Home Renovation Survival tips

Embarking on a home renovation is simultaneously exhilarating and nerve racking. Like anything in life where you are invested in bringing a dream into fruition, time, effort and a degree of stress are involved to get there. Add your hard earned money to the equation and well, you have yourself a home renovation.

When the drywall dust settles and the tape and plastic gets pulled down, you get the home of your dreams. All the noise, grit and decision making is worth it. It’s just a matter of getting there and as such, we thought to give you some tips on surviving a home renovation.

Even though your daily routines may get derailed, you can still minimize the inconveniences and give yourself room to collect your thoughts amidst drywall dust, sawdust and weird smelly odors by being prepared.

home renovation planning2Plan, plan, plan.

This is the exciting part where you get to peruse home and décor magazines and websites for inspiration. Take cues from designs that make you happy, that you can envision you and your family spending time in, and create a vision for your own home renovation work. You’ll want to have images on hand when you’re ready to go ahead and…

Assemble an awesome team.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time discussing your new plans with the people who will be building it so make sure you like your team. Architects, contractors, subcontractors and interior designers all may take part in the renovation work you want completed and you need to feel comfortable talking about your wants and needs with them. In addition, you’re paying them to do the work! Remember, the “best” trades aren’t always the most expensive. But, they will definitely have the most referrals and positive recommendations from your friends and family.

Be honest with yourself.

Own up to your financial situation and be honest about setting a realistic timeline. With all projects, there may be delays due to backordered materials, weather conditions when exterior work is being done, or trades needing more time to get the job done properly. You’ll also be asked to make more miniscule decisions then you ever thought humanly possible. Say what you want. With respect to your budget, if you find something you love that is too pricey, don’t give it up or go over budget. Just ask your rep for comparisons like different finishes or alternative brands – this can result in big savings and you getting what you want.   

Move out.

When the work begins, prepare for noise, dust and weird smells to derail your daily routines. Part of your house is being taken apart to be reborn again. If possible stay at a friend’s, your mother’s house, go on a well timed vacation, or stay in a rental, during part or over the entire duration of your renovation. For the sake of your sanity, the respite from the noise, dirt and dust will ease you more than watching over every little detail. No one likes seeing their home being taken apart – even with the end goal in mind. Trust the pros to do their job but also be available for when they have questions to ask.  

get outside during a home renovation

Carve out a space for you and your family.

If you can’t run away during the renovation and are staying put in your home, you’ll want to create a space that serves the needs of your family. That means creating a makeshift kitchen if your kitchen is being remodeled. Have a microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, even a camp stove set up so that you can eat and not always go out for dinner. You’ll want to also think about setting up a space to do dishes after meals. If you have a bathroom available, do it in the tub. Or be sure to have a bucket on hand for this purpose. There’s also paper plates and plastic cutlery. Another good thing to do prior to your renovation is prepare and freeze meals. This way, with your microwave on hand, you can still eat home cooked meals despite the fact that your sans a full kitchen.

Section off the construction zones from the non-construction zones.

Drywall dust gets everywhere. It’s super thin and has a way of leaving a fine mist of itself on everything. The last thing you want at the end of a long day is to lay back in your cushy bed and rest your head on a dust filled pillow. Prevent this by sectioning off the construction zones from the non-construction zones using plastic sheeting and painters tape. Secure the areas off to alleviate the dust from spreading and also to keep noxious smells from entering the space you’re temporarily occupying in your home.

Plan ahead, buy ahead.

As long as the process may seem, you can expedite it by having the things your contractors need ready for them, when they’re ready. One day your electrician will ask you for the fixture that he’s ready to install and your plumber will ask for the sink that he’s ready to put in. Be prepared by buying all your fixtures, hardware, appliances, etc. ahead of time, at the beginning of your project. Get them delivered to your house so they’re at the ready when each trade is ready to install them. The added benefit to this is you’ll know if the items you want are on backorder and there’s a time delay in receiving them.

Get out.food summer party dinner

Accept all dinner invitations from friends and escape the madness that is your home remodeling work. You’ll be able to vent and at the same time, step away from the chaos. There is an end in sight and it’s always worth remembering that the opportunity to have a home renovation is a blessing. You’re creating the home of your dreams and it’s always worthwhile to remember during the process that the work and wait is worth the dream.