It’s a no brainer that having your home renovated is going to be stressful. Not many people can leave their home and live elsewhere whilst it’s all being done (who can afford that seriously?!). And even if like myself you’re not even the one doing the work (I don’t know how you lot do it, I envy your skills but not the hours you put in!!). It’s the mess, the dust, the noise, the no power, the no water and just having someone in your home 8am-5pm Mon-Fri for weeks on end. And if that’s not enough to send you mad they are then bound to find a problem/problems; which can delay and even cause financial stress.
So how do you cope through this long process?
- Get organised
Fill up the water bottles, have showers early on or the night before, meal prep and ensure everything the contractors need are easily found so they can just crack on and don’t have to disturb you as much.
- Expect Problems
It’s almost a given no matter how big or small the job is that problems will arise. Try and save a little security blanket of money from the start, so this ‘hiccup’ won’t worry you too much financially or worse case scenario; cause the renovation to stop all together. Also don’t have your heart set on a finish date, have an idea of course it’s natural but again if you’ve ever watched Grand Designs (AKA the bible) they never ever come in on budget or on time (all my renovating ‘knowledge‘ comes from these types of shows).
- Ask questions
From the very start ask as many questions as your contractor can cope with, and continue to ask (without being annoying), but if you’re unsure of something or worried let them know. Honestly they would rather you ask them prior to fitting the bath or worktop etc and realise it’s not what you had planned or had in mind, than having to rip it out or start again. You know the one – measure twice cut once.
- Go to your happy place
When all you can see, smell and taste is dust try not to lose hope. Go look at your mood board or pinterest page and imagine it all when it’s done. One better, if you have a finished room just sit in there, either in silence or with some music/podcast. Try not to overthink the stresses/messes in your life just focus on the now and the positives that your lovely finished room is going to give you. My mindful space was the en-suite as this was the first room that was completed during our renovating. I often just sat in there or just walked in and out for no other reason than to look at it and forecast the rest of rooms to be as beauteous.
- Social Media can be your friend
Another way I cope is to document it on social media, I love sharing ideas and my renovating woes on Instagram. So many times I’ve hit a wall (hypothetically (mostly)) and a ‘stranger’ from Instagram or this blog will message me something lovely, or I’ll find some inspo, then dig my heels in and just crack on. Find people who share a similar story, as it’s such a motivation booster and a sanity saver when you’re going through the same things as other people (a bit like an antenatal class for renovators). Just be-careful not to get sucked into the instant makeover world, I love a before and after shot, but I will always document the shitty middle journey part. Hard work isn’t instant, and most people on instagram aren’t millionaires; so don’t beat yourself up that all these insta renovations are done in days; it takes time, hard work, and (lots of) money. I wrote a previous blog on how easy it is to fall into the instrgam trap (click here to read).
We have funded our renovation project from the sale of our old house (we are second time buyers), we got a slightly bigger mortgage, put the minimum deposit down and kept the equity to renovate. Sounds simple but arranging it all with the banks/solicitors was a headache and a half but so worth it.
If you’ve found these tips helpful please let me know, and if you want to follow along in my renovation to chat paint samples then please do!