How to Survive Home Renovations and Remodels – Top 5 tips

Renovating your home often means weeks or months of living in a construction zone. The larger the reno- the longer your home will serve as a worksite.

A live-in remodeling project can feel like a hassle, but there are ways to manage the stress.

Here are five tips that will help you survive home renovation without getting completely overwhelmed.

Tip 1: Plan and prepare for disruption  

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Plan ahead, with the help of an established Home Renovation Contractor in Calgary. They can give you great advice based on years of experience that will help you prevent renovation headaches.

Identifying how your day-to-day life might be impacted by renovation activity will help you budget for any extra living expenses and stay comfortable throughout the process.

Make plans for chores or tasks that may be difficult or impossible to do during parts of construction, such as cooking meals, washing dishes, or completing shower and bathroom routines.

For kitchen renos, you can set up a kitchenette in another room using a small table for your coffee maker, toaster and microwave. Prepare some microwavable meals in advance, and use paper plates to make things easier. For bathroom renos, set up a mini bathroom station in your kitchen with a portable mirror, hand soap and toothbrush/toothpaste by the sink.

Ask your contractor for more ideas! We heard from one client whose contractor was able to create temporary countertops for them using plywood, with space cut out for the sink, so they could keep using their kitchen while waiting for the new countertops to be installed.

Tip 2:  Talk to your contractor about realistic timelines and expectations

Reno projects are often completed in stages, so ask your contractor about what realistic timelines might be and what to expect as the project unfolds. For example, you may have cabinets installed in one stage and countertops or floors in another, to accommodate work done by different teams.

Even if the full renovation is estimated to take a month from start to finish, the actual disruption might only last for a week or a few days at a time. Your contractor can help you understand and plan around the specifics of your project.

As work commences, make sure to touch base with your contractor regularly to address any areas of concern you may have and stay up to date on how the project is coming together.

If you have any worries, don’t be afraid to speak up! Sometimes, things just aren’t going to look the way you expect until the finishing touches have been added. If there is an issue though, it’s important to address things early before it becomes too late or too costly to make changes.

Tip 3: Take a mini vacation to get out of the house 

If the renovation is significant enough that you need to (or prefer to) leave the house temporarily, turn your reno into a mini vacation.

It doesn’t have to be fancy – you could book a “staycation” in a local hotel for a few days, or arrange to bunk with family or friends until the bulk of the work is finished. Your contractor can help you anticipate when the most intense windows of work will be so you can plan your escape around that time.

Just make sure you’re easy to reach in case your contractor needs to speak with you, and touch base regularly to stay on top of the work being done.

Closed door with sign PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB on handle at hotel

Tip 4: Find somewhere to set up a “construction free zone”

If you can’t get away, but still need a break from the clamour, create some “construction-free” zones around your home to help you escape the chaos.

If you’re stuck indoors, find a room as far away from the construction as possible and keep it closed off so less dust and noise gets in. With a bit of creativity, you may be able to use blankets, pillows or rugs to set up some light sound-proofing as well.

If you have room outside the house, like in a garage or backyard shed, you could set up an area there to relax with a book or a hobby while getting a reprieve from the sounds of power tools and construction workers.

If you can’t find any quiet space on your property, try to find somewhere in the community that offers you a break from the construction. You might be able to get some peace for a few hours by going out to watch a movie, working out at a rec centre or just spending an afternoon at the mall.

Tip 5: Stay organized to help keep the dust down

Prepare to have a lot of dust around your home for a while, from saw dust to paint dust and all other kinds of dust.

Get as organized as you can before the project starts, so you can minimize how much dust gets tracked around other areas of the house. Protect furniture and belongings by either covering or storing them, so they don’t get marked or damaged. Lay down protection on floors where there may be high traffic from workers carrying materials in and out.

As the work progresses, tidy up where you can and do a quick sweep or vacuum regularly to keep the dust from accumulating too much. However, resist the urge to do a spic-and-span cleaning job until the renos are completely finished.

Even when you think the dust is all gone, remember – the next phase of construction will almost certainly bring more.

A Brief Hassle for Lasting Enjoyment   

Live-in home renovations can be chaotic, but the results are well worth it.

With some smart planning and creative workarounds, you can keep the disruption to a minimum and ensure the experience goes smoothly.


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