We’ve all heard it: buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do. And if you’ve done it, you know it’s true. But if you’ve ever decided to go a step further and renovate or extend your new home, you’ll know that this a whole new level of stress.
The idea of creating a dream space specific to your family’s needs and desires is something most of us long for. And yet, there is so much to consider before you begin, and even more that can go wrong. From budget issues and unreliable suppliers to weather catastrophes, it’s a daunting task from start to finish. However, there are several things you can do to reduce the stress of a new home renovation.
You’ll have thought about it endlessly, and only you know what you can really afford. But one of the golden rules of renovating or extending is to accept the fact that you’re going to encounter extra costs along the way, and to budget for them. Depending on the size of your project, you’ll want to have anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand pounds of flexibility in your budget.
Know What You Want
Renovations and extensions don’t usually come as a surprise – it’s something you dream about and save for over a significant period of time. Make use of that time by planning. There’s no harm in visiting your favourite home improvement store or website and making note of serial numbers for items you especially like. Keep a folder handy with your wish list so that when it’s time, you’ll know exactly what you want.
Throughout the process, you’re going to encounter a lot of people who want to sell you things. Whether it’s rare granite countertops or a corner tub with jets, there are endless ways to watch your budget dwindle away. It’s easy to be caught off guard and give in to the latest and greatest trends, but if you’ve been daydreaming about that claw-foot tub for months, you’re more likely to stick to your decisions.
Hire the Right Contractor
Your contractor is going to be a constant presence in your life over the course of your renovation, so you need to make sure you hire the right one. The best place to start is by asking for recommendations from family and friends. This is a fool proof way to ensure that your contractor is trusted and can effectively manage the process, meaning less stress for you. If you can’t find any personal recommendations, you can consult various websites that rate local individuals in various trades.
Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor questions about their experience and background – it’s important that their style, personality and capabilities match what you want. For instance, if you’re aiming for a quirky and bespoke feel, you’re going to want to find someone with experience in that style.
One of the most frustrating aspects of home renovation is the lack of organisation. It can mean living on ready meals for months and sleeping on a lumpy couch night after night. You’ll often find yourself in a house turned upside down without any clue where your belongings have been shoved.
Making sure you’re organised before the renovation process begins can save you a lot of grief. Pack away items you don’t need to clear space, make use of the garden shed and loft, or designate a lesser used room of the house as a storage area. However, chances are if you’re extending, you’re already short on space. Storing boxes and oversized furniture in a self storage facility can take a lot of weight off your shoulders and make the house less cluttered before work begins.
Don’t Forget About Yourself
Whether it means arranging to stay with family or booking a hotel for the nights when you may be without gas or electric, don’t neglect the needs of yourself and your family during the process. It’s important to find ways to feel normal during a lengthy renovation. Make sure you sometimes shun the microwave and have dinner at your favourite restaurant, or plan a day out to escape the sawdust and the sound of power tools.