In an ideal world, everyone would be able to afford to move out of their home or go on holiday while any renovation work was happening in their home. The harsh reality is that sometimes we have to continue living in our home while improvement work is happening.
Unfortunately, choosing to stay in the house (even with a considerate and tidy builder) still means that life can become noisy, dusty and stressful for a short time.
Of course the extent of the work being done will have an impact on how disrupted life will be, but a little collaborative planning with your builder at the start of a project, will put everyone on the same page in terms of time lines, expectations and ground rules.
This applies to both the building professionals and the homeowners. Your expectations and how you structure your daily routine during the renovations will have a big impact of how you feel about the whole process. If you have children, you need to think about how they will cope with the disturbance of renovations. Will they be able to embrace the madness or will it make them anxious and unsettled? Perhaps short trips away to family or day-trips to a friend will give some respite during the toughest parts of the project. Try and make the experience as fun as you can – countdown charts or ‘camping’ in the living room can make the whole experience a little less unsettling for the younger family members. Getting everyone on board for the disruption to come is an important part of planning.
The same can be said for pets. Disruption to routine, new smells and new people can cause your pet stress and anxiety. Their welfare should factor into your planning and you may need to make alternate arrangements for them during your renovation work.
Its also a good idea to look at your intended renovations in light of what you personally are able to handle – the stress of constant cleaning can quickly turn any normal, calm person into a lunatic. Know your own limits of what you can live with.
As much as possible try and separate the areas where building work is happening from the areas you want to continue using. Painters sheets and tape will become your new best friends in trying to reduce the amount of builders dust that makes it’s way into your living areas. Sealing doorways, or connections to rooms under construction is key. Constant cleaning becomes a way of life, but for the health and sanity of your family, it is a necessary evil. Trying to reduce the spread of mess and dirt will help make living on a building site a little more tolerable.
Whether your project is a kitchen renovation or not, planning ahead for how you will cope with meals and cooking can save a lot of stress later on. Having a freezer with pre-prepared meals can come in handy when takeaway meals have lost their appeal or the builders are staying a little later in the day to finish off their work and you just need to have something heating up.
Setting up a kitchen space with all your essential equipment in a alternate location will be a sanity saver – whatever works for you and your family is fine, but things will go downhill quickly it you try and work around any renovations happening in the kitchen area. Perhaps now is the time to call in those dinner invitations with friends and family!
Keep your Eye on the Prize
Renovating may be exciting but the process is certainly no picnic! Using the final product as motivation will see you through those hard times in the alterations. Planning how you will decorate, furnish or embellish your new space can help you keep your focus. Home magazines and shopping trips for inspiration can be a great way to look at what your home will become, not the current state it is in.
The key to avoiding frustration is to maintain open communication with your builder. They can help stage the works in a way that will have the minimum possible impact on your daily lives while renovations are happening. But you need to let them know if something is not working for you or you are finding a particular aspect of the work difficult. With this as the basis of your relationship, they can let you know what to expect next and when would be a good time to plan a trip to stay with friends or parents.
Watching the transformation of your home during renovation work is hugely exciting and fulfilling, but having realistic expectations and plans about how you will cope with that transformation journey is vital to a positive homeowner experience. The team at Kit Markin Homes are experts in renovation work and not only carry out top quality building work but will gladly work with you to make sure you have the best experience possible.