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How to Survive Home Renovations

There are several good reasons to renovate your home. In many cases, home renovations increase your home’s value, although that’s not the case if you add certain things like a swimming pool. But if you’re confident that you’re getting a good return on your investment, then there’s no time like the present to start renovating.

Once the contractors arrive and your home becomes a construction zone, things get uncomfortably tense fast. You may feel like you have no control over what happens in your home anymore. That will pass, but here are three tips to survive the home renovation process.

Communicate with contractors


If you’re not getting regular updates from the crew working on your house, then something is

wrong. To be clear, the problem might not lie with the project, but you hired these people because you expected them to be clear and upfront about the work they’re doing. If that’s not happening, you need to step in and ask for an explanation.

It doesn’t have to be combative, as it’s common for contractors to get so caught up in building a new living room that they forget to give regular updates. Ideally, you’ll have one point person you can go to for the latest news on the project. It could be a supervisor who knows every detail about the project, or it might be a mid-level worker who just happens to be talkative.

Remember that they’re probably not trying to ignore you. Home renovation projects are all the rage right now, which is why you might also be paying more for that new bathroom than you would have a couple years ago. That increasing demand has also led to a labor shortage that could be affecting the amount of information you’re getting from the contractors.

Make it manageable

Think of home renovations like a buffet — you should only take what you can put on your plate and eat in one sitting. If you overload your plate, then you risk getting a bad case of indigestion. It’s common for homeowners to decide they want to get everything done at once. They want a new bathroom, a new kitchen, and of course, they also want to double the size of the garage and add some bay windows to the living room.

Slow down a little. There’s no need to replace everything all at once. That includes your appliances, as that old stovetop you want to get rid of might be a good candidate for appliance repair instead. You have time. That’s true even if you want to sell the house in a couple of years. Deal with the most critical upgrades now, and worry about the rest later. Taking on too much now often ends with you feeling overstressed and over budget.

If there’s room in your schedule to do so, consider completing some of the renovations in winter rather than trying to get everything done when the weather is still nice and there’s lots of daylight. Winter brings with it holiday cheer, but it also brings less demand and better prices. If you do this, though, be sure you and your family won’t mind walking around construction tape on Christmas morning.

Distract yourself with other things

It’s tough not to spend most of your waking hours thinking about the ongoing home renovations. Even if you’re at work, it’s easy to check the weather obsessively and pray it doesn’t rain on the day that workers are scheduled to concrete. But there’s a point where you have to trust that the people you hired know what they’re doing.

That’s easier said than done, so come up with other ways to distract yourself. Now’s a great time to take up a new hobby or join a monthly subscription club. It’s always nice to get mail, especially when that mail can take your mind off all that hammering and sawing that’s happening on your property. Something like a coffee subscription can perk you up in more ways than one.