As exciting as home renovations might sound, the makeover process is pretty challenging and time-consuming. Tasks like setting up a budget, planning a layout, choosing a contractor, and handling daily routine while your home is under construction are not as easy as initially seems. If not prepared for messy surroundings, you might question your sanity at one moment.
Even if you hire pros to manage the whole house renovation, it’s always good to know what to expect and how to survive the house remodeling process with minimal stress and impact on your family’s life.
10 Tips to Minimize Stress During Home Renovation
Tip 1. Get ready for chaos. To reduce stress levels, you’d better prepare your family and yourself for lifestyle changes. Stay positive and repeat the mantra ‘the result is worth the temporary inconvenience’.
Tip 2. Thorough planning in advance.
- Season. For the complete house overhaul that includes opening walls and removing windows, you’d better plan for warmer months. Certainly, you can paint walls and change interior layout during a colder season but when the weather is warm, drying time is shorter.
- Budget. Once you’ve prepared a budget or requested quotes, get ready that final costs might be around 20% higher due to unforeseen issues (for example, worn-out wiring or a hidden leak might require repairs). Planning a budget thoroughly prevents you from living in messy surroundings and putting the project on hold just because you ran out of money.
- Schedule. When you plan renovation and request quotes from several contractors, you can estimate an approximate time required to complete your project. Supplies’ delivery can be delayed or some unexpected issues like worn wiring or hidden leaks can surface during on-site works, so be ready that the project can take more time than expected.
- A place to stay. If you have a place to stay during the home makeover, consider yourself very lucky as most homeowners struggle to survive at home during a remodel. If you stay in your house, agree with a contractor about the order of work that will allow you to have minimal comfort. For example, renovate bathrooms and a kitchen in turn so that you will have working fixtures for daily hygienic procedures.
Tip 3. Hiring a contractor. The choice of a contractor is crucial. Look for a reputable and trustworthy local house remodeler with experience in similar projects. Local pros are well aware of existing building codes and regulations and usually take care of getting all necessary permits if required. In the case of post-damage remodeling, pros undertake the responsibility of managing insurance claims too. Ask candidates if they have property damage coverage — typically, trusted contractors publish all legal and registration data on their websites. Request quotes from several contractors, compare their rates, read customer reviews, and check their rankings on third-party platforms, such as Yelp or Trustpilot.
Note: Pay attention to red flags and avoid scammers that offer an inadequately low price, ask for a large cash deposit, do not provide license and certificate data, do not have a valid address or address is changed too often, and do not have customer feedback.
Tip 4. Inform your neighbors about the renovation. To avoid complaints it is better to inform your neighbors about inconveniences related to the upcoming house renovation, such as increased traffic and occupied parking slots, noise, dust, etc.
Tip 5. Decluttering. Home improvement offers a great chance to declutter your home: broken appliances, unwanted items, furniture that will be replaced, and so on. Revising your belongings will free the precious space and reduce storage costs. Even more, some items that are in good condition you can put for sale to compensate for some renovation costs or cover unpredictable expenses that inevitably happen. Organize a garage sale, sell via Craigslist, or donate to local charities belongings in good condition and throw away broken and worn out stuff you don’t use anymore.
Tip 6. Consider renting a POD (storage container). For a full home makeover, you might need to clear the space and remove some items. Renting a storage container is a good idea — you won’t be worried about the safety and condition of your belongings (dust and debris are unavoidable during construction works). Many companies offer portable containers you can keep on your driveway, so your stuff will be accessible and safe.
Tip 7. Create a checklist. Compile a list of items you need and activities to be done. Renovations might be messy, so it is easy to forget something, particularly when you have to pack or move away some belongings. Prepare the “essentials” box with documents, hygienic products (if you remodel a bathroom), medicines that should be taken regularly, kids’ favorite toys, and so on to have them at hand and avoid hectic searches later.
Tip 8. Stick to a daily routine. It might be difficult to keep your regular daily schedule particularly while staying home during renovation. Develop a new, temporary schedule and plan your time ahead so as not to fall into the chaos trap. Even if you move out of the house, you will have a much busier schedule as you will have to follow up on the project’s progress.
Tip 9. Consider baby and pet care. Given the scope of your project, you might find it difficult to keep up with daily activities for smaller kids and pets. Ask your relatives and friends for help on the busiest days and agree with a dog care service to host your family dog.
Tip 10. Be flexible. No doubt, planning is crucial. Reputable contractors stick to the announced work schedule; however, some circumstances might interfere and change your plans, though. Stay positive and be ready that the project can cost more and take longer than initially expected.
Whether you plan to renew your outdated house or consider post-damage remodeling, you are unlikely to have a joyful time. Yet still, proper preparation can minimize stress levels. The right choice of a contractor, a well-thought-out family routine, and a financial cushion are the key factors to keep your spirits up during the messy period. Stay positive, and pretty soon your family will enjoy the renovated house.