July 2017 for us was all about renovations, indoor and outdoor.
I’m so grateful we are able to do all the jobs, and actually own our own home. But I’m also happy to have my house back!
I’m sharing here my top tips for staying sane when you are have building work done, or other types of renovations on your home.
1- Get more supplies than you think you’ll need. So all of the following come in very handy;
- Tea bags
- Instant coffee
- Toilet roll
- Cordial (and ice cubes in the freezer if it’s really hot)
2- Use things for the workers that you don’t mind too much about getting messy. So things like;
- Old towels in the bathroom
- Mugs and cups past their best
3- Get a big bottle of gin. Not for the workers, but for you! Or something similar to help you switch off from the frazzled feeling you get when there’s so much going on. I’m not talking about excessive drinking here, but literally for medicinal purposes; a gin and tonic can work wonders
4- If there is a lot of work to do, try to schedule it all for around the same time. We did all our recent renovations in July so then we’d know we could relax for the whole of August. Scheduling it for the same time seems daunting, but it gets everything over quicker rather than dragging it out.
5- If you’ve any access issues do sort this out before the work starts. Either by persuading neighbours to allow you through, or figuring out something else. It’s not something to leave until the last-minute. If there is no alternative but to go through your home then protect your floors with something. This is pretty basic but is better than nothing. Protect what you are keeping!
6- Relinquish some control. At the end of the day, you’ve hired people because it’s something you can’t do yourself, right? Or it’s perhaps too big a job for one person. So, trust that you’ve chosen the right people to do the job that you are paying them to do, and let go a little. Easier said than done I know. But the tradespeople will have done so many similar jobs to the one they are doing for you, just let them get on with it.
7- Some people like to be away from home when they are having work done. I’m the opposite. I think if you can be there as much as possible you can respond so much quicker to curveballs and questions about the job. Builders aren’t mind readers; communication is key.
8- Keep your mind on the prize. The long-term benefits of doing the work, all the times you’ll be able to enjoy that bathroom, of happy times in the new garden or cooking in that new kitchen. In short, it’ll all be worth it.
9- Do expect to be overwhelmed. There are so many big, and small decisions to be made. It helps to create a list of priorities. It also helps just chatting to a good listener about how you are feeling, just getting out of the house with an old friend can really help your brain relax properly.
10- Things may look worse than they ever were before you started. But that’s just the nature of renovation, you have to break things so you can build them up to be better than they were before.