Renovating your house is stressful, regardless of whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring it out, or living in your home while there’s construction going on. It is also time-consuming and messy. That said, we have tips for surviving a home renovation to help you retain your sanity:
1. Consider a room by room renovation instead of a whole house
If you don’t choose a full house renovation, you can pair projects together. You can save a lot by renovating one or two rooms at the same time. For instance, renovating all of your bathrooms means that the electricians and plumbers will only do two visits, instead of two for every bathroom. Also, it’s much easier just to move stuff around the house instead of putting everything into a storage unit.
2. Protect yourself with a detailed contract
First get recommendations for a contractor and make sure that they are insured to do the work you want to be done. Then make sure that you have a binding contract before the project starts. It will give you an idea of what you can expect and provide a general timeline with some allowances for any problems that may arise. All of that will help you to determine what you need to do before and during the remodeling project.
If you dive into the project without a contract or if the contract isn’t specific, you will not have anything on paper should you need to file a grievance. All reputable contractors will have a contract for you to sign listing your address, the expected start date and the specifications for what will be done.
3. Keep ALL your receipts
Hold on to your receipts for everything related to your renovation! If this is a DIY renovation, it is very, very important not keep all those receipts so that anything that is not needed or doesn’t work can be returned.
4. Make your living arrangements well in advance
With smaller projects, like bathroom and kitchen renovations, you can probably stay at home without too much trouble. For a long-term and more significant plans, one of the best tips for living in a renovation may be to move out, making arrangements to stay somewhere else. Many people opt for using that time to take a vacation, live in a camper or vacation home, and some even stay with relatives or friends.
If you opt to stay in the home during renovations and you have a lot of rooms, pick a room in the house that is off-limits to everyone but you. That room can be your quiet sanctuary to escape the noise and chaos of renovation.
5. Pack and store your possessions in another room for safe-keeping
Fragile items should be packed first. Invest in bubble wrap to cushion each piece and place items carefully in boxes for storing in another room.
As you pack, keep your things organized and label them, using duct or paper packing tape to write on. Since both duct tape and packing tape peel off, you can use those same containers over and over again. You may want to take precautions and keep your valuables in a safe in your home or a deposit box off-site.
If it is a bedroom that is being remodeled, you’ll need to choose what to keep and what to toss or give away. For clothing, you may want to purchase one of those portable closets with rails and wheel or a box designed for moving clothing.
6. Set up a temporary kitchen
If your kitchen is unavailable for more than a few days, find a different place, like your dining room or even your outside patio to prepare your meals. In the summertime, you could use your barbecue for dinner meals. Of course, you could move out for those few days or into your camper, instead of staying inside your home.
Once the contractors have completed their work and cleaned up their messes, you still have to put things back in order. That may be the best time to get help so you have a little less work to do. Consider hiring a trusted house cleaning service; they can help get your home looking fresh and clean just like you want it!