Renovating your home is one of the most stressful things you will ever do. It has nearly done my head in the 2 times we have renovated. I find the mess, the disorganisation and the constant interruptions to our family life to be the most challenging. However the end result is often worth the pain of the process. There are some things you can do to make this process a little easier to handle. Let’s take a look a few of my tips on how to survive a renovation.
Guide To Surviving A Renovation
If you are about to undergo a large renovation, my best advice is for you to move out of your home for at least the contract period. While this may not be practical for a small renovation, for a larger one it is essential. When I say a large renovation I mean anything more than 35% of your home. It is at this point, you will be unable to get away form the dust, the noise and the constant work being done around your home. At this point electricity may be compromised or your kitchen or bathroom may stand for a long period of time, out of action. For the sake of yourself, moving out is a great option. Some builders will insist you move out for the building period.
Plan A Getaway
There comes a saturation point in every renovation. You will be ready to snap, you may even snap at the smallest of things. You can go a long way to preventing this point, if you plan even a weekend away mid renovation. Not only will the physical break help, but it will give you something else to talk about. When renovating you are living, breathing, thinking and talking renovations all the time. A break is essential. If a weekend away is out of your price range, aim for a night, or go out for dinner a couple of times. However you decide to take you break, be sure it is putting physical space between you and your home.
Help The Builder
Helping the builder actually helps you. Be on time with your selections, be very thorough with your communication, pay your bills before they are due. All of these tips will help ensure your builder can keep your job running on time and on budget and believe me, you will want this over with as soon as possible. Building periods can be quite lengthy, allowing your builder the opportunity to get the job done without delay will certainly make the process quicker.
Have a Contingency Plan
Essential for all renovators, contingency plans will help when things go wrong, and they probably will. When renovating older homes it is nearly impossible to be sure of what you will find in the walls, or under the ground, prior to starting the job. Sometimes what you ideally want done, will be found to be impossible. Other times the renovation will uncover another issue that requires fixing. Keep open minded about the process and ensure you have a contingency budget of at least 10% preferably 20% to get you out of trouble. As jobs come along it is very common for homeowners to change their mind, perhaps it doesn’t look the way you thought, or the a cupboard isn’t big enough, all of these will create extra expenses and this is where your contingency budget will come in handy.
As the renovation process drags on, so does the impact of the negative. Try putting a few photo reminders in you phone to help you reflect back over how far you have come. It is easy to get caught up something that has gone wrong and for this to then have a negative impact on how you feel about your renovation. Remind yourself of all the positives, the new space you are creating, visualise the way you will live in your newly renovated home.
There really is no denying that you are going to hate this process, sometimes. These tips are designed to help you minimise how much this negative impacts your process.
Have you renovated before? What did you find the most difficult? Where would you like to go for a weekend away?