Remodeling your home can be a very stressful time for homeowners, but the more you understand and are realistic about the processes involved, the smoother the renovation of your house will go.
Each home renovation is different, but there are a few constants that apply to almost every large remodeling project: dust will be created, mistakes will be made, the many decisions required will drive you crazy, and it will cost more than you anticipated.
Read on to find out about the top four remodeling stress factors, and how to reduce them on your home renovation project.
Remodel Stress Factor #4: Dust, Debris, and Damage
A reputable, experienced remodeler is an expert in the “three D’s” of remodeling: demolition, debris removal, and dust containment. Make sure you have a conversation in advance with your contractor about how they plan to handle the inevitable mess of tearing out walls and ripping up floors, so you don’t spend months trying to clean dust from the rest of your home.
Damage can occur to your home or yard that you might not anticipate—such as the grass in your yard being trampled to death by legions of workers and heavy delivery trucks cracking the concrete driveway.
The additional cost associated with repairing damage to your home should be considered in advance, and a determination made as to who will pay for any problems that may arise.
Remodel Stress Factor #3: Remodeling Inconveniences
Interruptions to your normal daily routine are a fact of life when remodeling. Electric power, Internet service, and water may need to be turned off; kitchen and bathroom access can be limited; and odors from paint, adhesives, and floor finish may force you out of your home and into a local hotel.
Make a plan to deal with these interruptions—and the expense involved—before they occur. Kitchen renovations in particular can be very stressful during the time when all the cabinets, countertops, and appliances have been removed and the new ones are being installed.
This can result in several weeks without an adequate place to prepare meals, pack lunches, or make coffee; so factor in the expense of eating out or consider setting up a temporary kitchen in the dining or living room with a refrigerator, microwave, hot plate, and coffee maker. Inexpensive card tables and stackable plastic pullout drawers can make life during a kitchen renovation easier.
Remodel Stress Factor #2: Decisions, Decisions
Making the many decisions involved in a house remodeling project—from cabinet style and paint color to flooring options and light fixtures—can drive even the most laid back homeowner to distraction. This process is complicated even more by the thousands of different products available to choose from these days.
Of course you’ll probably want to match many items—such as trim moldings, door style, and window pattern—to those that are already in your house. But even if you’re not planning on reinventing your home’s décor, the number of selections involved can be daunting.
The best advice is to start the decision making process early, and allow plenty of time to cruise the Internet and visit local kitchen and bathroom showrooms. Making the right decisions, and sticking to them, will also help you avoid the biggest fear most homeowners have—busting the budget!
Remodel Stress Factor #1: Busting the Budget
You always hear that you need to add 10% to 25% extra to any renovation budget. I agree you should have a little money held in reserve for inevitable cost overruns, but it’s important to consider the cause of most expense increases in order to help keep the costs down.
Many of the cost increases on a remodeling job can be traced to the “while you are here” approach of adding extras on during the course of a job which weren’t in the original budget. It is very tempting to decide on the spur of the moment to have the master bedroom painted while remodeling the bathroom, or continue the new flooring into the next room, or upgrade your countertops from plastic laminate to granite.
These additional spontaneous “$500 here and $500 there” extra expenditures can add up quickly to a lot of money. While there’s always the chance of finding a rotten subfloor hidden under old tile or wiring that’s not up to code, if the contractor is experienced with the type of project you’re doing and has been diligent in closely examining the condition of the existing home, unexpected expenses during the course of a renovation should be rare.