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Renovations: How to keep your cool

This certainly isn’t news, but it does bear repeating: Renovations can be pretty stressful for homeowners. Don’t get me wrong—renos are super exciting, but that doesn’t mean they can’t disrupt routine and cause anxiety. In fact, one British study conducted by a retailer of tools and building materials found 60 percent of home renovations affect a homeowner’s general well-being (that’s right up there with 61 percent who said it affected their finances). Participants also said their biggest regrets included “underestimating the likelihood of problems,” “living at home during the renovation” and “picking the cheapest quote over the most trusted.”

I’ve had a lot of experience helping clients get through renovations—it’s a topic I always bring up prior to starting a project. Before construction starts, I often give these nuggets of advice to homeowners. First, prepare the best you can. If you’ll be living in your house while work is being done, have a place to sleep and a temporary kitchen area set up where you can escape the mess. If you typically work from home, make alternate arrangements for the duration. Next, don’t be afraid to get involved as part of the renovation team. Yes, you should let the experts on-site do their thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay up to date by having regular conversations with your designer or chitchat with talented tradespeople who are busily creating your dream home. (Tip: They’ll never turn down a coffee.) Finally, go with the flow, be as flexible as possible and stay positive knowing your team is working hard to ensure you’re nothing but overjoyed with the end result.


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