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Home renovations can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience for homeowners. While there are excitement and exhilaration on new beginnings and new features, there’s also the anxiety of watching your home get pulled apart before being put back together piece by piece. What if your contractor doesn’t get the painting right? What if the budget you had planned for gets overshot by a lot? These and more questions are bound to plague your mind and stress you out, making you irritable, argumentative, and often counterproductive. Here are some great tips on how to stay calm during home renovations to help you stay on top of the situation.
How do I deal with contractors?
Keeping your calm around people ripping your home apart can be difficult, especially if you have the constant feeling to look over their shoulders to make sure they’re not ruining your home. Here are some handy tips on dealing with contractors.
1. Have a strong contract
An ironclad contract that details the scope of the renovation, your exact expectations, the cost of every single element, the time schedule, and the payment schedule will make sure you have no unnecessary arguments with your contractor.
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2. Project a lower budget
Always project a budget lower than what you’re actually willing to spend on your home renovation project while discussing details with your contractor. That way, you have the leeway to spend a little more to get your home looking exactly the way you want it.
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3. Don’t be rude
Renovations can go for months sometimes, and cabin fever is bound to set in. Do not lose your cool and be rude with your contractor or his workers. Remember that reacting unpleasantly will only sour moods and adversely affect your home renovation. Always keep your sense of humor intact and never forget the reason you’re doing all this in the first place.
That being said, if you do see workers crossing lines blatantly or too often, don’t think twice before bringing it to the contractor’s notice.
4. Be flexible
Even though you may have a strong contract, the project may get delayed or overshoot the budget due to reasons beyond your control, such as weather conditions, labor shortages, supply shortages, and more. Should that happen, it is important for you to be flexible keeping the bigger picture in mind. Mentally preparing for these situations even before the project begins will save you a lot of heartbreak and disappointment later.
Should I live in the house during renovations?
Let’s begin by answering this important question. Yes, you can live in the house during renovations and keep it relatively clean, considering your contractors are going to work through your house one section at a time. There are, however, a few things you ought to do to make things more manageable for you.
1. Set a schedule
Begin by setting a schedule with your contractors. Share a calendar with them to help both of you track exactly what work will happen on what dates. This will help you know the start and end dates for your home improvement project will help you plan how you can effectively utilize different parts of your home during the renovation process and will also allow you to track whether your contractors are on schedule or not.
2. Keep one room usable always
Make sure you schedule the work in a way that there’s always at least one room in the home that stays unused and clean during the renovation process. These living spaces will be your spaces of refuge when the rest of your home is full of drywall dust and construction debris.
3. Pack in advance
Pack up unnecessary stuff from rooms before renovations begin there. For example, pack up all your toiletries, clothing, and personal belongings before your bathroom renovations begin. Stowing them away allows you to not worry about stuff getting damaged by the contractors.
4. Use drop cloths
If you have furniture and effects that are difficult to move, like living room furniture, for example, cover all of them with drop cloths and tarps to make sure they don’t get any paint or dust on them.
5. Stick to the path
Create a path from carpet scraps and tarps to the renovation area from the front door and back for the contractors to keep to so they do not track dust throughout the rest of your home. At the end of the workday, get them to dust it outside so your living spaces are relatively clean.
6. Clean up every day
Make sure that both the contractor and you clean up the area undergoing renovation and spaces immediately around it at the end of each working day. Clearing up of dust and debris on a daily basis makes it easier to ensure the dirt does not spread too much beyond the renovation area.
7. Crack open a window
Whenever possible, air out your home by opening the screens and windows both when the work is going on and after. This will help keep your home well ventilated while making sure dust does not build up in your window screens.
8. Get hands-on if you really want to
Some homeowners get restless if they have to sit around watching others work. If you’re one of those, take on small home improvement projects to keep you occupied as well as involved with the home renovation process. These projects could include simple tasks like painting kitchen cabinets, replacing handles, or even making decorative pieces to adorn your newly renovated home.
9. Document the process
Since you’re going to be around most of the time, take pictures of the progress and document the process. Not only will they be extremely handy if you ever decide to write a blog post about your experience, but it will also definitely help if you ever decide to sell your home.
10. Take a break
After a while, living in a house undergoing renovations will get to you. Take off with the family for a well-deserved vacation to help you stay sane. Too much proximity to a personal project of this nature, especially when you’re not working on it yourself, can fray your nerves.