Buckle Up, Buttercup: Staying Sane During a Reno

You’ve cleared the first hurdle of the reno: research and planning. You’ve got the vision, you’ve got the budget, and you’ve got the team. Soon you get to move on to demolition and the real work begins. But before you do, consider a few things first: how will the presence of a crew of 10+ workers running in and out of your home for months on end affect your daily routine? What could possibly go wrong? Where will you seek refuge when the stress becomes unbearable? Literally anything can happen in a reno. If it’s a particularly old house, the potential for problems almost doubles without a doubt. Faulty or old wiring could bring about an extra $10,000+ in needed repairs before further work can be done. There’s a problem with the plumbing and now the ceiling in your living room is sagging. Anything you can imagine going wrong could at any moment actually go wrong. Before ground is broken, make sure you have these things accomplished or planned out first:

Valuables. Pack, remove, and safely store all items of value from any area that will be affected during the reno. If you’re doing a kitchen reno and workers have to walk through the living room to get there, cover your furniture and move it to the middle of the room, creating a clear walkway, and pack all delicate belongings like the chinese vase housing Aunt Hattie, and set them aside in a separate room where no one will be. You may even consider outside storage if the reno leaves you with no storage space in your home. Take away the potential for accidents by removing breakable items altogether.

Set up a solitude room/base camp. There will be times when it feels like every inch of your house is taken up storing your valuables or the supplies that are going to be used in tomorrow’s agenda. Workers may be in and out of your bedroom at all times during the work day. The only running water in the house exists in the sink. Having a space that is just for you where you can escape and feel like you have some semblance of routine and normal can drastically help your mental state during the reno. If you know the plumbing will be out for a set amount of time, plan accordingly and ask a neighbor if you can use their facilities in the interim.

Consider checking in to a hotel. Depending on your plans or any other number of circumstances involved in a reno (like plumbing being off for an unexpected repair) getting away from it all for a night or two may be essential in alleviating the stress and strain the remodeling process takes on your life. It’s common knowledge that renovations relentlessly test relationships. If you can survive a reno as a couple, you can survive anything. Part of that survival will be taking care of each other from time to time. Sacrifices will be made on every end, but when the tension gets too tight, take a break and spend a night or two in a hotel with no construction, complete privacy, and just each other in peace and quiet. I mean, what is this work all for if you don’t have each other to share it with?

There are many other factors involved in a renovation that turn your world upside down and ways you can prepare for them. Some things you can’t prepare for, they just happen. But if you hope for the best but plan for the worst you’ll fair just fine. Regardless of your remodel, never underestimate the value of making time and space for yourself during this transition so you can reap all the happiness and satisfaction when you finally do cross that Reno-Finish Line.