Today I’m sharing the wisdom of my dear friend Heidi, who recently completed an extensive home renovation project. Her family of four (+dog) lived in their home during the renovation process, which brings with it certain…um…challenges. In preparation for my own project (which will not be nearly as large in scope as hers), I asked Heidi to share her home renovation survival tips.
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MENTALLY PREPARE FOR CHRONIC CHAOS
TAKE STEPS TO MINIMIZE THE SPREAD OF CONSTRUCTION DUST
Heidi suggests packing away items that you will not need access to during the renovation process, in order to prevent them from being coated with construction dust. Also, consider investing in magnetic air vent covers to use in the areas of your home that are not being renovated. Another good practice is to seal the doorway between your living area and the renovation area via heavy-duty plastic drop cloths.
ESTABLISH YOUR STORAGE AREAS
Renovation projects require the removal of the “stuff” that typically lives in the space…furniture, appliances, home decor, etc. You will need a place in your home to serve as a temporary holding area for this stuff while the project is underway.
PREPARE TO MAKE DECISIONS QUICKLY
You will be flexing your decision-making muscle on a daily basis when you undergo an extensive home renovation. Paint colors, flooring, cabinetry, lighting and counter top selections…oh my! Selecting finishes can be a daunting process for the average homeowner. You will often be called upon to make decisions quickly so as not to hold up contractors.
Begin your research as early as possible so that you are in a good position to make those critical decisions when it’s time to do so. If you lack confidence in the design department, enlist the assistance of a professional or a trusted friend who has a knack for design.
ORDER MATERIALS ASAP
Be vigilant about ordering all materials necessary for your renovation as soon as possible. You never know when you will be faced with waiting for a backordered item that will prevent your project from moving forward. Once your project is at a standstill, the contractors move onto other projects, and it can be a painful process as you wait for them to incorporate your project back into their schedule.
THINK TWICE ABOUT DIY-ING IT
You might be tempted to take on certain aspects of the renovation yourself, in order to save some cash. It makes sense to invest your sweat equity if you have expertise in a particular skill like electrical, plumbing, or drywall. If you are not an expert, you may want to think twice about DIY-ing it. Heidi regrets their attempt at drywall patching (see below), and wished they would have left this piece of the project in the hands of the experts.
Heidi’s final word of advise to me was to avoid letting your kids make paint color selections, or you might just end up with Kermit The Frog green in the hall bathroom! Of course, I learned this lesson awhile back with my daughter’s room.
So those are Heidi’s home renovation survival tips in a nutshell! Stay tuned for the reveal of Heidi’s new and improved abode…