Have you ever done a huge home renovation? If so, you know how unpleasant it can be whilst it’s going on. Noise, mess, strange people wandering through and just a general sense of unease. It can feel like your home isn’t your own anymore, and that is the opposite of pleasant. However, it doesn’t have to be an absolute ordeal!
Sounds crazy, but you could even enjoy it. Yup, with the right amount of preparation, an adjusted mindset, the right people and maybe a weekend getaway, you may find yourself relishing this time. There are some things you need to know, before you do it. It isn’t easy, and may not come naturally.
Here are some tips for making the home improvement process a less negative one for everyone involved.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
First things first: you have to be prepared for many different eventualities, both mentally and physically. This encompasses various things which depend on the person in question (that’s you!). Anything you are concerned about or have experienced in the past that you don’t want to experience again should be encompassed in your preparations – whether you have to do some research about the job or ask your contractor questions, do it before it’s too late.
If you’re concerned there’s going to be a mess or that the contractors might damage something in your house, put down heavy duty paper to protect the floors (they may do this already mind you) and put up some foam to protect walls and corners. You should have a conversation with your contractor about how you can best prepare.
Mental preparation is equally as important. Visualise the whole process of the job you’re having done from beginning to end (get a detailed plan from your contractor) and jot down the difficult, unclear or problematic parts. By doing this you can prepare accordingly.
Take your time
Make sure you are not rushed into any big decisions. Sometimes, it’s easy to get swept along with the excitement involved in the prospect of a brand new open plan kitchen, or a pool in time for summer, or a playhouse for a new baby. A sense of urgency robs you of your stability, and that is precisely what you will need to confront this challenging time.
So don’t be swayed by “on the day deals”, and insist on having a cooling-off period between the time you receive the contract and the day you sign it. This is very important. By taking your time, you’re less likely to make a decision you will ultimately regret. It takes a lot of research, consideration and careful weighing of options to decide whether a huge project is right for you and your home, at that time.
Choose the right person
A great contractor can make your home improvement project go smoothly, and will make you wonder why you ever worried about letting people into your house to knock down walls. On the other hand, untrustworthy bad contractors can ruin your life for the time you are dealing with them. Extra expenses, headaches, heartaches and stress. It’s not fun at all, and it can be avoided by choosing the right person.
Here’s how you do that. First of all, think about your needs. Then, compare quotes from reputable local companies. This is crucial. Local companies want to protect their reputation more than big national companies, so they are often a more trustworthy and valuable choice. This is especially true when it comes to window companies. Rogue tradesmen are rife, so choosing an established local company is key.
Then, once you have a few in mind, have a long chat with the person who would be doing the job for you. Ask them all of your questions, and get a detailed plan so you know what to expect from them. Ask for recommendations when possible.
Escape when you can
Your home is just not your home if you can’t use the kitchen anymore, your hallway is inaccessible or your windows are getting replaced. It can be a disconcerting and quite unpleasant feeling to not feel at home anymore, so if you can, bypass this feeling by taking a little holiday to escape.
If at all possible, go and stay with family and friends for a few days while your project is being completed by your contractors. This is a great way to avoid the most stressful and disruptive moments of the home improvement process. You’ll have to organise this with your contractor, but it can definitely be done and will save you some stress and heartache.