A Guide to Reducing Stress in Home Renovations

Embarking on a home renovation project can be an exciting yet daunting task. The prospect of turning your vision into reality comes with its share of challenges, but with careful planning and a positive mindset, you can transform the renovation process into a less stressful and more enjoyable experience. In this article, we’ll explore some practical tips to help you navigate the journey of renovating your home with ease.

1.Create a Detailed Plan: Start by outlining your renovation goals and creating a comprehensive plan. This may seem obvious however I have experienced the difficulty of helping a client who had already ripped a bathroom out before selecting tiles or fixtures.  I can guarantee that there will be unexpected decisions to be made throughout a renovation regardless of planning so the goal is to clarify everything you can (all the way down to the grout colour for the tiles) before you start.  All of the information regarding your renovation needs to be clearly documented so that you and your trades have clarity on what is going to happen.  Having a clear roadmap will not only keep you focused but also minimize unexpected surprises during the renovation process.  If this isn’t an area that you’re confident in, it is worth while undertaking some training such as the Undercover Architect courses or hiring a professional Interior Designer.

2. Set a Realistic Budget: Finances can be a significant source of stress during renovations. Set a realistic budget, allowing a contingency for potential unforeseen expenses such as rotted timber, outdated electrics or price rises on materials.  Be clear on your goals, pain points and budget from the beginning and share this information with your architect, designers and contractors about your budget.  The risk of not sharing your actual budget and goals is that a designer or architect will design something outside of your budget or not meeting your most important needs.  On the flip side, if the design comes in with room to spare on budget and you decide to add in another feature at design completion it can result in a need to redesign, leading to additional design fees.  In order to set that budget, it’s important that you are clear on your priorities within the renovation.  Which spaces are most important and are most likely to deliver the results that are important to you.

3. Hire Reliable Professionals: Selecting the right contractors and professionals is crucial to a successful renovation and it’s worth bringing your entire team together early on. Research and hire reputable individuals or companies with positive reviews and a proven track record. They are probably not going to be the cheapest contractor but the spend is worth it.  Being aligned is crucial so ensure that you feel confident that the professionals you have hired share and understand your vision and they can work together.    It’s important to be aligned on the expected finished outcome and core deliverables, whether that’s a highly sustainable home, budget build or a smart home.

photo by monkey business images

4. Establish a Realistic Timeline: Delays are not uncommon in home renovations, but having a realistic timeline can help manage expectations. Work closely with your contractors to establish milestones and deadlines. Flexibility is important, but having a timeline can reduce anxiety and keep the project on track.

5. Establish Clear Communication Lines:  At the outset, understand who will be your main contact point and when updates should be expected.  Make sure that your expectations on communication are understood so that you are not left in the dark as to how your project is tracking.

6. Create a Temporary Living Plan: Renovations often disrupt daily routines. Consider how the project will impact your living space and make temporary arrangements if necessary. This could involve setting up a makeshift kitchen or living in a different part of your home while work is being done. If you can allow for it in your budget you may want to consider installing a temporary tiny home or caravan on site or renting a space nearby.  If you are planning to install a new outdoor kitchen in addition to your indoor kitchen you may choose to stage the work so that you have an operational kitchen at all times. Preparing for these changes in advance will make the transition smoother.

Photo by Nina Gilis
Image by Halfpoint

7. Declutter Before You Begin: I can’t stress this enough.  Take the opportunity to declutter and organize your belongings before the renovation starts. In fact, try to do this before design starts.  Often people ask for more storage when in fact they could be reducing unwanted belongings. This not only streamlines the process but also ensures that you only bring back items that truly enhance your renovated space. A clutter-free environment can contribute to a more peaceful atmosphere during the project.

8. Practice Self-Care: Home renovations can be physically and emotionally taxing, especially if you have chosen to live onsite. The additional people walking around your home, sound of impact drivers, extra cleaning and walking through mud to get to a car (personal experience) begins to take it’s toll very quickly.  Make self-care a priority by taking breaks, getting enough rest, and maintaining a healthy routine. Staying well-nourished and rested will help you tackle challenges with a clearer mind and more positive outlook.  Budget in for some massages or a quick get away to a favourite holiday destination.

9. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate the progress made at various stages of the renovation. You might do this mentally, via a jobs checklist or through marking off a Gant chart.  Whether it’s completing a room or reaching a specific milestone, taking the time to appreciate achievements along the way can boost morale and keep you motivated.

10. Stay Focused On The Goal:  Good things rarely come without sacrifice but it will come.  There is a real likelihood that you will ask yourself why you started your renovation in the first place.  Having clear reminders will help you stay focused.  Create a space where you can see the plans for your new home, any renders that you have and your new homes materials.  Keep a written reminder of what your home will deliver on the emotional level.  For example, ‘Space to cook with my kids, A deep soaking bath that looks onto a green wall to restore me, Poolside cocktail parties with friends.  These are the moments that will make a wonderful life’.  The end goal is worth it.

Renovating a home doesn’t have to be synonymous with stress. By planning meticulously, communicating effectively, and maintaining a positive mindset, you can transform the renovation process into a rewarding and exciting journey. Remember that challenges are a natural part of the process, but with the right approach, you can turn your vision into a stress-free reality.

Photo by Rachel Claire
Designer: Elska Interiors Captured By: Wattle and Wildfower Photography

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