How Do People Survive Home Renovations?


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Many people dream of the day that they can begin their home renovation projects.

They dream that their contractor will begin working and their entire house will look like new in a matter of a few days.

What they sometimes do not realize, however, is that a home renovation can be a very long and very stressful situation to put yourself in.

You may get halfway through the renovation and start wondering why you ever decided to go through with this project in the first place.

So, how exactly do people survive their home renovations? Ultimately, it comes down to a lot of planning and organization, as well as tons of patience. 

Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you keep the stress down to a minimum.

By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to connect with other homeowners and builders and get more great ideas for your home to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Remodel Reality here.

To Stay or Not To Stay?

One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether or not you will be planning to stay in your house during the improvement projects.

If you are only doing a small project, such as a kitchen remodel or a bathroom renovation, there should be no issues with you living in the house during this time.

However, if you are planning on a major renovation project, such as an entire home remodel, temporarily moving out might be the best choice for you and your family. It will save you a lot of headaches from the stress, noise, and drywall dust that will suddenly be taking over your home.

If you decide to stay somewhere else during your construction projects, the only stressors you may have are that you are living out of your suitcase and possibly tolerating your in-laws if that is where you are staying.

But if you decide to live in your house throughout the remodeling projects, you will find yourself suddenly sharing your space not only with the contractors, but also with construction debris, construction materials, and drywall dust.

This was one of our biggest challenges during our own remodeling project.

Everything was always covered in dust.

There were people constantly in and out of our house.

It was a major disruption to our life, but we survived, so do not fret!

There are some simple tricks and survival tips that can help you survive this chaotic time.

Get Rid of Clutter

Renovation projects are an ideal time to get rid of any clutter that has slowly accumulated around your house throughout the years.

You will need to clean and clear out the area anyway, so why not go ahead and get rid of some old junk?

If you are hoping to make some money from any old furniture or clothes, you can always hold a yard sale.

You will be surprised how many people will be interested in your old things! “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” as they say.

If you do not wish to add the hassle of a yard sale on top of the hassle of a major renovation, you can always take your old things to the closest donation drop-off location.

There is also the option of renting a storage unit to store all of the belongings you are wanting to keep.

We rented a pod from Uhaul that sat in our side yard where we stored stuff while they were working on our house.

Though this will accrue an extra cost for you, it is also the surest way to keep all of your belongings clean and safe from the mess that the construction is sure to make.

Clean Up Frequently

As in your everyday life, it is usually easier to clean up more often, rather than waiting until the mess is large and doing one huge cleaning sweep of the area.

This is no different when you have a major remodeling project going on.

Picking up the area and doing a quick clean will help you start fresh each morning, and you will not believe how much easier this will make the lives of your contractors.

Remember that these cleaning sessions do not have to result in a perfect, shining area, but they will help make everyone’s lives just a little bit easier.

Plan Ahead for Rooms You Cannot Use

Whether you are planning a full home remodel, a short kitchen remodel, or a bathroom renovation, you will more than likely find some rooms in your house out of commission for a while.

If you plan on staying in your house during the renovation, there is some major planning that will need to be done to work around these room closures.

If your kitchen will be unusable for a while, there is always the option of cooking meals ahead of time or eating out every night until the construction is done.

However, there is also the option of setting up a makeshift kitchen with a hot plate or a microwave.

You may also need to find somewhere to store everything from the kitchen cabinets if those will be torn down and replaced.

If you are having your bathroom remodeled, things can get a little trickier. One of the more important things to remember is to try to keep your toilet intact for as long as possible.

If the toilet needs to be out of order for a prolonged amount of time, you may consider talking to family members or neighbors about using their bathroom or shower in emergencies.

Another more creative option is to utilize that gym membership, and not just for the exercise equipment.

Most gyms offer free showers, and if your shower is out of commission, why not drive to the gym and take yourself a quick shower?

You are paying for it, after all.

Always remember that a hotel is a great idea for a night or two, just to get everyone clean, showered, and well-rested. Afterward, you can return to your house and await the moment your contractor will tell you that your house is all yours again.

Protect Your Things from the Dust

The remodeling process is one that will leave behind a lot of drywall dust and overall dirt and grime.

If you are unable to move your furniture, the next best thing that you can do is try to protect it from all of the dirt that will be flying around your home.

One option is to lay plastic sheeting over all of your furniture; this way, the dust and dirt will only land on the plastic and not on your newly-reupholstered couch.

You may also want to consider laying the plastic sheeting over the carpet, or along a pathway, for the contractors to walk on. This may help prevent extra dirt and even footprints from being embedded in your carpet, also preventing any extra cleaning that you will have to do at the end of the renovation project.

If you are deciding to stay full-time in your house while it is being renovated, it may be wise to section off the house bit by bit as the contractors work their way through your improvement projects.

Designate a specific door for the contractors to use, saving a separate door for you and your family to use. Then, section off a room or an entire section of the house by hanging plastic sheeting from the ceiling.

This room or section can be used for sleeping, entertainment, and using the restroom. You and your family may feel temporarily squished, but you will all be away from the construction dust that will be floating through the rest of your house.

Separating yourselves from the construction area can help guarantee your health as well. If your contractor comes across lead paint, asbestos, or mold, your family will be much safer behind your wall of plastic sheeting.

Use Your Calendar

As soon as your remodeling project begins, you will start wondering when it will end. Encourage open communication between yourself and your contractor, and he or she will be open with you about the schedule of events and any changes in that schedule.

Encourage your contractor to feel comfortable marking down any changes on a calendar specifically for the renovation project.

A construction project is filled with many milestones and even more unexpected changes.

Sometimes, a contractor cannot give you a timeframe until the project actually starts. Surprises are part of the job for contractors, and they never know what they may come across during a project.

This open communication and the use of a calendar can help you avoid the stress of any unknowns during your project.

With transparency between you and your contractor, you will be better able to plan the sectioning-off of your house that was mentioned in the last section.

You will also be better able to provide the correct materials or any extra materials that the construction workers may need.

Working with a calendar can help make your life much more organized during your renovation projects.

Relax and Unwind

Everyone deserves some time that is dedicated solely to relaxing and unwinding, and that is no different just because you have a renovation project going on.

Try to find some quiet time every evening to do something that you enjoy doing, whether that is watching your favorite show or reading the newest book from the library.

When we were going through our remodeling project our evening time after the builders left was our golden time to relax and reconnect as a family.

Since I work from home myself it was easy to take advantage of this time and spend quality time with my family.

If this doesn’t work for you then try to find other ways to unwind. Maybe you could go out for dinner with friends, schedule a massage, or maybe you could get together with neighbors and watch a movie at one another’s houses.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you are taking care of yourself and giving yourself some time to relax.

The last thing you want is to be unable to decompress and unwind because the renovation process itself is stressful enough. You don’t need any additional drama while trying to complete a major renovation project.

Don’t forget to include your pets! They deserve their own special time too. The constant presence of strangers in your home is disruptive for them as well, so make sure you’re doing a good job of taking care of them.

Next Steps

Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home redesigns & renovations and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Remodel Reality to connect with other people like you to make your space the best!



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Rob Orr

Me and my family have lived through a nightmare of a remodeling project gone wrong, making countless mistakes including placing trust in the wrong hands. Despite these setbacks, we took matters into our own hands for many aspects of the remodel, ensuring quality workmanship guided by expert advice. Through my personal experiences, I've created My mission is not only to share the pitfalls we encountered but also the successes we achieved by combining our efforts with trusted professionals. By sharing both the highs and lows of our journey, I aim to help others navigate their own remodeling projects with greater confidence, ensuring they benefit from our lessons learned.

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