7 Ways to Survive a Home Renovation

7 Ways to Survive a Home Renovation


The prospect of renovating a home is always exciting. However, the actual process can be downright nerve wracking, even for those who are extremely well prepared. Here are five practical ways to help your renovation go as smoothly as possible, saving you not only time and money, but trips to the local psychiatrist.

1. Plan ahead

Regardless of how humble or ambitious your renovation plans are, you need to anticipate and plan for problems that are bound to arise— especially those that could strain relationships with your neighbors. Among these are persistent and excessive noises, trucks blocking driveways, and dust particles drifting onto cars and through windows. A pre-construction meeting with your contractor to identify issues that might affect your neighbors is always a good first step. Once potential problems are identified, pay your neighbors a friendly visit to let them know of your plans and hopes that they will not be too inconvenienced. Being as specific as you can about the nature of any potential inconveniences and when they may occur will go a long way in maintaining a friendly relationship with your neighbors both during and after the renovation.

2. Set a reasonable timeline with your contractor

Due to the nature of the renovation process it is all but impossible for your contractor to give you an exact completion date for your project. However, experienced contractors should be able to give you a fairly reasonable timeline. Just be aware that, in most cases, renovations will likely take longer and cost more than estimated. A good rule of thumb to keep stress levels down is to factor in a 10% overrun in both time and construction costs.

3. Make critical decisions in advance

One of the main reasons home renovations experience time delays and cost run-ups is because of the indecisiveness of the homeowner. After all, the contractor can’t install tile that you haven’t picked out yet. If you don’t feel confident making decisions regarding colors, cabinets, sinks, toilets, appliances, etc., find a friend who is good at it or hire a professional. Purchasing all of these decision items ahead of time is a great way to keep things moving along in an efficient and cost-effective fashion. And whatever you do, resist the urge to make major midstream changes as these will only serve to put a strain on your contractor and your pocketbook.

4. Protect your valuables

The last thing a contractor wants to do is tiptoe around your things during the construction process. To eliminate clutter and the chance that the antique vase you inherited from your Aunt Millie gets broken, pack up everything you can and store it safely out of the way. Be especially aware that construction dust and high tech electronic equipment are not compatible and take precautions to prevent computers from being damaged.

5. Stay out of the way as much as possible

Sure, there will be times during construction when the contractor will need to consult with you, but for the most part things will go much smoother if you can make yourself scarce as much as possible. Besides, do you really want to be around when they start ripping things up and the natural chaos of construction sets in? If it’s impractical to use your kitchen to prepare meals, plan on eating out at restaurants or with friends and family to keep the costs down. If the family dog or other pets stand a good chance of getting in the way, it’s best for all concerned to board them elsewhere during construction. If you have children, it’s important to make them aware of your renovation plans and try to keep their routines as normal and productive as possible. Depending on how comfortable you are with your contractor, planning day trips or a family getaway during the most invasive phase of construction would be a win-win scenario.

6. Keep the end in mind

Being that many of the stresses that come with home renovation are not clearly evident until the process has been ongoing, keeping the end result in mind can be very therapeutic in combatting those moments of stress and frustration that are bound to occur. If you’re fortunate enough to have a post renovation budget for furniture or other items that you will be able to enjoy once the work is done, shopping for those items will help to keep you focused on how great it’s all going to be once the renovation is finished.

7. Communicate with your contractor

As anyone who has undergone a home renovation will tell you, the ability to communicate with your contractor is a critical part of the renovation equation. The more you are able to exchange ideas and expectations with your contractor, the better his ability to catch your vision and turn your home renovation dreams into reality.

About the Author: Alex Shelton is a freelance writer for Become.com. Become is a price comparison and product review site that helps consumers find the best product and great deals. From a garden arbor to kitchen sinks, you can find reviews and prices for pretty much anything.



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