How to Reduce Discomfort when Doing a Remodel – Part Two

In the last blog, we began the discussion of how to make your renovation more enjoyable focusing on what to do before construction takes place.  In part two of this topic, we’ll talk about ways you can make your life easier while your house is in the midst of construction.  While construction stress can’t be eliminated entirely, there are plenty of ways to setup yourself up for a successful experience!

Have a clear “during construction” plan

If you’re lucky enough to plan a vacation that lasts your entire renovation or have another place to stay, most of your construction discomfort will be eliminated completely.  The only stress will be the worry that the project won’t finish when your contractor promised it will.  However, if you’ve hired a contractor that communicates with you regularly and informs you of job progress, this stress will be minimal as well. 

If you’re planning to live through construction, you’ll need to figure out how to adjust your normal routine to having a field team in your home for 8-9 hours a day.. These are a few questions you should be able to answer well before your start date.  If these questions leave you feeling overwhelmed, you may need to figure out another place to stay during construction. 

  1. Where will I work and take phone calls if I need to work from home?
  2. Are there areas far enough away from the construction site to give me moments of peace?
  3. Which bathroom will I use during construction? If I’m down to one bathroom, how will I coordinate with the other members of my household to ensure everyone has time to get ready?
  4. Where will my field team use the bathroom? Do I have room for a portable toilet in my driveway? Am I willing to share a bathroom with my field team?
  5. How will I prepare meals without a kitchen? Am I going to eat out for every meal?  Have I budgeted for this?  Do I need to setup a cooking station and adapt my recipes for crockpots and hot plates?
  6. Where will I keep my pets?
  7. How will I keep my kids out of the way? Is there a quiet place for homework and studying?
  8. Am I comfortable moving normally through a house filled with strangers?

Everyone adjusts differently to construction.  I have clients who feel comfortable walking around in their PJ’s and carrying on their normal morning routines while others feel they need to have their full hair and makeup done or be dressed in business attire before the field team arrives.  With many work teams starting their days as early as 7 AM, this in itself can cause daily stress.  Think through how your normal routine will be affected and make sure you have a plan to adjust your schedule.  You have to keep up with your responsibilities, but still allow some time to decompress.

Be prepared for things to go wrong

No matter how much you prepare, the construction process has a mind of its own.  There are variables outside of your contractors’ control as they navigate through your home’s original conditions, hired subcontractors, and material suppliers.  If you’ve chosen a good contractor, they will stick with you until they’ve delivered everything they’ve promised, so try your best not to let things outside of your control ruin your renovation experience.

Case in point, we have a lot of special-order cabinet colors for our clients who want the widely popular two-toned kitchens.  If we have a door arrive damaged, it’s possible we might finish your entire kitchen and then have to wait weeks for the replacement door.  Then it’s possible the replacement might arrive damaged and the replacement of the replacement and so forth and so on.  While you’ll have a fully functional kitchen, you’ll have a sore spot until we’re able to get a perfect door and swap it out.  While this might not seem like a big deal, some of my clients allow something like this to ruin their entire renovation experience and stress them out.  The more you’re able to roll with the punches on the things neither you or your contractor can control, the more enjoyable your experience will be!

As we wrap up the topic of minimizing your renovation discomfort, the number one way to ensure you’ll have a good experience is to pick a reputable contractor who proves during the planning process that they really care!  We’ve been there, done that and know how to help our clients have a stress-free renovation even when things don’t go according to plan.  If you’d like to renovate with a contractor who will hold your hand before, during and after your renovation, give us a call!   


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