How to survive a home remodel


Home remodels can test relationships, strain carefully-considered budgets, and push even the most level-headed homeowners to the breaking point. But it doesn't have to be that way. Whether you're just renovating the kitchen or taking on an entire house, here are some ways to get through the process without losing your mind:

Get everything on the table: One of the best ways to avoid major conflicts is to have clear communication before the process even starts. Each person who has a stake should consider what they care about most maybe it's the color of the walls, staying on budget, or just being able to get a good night's sleep whie the renovation is happening and be willing to share their hopes, expectations, and deal breakers. Being completely honest up front will save you time, money, and frustration later on.

Stay sane by staying clean: Those who have survived a remodeling project while living in the home agree: the dust is the worst part. Be sure you have a plan to keep up on the cleaning process, whether you do it yourself or hire it out, a clean project makes all the difference.

Expect the unexpected: The two truisms in just about every remodeling project are that it's going to take longer and cost more than you think it will. Hey, with your project, that's not going to happen, right? Be prepared for this outcome, and then you won't be disappointed if it does go over.

Decide on deciders: Most remodel projects involve an endless number of questions about budget, colors, fixtures, timing, and the like. And the more time it takes to figure out an answer, the longer and more expensive the remodel will be. Decide ahead of time who is authorized to make decisions in each area versus when you would rather consult. Then, trust each other to make those decisions, instead of criticizing or second-guessing.

Go slowly: If you are renovating multiple rooms but planning to stay in your home during the remodel, experts recommend that you don't try to do everything at once. Start with one room only, and be sure to leave yourself enough resources to get on with day-to-day living.

Make concessions: You may think your significant other has awful taste; but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't get a say in the look and feel of your living space. Recognize that maintaining a loving, healthy and respectful relationship is probably more important than having the perfect lighting fixtures in your kitchen and relax.

Hire a professional: Yes, it looks great and maybe even easy when regular people on TV teach themselves how to tile a bathroom or build a cute table out of a door. But if you're doing a serious project, it's wise to hire somebody who has actually done it before. If you decide to do it yourself, expect that the whole process could be a lot more challenging, and may result in having to hire a professional anyway.

Remember the finish line: Although it may not seem like it when you're in the middle of the process, there is an end in sight. When the going gets tough, revisit your vision and the reasons you decided to remodel and remind yourself that it's going to be worth it.

Have a growth mindset: It's easy to find horror stories about home remodels that have ruined relationships or otherwise gone awry. But don't set yourself up for difficulty by believing it has to be that way it doesn't. Do expect some challenges, changes, and hard days, but stay positive and focused on solving problems, and you'll get through it just fine.

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