A home renovation can be one of the most rewarding and frustrating experiences any family can go through. Combining work, school, pets and kids with dirt, noise, workers and rooms that can’t be used — and you’ve got a recipe for family discord, stress and even temporary mental breakdowns.
Our best advice: Visit an all-inclusive resort for the duration of the project. All right, that might get a bit expensive. If you don’t have a wealthy relative willing to share a wing of his or her mansion, then you’re going to need to figure out how to live in a construction zone. It won’t be easy, but with the right attitude and well-thought-out strategies, you can make the experience more pleasant.
Hold Regular Meetings
A home is far more important than a place for you to store your furniture and clothes. It’s personal. It’s where your children play and study, learn about life, and grow into young adults. A home is an extension and reflection of the family that lives there. While you have a master plan for your home renovation, there are lots of variables along the way.
Meet with your contractor on a regular basis. They don’t need to be long, protracted sessions, but touching base periodically keeps everyone on the same page.
Keep Your Paperwork
It’s almost a cliché that any renovation project will come in over time and over budget. Of course, the reason it’s a cliché is that it happens so often. While there might be good reason for delays and overruns, it shouldn’t happen without a good explanation.
Keep track of all your documents — estimates, plans, contracts, etc. Staying on track is one of many good reasons to meet with your contractor regularly.
Wrangle Your Pets and Children
Children and pets are naturally curious. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it can cause problems for children and dogs, too.
Make sure younger kids are supervised at all times. Explain to older kids that they need to avoid any active work areas.
Embrace Your Stress
It’s going to happen. No one has ever come to the end of a renovation project and uttered the words, “That happened just as we planned it.”
Frustration will build and there’s little you can do to prevent that from happening. It’s far easier to deal with stress when you plan for it.
No one likes a whiner, but sometimes it’s nice to vent your frustrations. It’s like swearing when you stub your toe. That temporary release helps you keep your perspective.
After weeks and months of mayhem, it’s easy to lose sight of the end results. Sages suggest that life is a journey, not a destination. Not so for a renovation project. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy mini victories along the way.
When a room is finished or that bay window is installed, when the new bathroom is added or the new addition is complete, take a moment to celebrate.
There will be plenty of frustrations along the way. Deal with them as the come, but take a moment (or two or three) to enjoy the positives.
Take A Break
You may not be able to afford months in Aruba throughout your renovation — you’re going to have to live with the dust and noise. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend a few nights away from the chaos.
Save up to spend a week or even a weekend at a hotel. Get away from it all. You’ll appreciate the final project so much more.
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Finally, after months of frustration, remember why you started the project in the first place. While it might seem to last forever, the project is temporary, and when it’s done, you’ll have years of pleasure living in your new home.
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Prevent your home renovation project from being featured on a HGTV DIY Disaster-like program, check out our infographic to guide you through your home renovation project journey.