the weekend. Unless you’re really in a bind, try to be patient and avoid ruining people’s free time. The amount of noise and work they’re going to hear is enough to drive anybody crazy.
Also, if you are (or want to be) close to your neighbors, ask them if there is any reason you shouldn’t renovate at a specific time. For example, they are perhaps going through a difficult time. Maybe somebody is sick or pregnant. Maybe your neighbor is involved in a very stressful, career-making project that’s going to be over in a week. Don’t be a doormat, but try to be considerate.
And there you have it, folks, an excellent little guide on how to keep your stress levels minimal during a home renovation project. If you want things to go smoothly, draft a reasonable budget, and take all contingencies into account. Remember to take your neighbors into considerations since the last thing you need is a fence war during heavy-duty housework. Do your homework and research the right contractor for you, and take care of your items as well. Choose the right time to get all this work done if you don’t want your entire family to hate you, make the job as easy as you can for the contractors, and you will be good to go.