The New Year is just around the corner and for many of us it’s a time to reflect on the changes we want to make not just personally but around the home.
A friend of mine who is about to start a major renovation in the new year approached me the other day with a really good question, a question no doubt any person undertaking or thinking of undertaking a renovation asks…
Should we live in our house whilst we undertake the renovations?
Ask this question to someone who has been there and done that, having lived in their house whilst renovating, and they will most likely tell you “Don’t!” I guess this is great advice if money is not an issue and financially you can afford to live elsewhere during the remodeling.
Depending on the size of the project, staying in the house may not be an option, so if you do have to move out for some or all of the time, remember to factor this into your budget. It’s also important to remember that staying in your house may not always save you as much money as you think. In some cases the project can take longer especially if by choosing to stay there the project then needs to be completed in stages to ensure you and your family continue to have some sort of facilities.
Time is money and if trades are forced to make several more trips to site its’ fair to say the overall price of the project will increase. Not only that, but productivity can be effected by trades having to work around you. Picture the plumber turning off the water while you are getting the kids ready for school.
Again, it really comes down to the size of the project and your individual circumstances, but many of you will still decide to ‘live through the renovation’. As with anything in life, knowing what to expect and how to handle it will not only softens the experience but allows you to make the necessary preparations. By no means will it prevent your life from being disrupted (there is no escaping this), but it will help you survive and get through it – After all, living through a renovation can test the strongest of people and their relationship.
Here are our tips:
1. Know the project timeline and scope. It’s important to understand the scope of what is involved in the renovation project and the timeline – results in less surprises and makes the process easier to endure.
2. Accept the inevitable. There will be dust, noise and disruption. The sooner you accept that the sooner you can get over it! In saying that any good builder, tradesman and project manager should be able to ensure this is kept to a minimum.
3. Have a flexible approach. In order to survive the project, it’s important to have a flexible approach and be aware that normal household flows will be disrupted. You may have to get up earlier in the morning – trades start early. There also may be times when there is no hot water.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Sometimes small things and unforeseen circumstances to occur which may even cause a delay i.e. bad weather – don’t let it get the better of you!
5. Enjoy overseeing the project. If you are like me this is the fun part – watching it all come together. It really is fascinating and interesting seeing how it’s all done. BUT my advice is to keep changes to a minimum – ripple effects are costly, not only in time (delays) but money (extra costs).
6. Communicate communicate communicate – It’s important to communicate with your builder, trades or project manager. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, but keep in mind there may be good reasons why something is off spec or not quite completed. Always communicate changes in writing and keep paperwork for everything. It’s important to communicate as a family also – if there is something happening that will affect everyone e.g. water is being turned off or there is going to be a delay in the project, keep everyone updated. That way there is no surprises.
7. Remember the vision. Focus on the vision ahead and what you are doing it for – the temporary mayhem won’t last forever…