Let’s get real, renovating is no easy feat. It’s far from a walk in the park and it’s not something you decide to do on a whim… that said, completing a successful renovation can be one of the most gratifying things you can do as a homeowner.
The process of getting to that final stage of completion however, is not so easy. The reasons why people renovate can vary from needing to upgrade an area for more space, improving the functionality of a room, or just refurbishing the old and the worn out. No matter what your reason though, making the decision to renovate is the easiest part. Next comes all the hard work. And understandably, this is when people begin to unravel.
For all you ambitious individuals thinking of undergoing a renovation, I applaud you. So as a gesture of my admiration, I wanted to put together a list of tangible things you can do to help you stay sane throughout the renovation process because this is your chance to dramatically improve the quality of life for you and likely your family…
So whatever we can do to make the job a little easier, we should do it.
- There’s no such thing as over-planning
When it comes to tasks as mammoth as renovating, you really can’t do too much planning. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a roof over your head with functional amenities, then there’s no need to be hasty. You will not regret taking your time, but you will regret cutting corners when you run out of money, or the job takes 3 times longer than expected.
Do your research, write lots of lists, make a budget, and come up with a reasonable timeline. Don’t pick just anyone for the job – find the right people. Every minute more you spend preparing, the easier you’re going to make things for yourself and everyone involved.
- Get Savvy with DIY
When you go into a renovation job with the right skills and knowledge, you’re almost always going to achieve superior results than if you go in with only a vague idea of what you’re doing. Take some time before jumping in head first to update what you know and learn the best method for each task ahead. This will ensure that there is a much smaller chance of things going wrong and leave you much happier at the end of the job.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This is a huge barrier for a lot of people. No one wants to ask for help because they think it makes them seem incompetent. Don’t be silly! Everyone needs a helping hand at some point, and when it comes to renovating, unless you’re a seasoned professional, you will need help.
And I don’t just mean you’ll need a pair of extra hands to help you carry giant slabs of timber from here to there, I mean that you’re going to want to get as much advice and guidance as you possibly can for every step of the process. You can’t expect to know everything yourself so go find the experts and ask for their tips on the best choice of materials, colours, accessories, finishes, everything!
Basically, you want to take as much pressure off yourself as possible. Why wouldn’t you if you could?
- Teamwork makes the dream work
If you’re going into this renovation with a partner in crime then just remember the old adage: communication is key. Whether it’s your spouse of 15 years or your buddy Steve from down the road, it’s going to be in your benefit to work as one cohesive unit. Make sure that you both share ideas and are both on the same page when it comes to decision making. If you’re both happy with someone taking the lead while the other follows instructions then go nuts – just make sure that everyone is happy!
- Rest up, Buttercup!
This tip may just be what saves you from losing your mind. If you’re undertaking a sizeable renovation then you’re going to need to take time out at some point – if not many points. When possible, go on a short trip with the family for a few days or go visit some friends to get away from all the pandemonium. You’ll need a chance to rejuvenate so you can revitalise your mind and keep your head on straight.
- Professionals know best
When it comes to renovating, there are things you can do, and things that you probably shouldn’t. Not unless you want your house to fall down or catch on fire or explode… which I’m assuming you don’t. So if you have electrical work that needs doing, major structural projects, or just about anything to do with plumbing, I would highly advise you call on the experts.
Now, I have no doubt that you’re a highly proficient and intelligent individual with all the moxie in the world, but safety comes first and we don’t want anyone getting hurt just so we can save a few bucks or cut a few corners.
- Chaos will rule
One of the best things you can do to maintain your sanity is to not only anticipate disorder, but learn to embrace it. Things will get messy, workspaces will be chaotic, organisation will seem like a lifetime ago, but hey, it’s ok. You can make it through this and everything will be fine. If you’re starting to feel like the confusion is getting the better of you, just focus on the end result and remind yourself – or anyone else who might be going a little mad – that it’s only a temporary thing and it’s not going to last forever.
- Stay in the know
If you’ve employed professional workers or teams of experts to help you get the job done, then make sure you’re never left in the dark about what they’re up to. Ensure that you keep a good line of communication open both ways in order to stay on top of their progress. This will also help keep your team receptive to any feedback you might have or whether you’ve had a change of heart about anything in particular.
- Be practical with your budget & reasonable with your schedule
The main aim here is to be conservative. I would implore you to speak to a financial advisor before undertaking any grand projects and come up with a realistic figure that you can work with. This is going to be a number that reflects the amount of work you want to do, but not discounting what you can afford – and when it comes to financial estimates for renovations, always expect to pay more. There’s a good chance you’ll blow your budget and need to go over what you were expecting to pay, and this is why you want to be conservative.
This is just as likely going to be the case for the amount of time you expect the project to take. So before you set an end date or draw up an official timeline, assume that you’ll go over that by several weeks and take it from there. Essentially, expect the unexpected and you should be fine.
- Have fun with it
This might seem like a strange thing to say but it’s important to keep things in perspective in times of stress. You might be in struggle town, with a seriously bad back and a very light wallet, but just remember that you’re lucky enough to do a renovation in the first place. Fantasise with your family or friends about how amazing it will be once it’s completed and don’t forget to laugh at all the ridiculous things that go wrong, because really, what else can you do at the end of the day but laugh?