What I wish I knew Before Starting a Home Renovation
Now that I'm near to finishing my home renovation, I thought it may be helpful to write a blog on the tips I wish I knew before starting the process myself. Hopefully those of you out there who are considering home renovations for yourselves can use this to make your lives less stressful when the work does begin.
1. Prepare for the stress
I will start by saying, no matter how organised you are before commencement, home renovation will bring you stress like no other. So, it is vitally important to mentally prepare yourself for what is to come. Your home is going to be upside down for a considerable period of time, just keep reminding yourself that there is light at the end of the tunnel and when it is finished it will be worthwhile.
2. Dust, dust and more dust
Now the house is going to get extremely dusty, and you will have to get used to it quickly. Even after the work has finished and you have deep cleaned, the dust will annoyingly linger for a while so keep your mop to hand. Mopping regularly to pick up the dust will help and keep it manageable, but just prepare yourself that it will be everywhere.
3. Living on site
In an ideal world I’d always recommend living off site if you have the means to do so comfortably, however this is often very expensive and it makes far more financial sense to try and live in and around the renovations. That way you can use the money you do save to add that marble finished worktop you’ve always wanted, or in any other area of the renovation that you desire. Being at the job 24/7 also allows you to keep a constant eye on the work being done and help speed up anything you want changing or done differently. Communication between you and the workmen become far more seamless that way.
4. No snoozing that alarm clock
The already hectic and rushed mornings become that little bit crazier with the workmen arriving at the crack of sparrows, so there’s certainly no room for a lie in. Even at the weekend on their days off I found myself up early painting, getting to bed early becomes a must whilst the build is taking place.
5. It'll take longer than expected
Expected deadlines do not exist when it comes to house renovation work. Whatever date you expect it to be done by in your head, add a month to it, then anything completed sooner is a bonus. There is always going to be hiccups and backlogs which push that expected finish date back. In our case and error with the windows meant that we had to push back the plastering and from there the knock-on snowball effect was in play. Throw COVID into the mix and the delay on material orders as a result, we eventually had the work done well after schedule.
6. Stock up on tea and coffee, don't pack away all your mugs.
I didn’t think it was possible to make so much tea in one day, but at times I felt like I was running a café not a household. My advice here would be stock up with plenty of tea bags and biscuits, trust me you are going to need them. I also created a little beverage station for the times I wasn’t there, just so the builders could help themselves. Tea and coffees were definitely an essential way to keep them motivated.
7. The builders will feel like family by the end of it
For the amount of time the workmen were here, it really felt like they had moved in and were living on site as well. The fact we were there 24/7 helped us to get to know the builders really well and they almost became like family by the end of the process. It’s important to have a good relationship with your builders as it will make the whole project go much more smoothly.
8. Relaxing weekends are a thing of the past
Workmen were in Monday to Friday so the things I could get on with to help, like painting, were always saved for the weekends. The backlog of tasks that I would normally get done during the week just seem to pile up, with the weekend being the only time to get them done. So just be ready to use your weekends very carefully to avoid stress in the week.
9. Takeaways and microwave meals galore
At one point during the renovation, I was down to just a kettle, toaster and microwave to feed everyone. Often this meant that dinner was a takeaway as the effort of even trying to rustle up a decent meal proved more hassle than its worth.
10. It will be worth it
Despite all of the trials and tribulations that work like this inevitably brings, I must say the most important thing to remember is that in the end it will all be worthwhile. That dream kitchen or dream living room you have thought about for so long is almost in touching distance, so keep visualising that when the dust is piling up, or you are microwaving your 4th ready meal of the week! Trust me it will be worth it!
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