When you decide to invest in a significant home renovation, it’s an exciting, yet unnerving feeling.
You know the next few months are going to be incredibly hard work but will ultimately result in something for which you’ve long desired. You’ll be swapping comfort and homeliness for a period where everything is upside down – but there’s one hell of a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Despite this, living through a large home renovation is enough for many people to either avoid attempting such projects entirely or give up halfway through. Neither of those scenarios are desirable (particularly the latter), therefore in this blog post we thought we’d provide some guidance on how to get through jobs of this size without losing your mind.
Should I move out?
Firstly, it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily have to move out unless the job means you physically can’t live in that space any more.
For example, a simultaneous remodelling of your kitchen, living room and bathroom is probably good cause to seek alternative accommodation during the periods where life’s essentials are unavailable, but if you’re having an extension added which won’t impact your sleeping quarters or amenities too badly, living through it will be a far more cost effective option.
Remember – moving out might be just as stressful as staying. You’ll either have to pay to stay somewhere that feels nothing like home or be a burden for a generous family member or friend who agrees to let you stay with them.
Make sure moving out is the absolute last resort.
What to expect when undertaking a large home renovation
Let’s set expectations from the outset; your big home renovation isn’t going to be easy to live through.
What will help will be some prior knowledge of what to expect, because the fewer surprises, the better!
Stuff will get broken
Even if you do everything in your power to remove material objects from potential harm during the renovation, something will get broken.
This probably won’t be through neglect on your part or the builders’ – it’s just an inevitable side effect of turning your home into a building site.
Your privacy will suffer
Unless you’re undertaking all of the work yourself, you’ll have lots of different trades entering your home during the renovation.
That means people with whom you’re probably not that familiar occupying space in which you’re trying to relax or conduct your family life. There’s no way around this if you’re living through the renovation.
It’ll take longer than you expect
Few renovations of significant scale run to time.
Make sure the proposed end time is only held loosely in your mind, because things will go wrong, and that will require more time from the people who are undertaking the work.
The budget will need to be increased
Although not a dead cert, you’d be very lucky for your large renovation to remain entirely within budget.
Things change, whether they be requirements on your part or problems discovered part-way through. Whatever the case, you’ll need to have a bit extra in the pot to account for those unexpected costs.
Mother Nature won’t care what you’re up to
If your roof is coming off for a period of time, it will rain. Trust us.
Running water won’t always be available
We rely on running water to keep clean and stay refreshed, but the work you’re having undertaken will almost certainly impact the feed of it into your home for a period of time.
Make sure you have alternative sources of water available when needed, because this is one thing you simply can’t do without.
Dust will get everywhere
When walls are knocked through and fixtures ripped out, dust that was previously dormant will kick into life and get everywhere.
And no matter how often you clear it, the dust will return. Ask anyone who’s been through a home renovation and they’ll probably tell you that dust was one of the major pain points.
How to survive the home renovation
Now you know what to expect, it’s time to think about the ways you can prepare and ensure life during the renovation is as normal and non-burdensome as possible.
We think there are five brilliant tips you can rely on to help see you through that period and safely to the other side.
1. Pretend you’re moving out
We noted earlier that stuff will get broken while the house renovation is taking place, but to mitigate instances of this, you need to think like you’re moving house.
That doesn’t mean physically moving out, of course, but instead packing your most valuable stuff and that which will be in the way of the builders into boxes and storage as required.
The tidier and non-cluttered the house, the easier it’ll be for the workers to get the project done.
2. Create a temporary living room
The initial excitement of living among the mess of a home renovation will soon dissipate, which is why you should create a ‘zone’ in which you can live temporarily.
This is particularly important if your kitchen is being remodelled, for example, because you’ll still need somewhere to prepare food and make hot drinks.
Even if it’s your master bedroom, find the space in which you can feasibly spend a considerable amount of time and turn it into your own little hideaway.
3. Use plastic sheets judiciously
As noted, dust will get absolutely everywhere, but it’s also important to keep as much of your personal space as possible separate from that of the work zone.
You can use plastic sheeting to cordon off certain areas.
Nicely inexpensive, these sheets can be attached to walls and ceilings with strong tape and will do an amicable job of keeping the dust spread to a minimum and certain areas of your home separated.
4. Clean regularly
It might feel a bit pointless, but the tidier you can keep the home during a renovation, the better you’ll feel about it.
The trades should do their bit and clean up after finishing work for the day, but you’ll find a significant amount of satisfaction can be gained from sweeping up any left overs and giving the sides a wipe yourself.
Keep on top of it during the renovation, and you’ll have less to do once it’s over.
5. Spend more time out of the house
Weather permitting, home renovations are great excuses to get out a bit more often.
Even if you follow all of our tips above, it will still feel very much unlike home during the build, therefore you’ll naturally want to leave it be for longer periods of time.
Head to the park when you’d normally slump in front of the TV or treat yourself more readily to the odd meal out here and there. You don’t need to be out constantly, but more time away from the mess will help you clear your mind and make the most of the great outdoors.
None of the above will be easy, and you’ll probably find plenty of instances arise where you end up in arguments with both loved ones and those undertaking the work.
But that’s a fact of life when it comes to significant home renovations. As the saying goes, there’s no gain without pain, and if you ever have a particularly bad day during the renovation, take a moment to survey the progress, and think about what’s to come.
Trust us, it’ll be worth it – big time.