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Home renovation is a passion for many. There’s not a whole lot more rewarding in real estate than finding somewhere run down and unloved with serious potential and transforming it into the house of your dreams. However, there are also plenty of stresses and worries involved in a large scale project. You may have adored renovating furniture or getting the decor just right in previous situations, but dramatically changing an entire house is another matter entirely. Luckily, if you plan carefully and approach the work with a clear head then you can mitigate some of the worst anxiety a home renovation can bring.
Make Your Budget Clear
One of the largest sources of stress with a complex project is the budget. It can cause a lot of worry and even arguments between partners. Absolute clarity on what your budget is and where the money is coming from is vital. Estimating a renovation budget can be tricky, as often there are unexpected problems which occur that you couldn’t have expected or you may decide to upgrade things as work progresses. Work closely with your contractors to get a clear idea of costs and keep a running tally on a project plan so that things don’t spiral. Have an honest discussion with your partner about funding sources – are you going to be using some savings? Applying for a loan? Or remortgaging the house to fund the works? Remember to always include a contingency fund to cover any unexpected problems without sending your budget down a black hole.
Choose Your Compromises
With any large project, perfection is too big of an ask. There will be areas where you need to compromise – either for the sake of convenience or for budgetary reasons. So prepare yourself mentally by deciding in advance what areas you are prepared to concede and which are must-haves. Are solid Iquartz worktops in your new kitchen essential? Could you get away with vinyl siding on your new roof? Is a freestanding bathtub the one piece which will make your bathroom shine? Choose your top three deal breakers and stick to them but be prepared to choose an alternative on everything else.
Give Yourself Time Away
In the thick of it, renovations are messy, dusty and chaotic – they can be quite hard to be around for your mental health, and stress easily builds up in that environment. Make sure you schedule time away. If there are friends or family you can stay with for a few nights during the worst of it, then take advantage – you can always repay them with some delicious home-cooked meals in your sparkling new pad when all the works are finished. If you have a full scale renovation planned, it may be a good idea to plan in funds to move into a rental home for the duration of the project. If this isn’t a possibility, then try to compartmentalize as best as you can – this could mean simply things like banning talk of your project past a certain point in the evening.
I’m a huge fan of HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation and love to watch a great before and after, whole house reno. It does definitely seem pretty stressful though. We have never been able to tackle more than one or two projects at a time!
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