Monday Musings: Tips for Getting Through a Renovation
In the last three years, we've undergone full kitchen and bathroom renovations (in our previous home). This past fall, we completed a kitchen "refresh," and in a couple weeks we are undergoing a full bathroom "refresh" in our current house. For all of these projects we've lived in our home from start to finish.
These projects always come with mixed emotions - excitement, overwhelm, anxiety and eagerness! My personal experiences have afforded me some insight on how to make these massive projects more manageable for your family.
Tip #1 - Make A Plan - The success is in the details. Make a plan for your family while you live in the house. Set up locations for displaced items due to the project and be intentional in how your store your items so you can access what you need. For example, if you're doing a kitchen project, consider using your dining room to store your items. Set up a system for your pantry items, utensils, etc. If you don't have a second refrigerator in your garage or basement, consider moving your main one to another accessible location so you can still have access to it for food. Consider meal planning each week and using your crockpot, air fryer, grill, etc. for meal prep to avoid having to eat takeout regularly. Also, paper products really help if you don't have access to a dishwasher or large sink for cleaning dishes.
Tip #2 - Clean/Purge First - Before you start the project, go through the room and purge items you don't need or want. As we prepare the bathroom, we have cleaned out the cabinets and tossed out products, lotions, soaps that are no longer of use to the family. We have to move everything out of the cabinets for painting and there's no sense in moving stuff we don't need. It helps keep the mess contained, too.
Tip #3 - Order Supplies/Appliances Early - There's nothing more frustrating when doing a home project than a delayed timeline/installation. We use contractors for our projects -- very little is DIY as we just don't have the time -- but I do all the designing and selections for stone, flooring, paint, hardware, appliances, etc. Order everything you need well in advance so that when a subcontractor is ready to start, they aren't waiting on you. Currently, I have all of our selections for the bathroom -- with the exception of a few -- waiting at our house. I still need to order a couple hardware pulls for drawers and decide on a towel rack style. I'm pondering the wall color, but I can wait to decide on that when it gets a little closer.
Tip #4 - Schedule It Wisely - We try to schedule these large projects around a time when we will be gone. It helps to break up the time living in chaos. When we did our full kitchen renovation more than three years ago, we scheduled it to start in March and we were gone for a full week of the project on our spring break trip. This summer, the bathroom will be under construction while my two older kids are away at camp. It doesn't always work out, but it's nice to take advantage of favorable timing.
Tip #5 - Go With It - It's going to suck, you're going to get tired of the disruption, you may have a meltdown or two, but you will get through it. Try to roll with it. Build relationships with your contractors, stay in good communication with everyone involved in the project, try to get ahead of things and remain positive. Like a lot of things in life, the process can be soul-sucking but the end results are totally worth it.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Are you planning any home projects? Do you have any tips for success?