Home renovation stress is nothing new. Homeowners have been suffering because of it since time immemorial. Every time we embark on a big home project, it stresses us out because we have to make a lot of life-changing decisions. If you think that deciding where your kids’ rooms should be is not a life-changing decision, try running up and down the hallway when your kids call for you in the middle of the night.
Remember that as with many projects that involve your family, home renovations can be stressful. It is critical to manage this stress lest you argue with your general contractor all the time because you cannot understand why some things should go a certain way. And yes, even your husband will be a mortal enemy if you don’t learn how to handle the renovation stress well.
Be Realistic with Your Budget
The number one stressor in home renovation projects is the budget. Thinking day and night about the money you have for the renovations will get on your nerves. It’s important to have a fixed and sure budget for the renovations. Whether that means applying for a loan or using your savings, you have to make sure that there is money for the renovations. A home improvement loan is easy enough to secure if you are qualified for it. Fixing your budget is going to take the weight off your shoulders.
Hire a Contractor You Can Trust Wholeheartedly
Find a general contractor you can trust, and you’ll never have to worry about your home renovation project ever again. If you know your contractor is working for your own good, then you don’t need to micromanage the whole thing. Take time to choose a contractor well. Do research. Compare contractors in your area. Ask for recommendations from friends and family members. If you don’t trust your contractor, you will second-guess everything they do.
Work with Your Partner
Your spouse isn’t someone you need to fight with for every little decision you have to make for the renovation. They are your partners. Learn to negotiate and compromise with them. The best way to make huge decisions together is to talk about it intently. Don’t talk about it at the dinner table when you’re passing the mashed potato from one kid to another. Make time to sit down and really understand the impact of the decision you have to make.
You can also divide the decisions. Someone will decide on the colors of the walls while one person will choose the appliances. Work on your strengths and trust your partner. Don’t try to play the blaming game or tensions will run even higher.
Choose Your Battles
Not all battles are worth fighting for. Some battles you have to intentionally lose. Instead of fighting with your family over the tiniest detail of the project, create a list of non-negotiables. What are you most concerned about? For example, you will not budge on the type of tiles you want for the flooring. Let the rest of the family have their own non-negotiables, too. Work on these so there is harmony in the space and design. This is best done before the renovation starts.
Manage Your Expectations About the Timeline
Believe it or not, your contractor also wants to finish the project on time. Not being able to complete the project on time takes them away from other clients. Every time you delay a decision or change the plan, the timeline gets delayed. Be open to adjusting that timeline to suit your needs. You also have to take into account the holiday season (if the timeline falls on it), as well as weekend schedules and illnesses.
Be Flexible to Change
People stress out over things they cannot change. It’s a waste of time to do that. Learn how to adapt. Learn to be flexible. Your plans will not always come to fruition. Keep a cool head and think on your toes. Will something come out of you breaking down? If you stress yourself out, will that solve the predicament? Instead, accept that there are some things you cannot change no matter how good-intentioned you are.
As with many things in life, stress is a product of your mind. If you let stress dominate your life, it will be a cycle you cannot get out of. Instead of snapping at things and having a complete meltdown, stay on top of things, decide quickly, and realize that you cannot win all your battles (at least, in terms of home renovation).