Renovations are never easy but the results are often very rewarding. But trying to live in your home while it’s being renovated is not easy. If you work from your home it is doubly hard to do that project on your home you’ve always wanted to get done.
So if you’re planning on renovating, I have some tips on how to cope with living and working in your home while you have builders pulling your house and lifestyle apart!
1. Move everything out of their way and store it in an enclosed space. This will protect your precious possessions from getting broken or covered in “building dust”.
2. Pack away most of your children’s toys. This may sound mean, but it is a lot easier than having crying children with broken or lost toys from leaving them under your builders feet! Besides they probably don’t play with half of them anyway and they will seem all new when you bring them out again.
3. Don’t plan on working at the same time the contractors are especially when they are doing noisy jobs. Ask them the each night what they will be doing the next day. This way you can sort out when to make your phone calls and when to leave the house to them!
4. Make sure they put protective coverings over your carpet or hard flooring. Building dust can really scratch hardwood floors, so make sure you keep it covered and taped down. It is also amazing what can get dropped by accident even by the most prudent of workmen.
5. Take all your pictures off the walls at least in the work zone and their path to and from it. As the contractors carry lumber and sheets of plywood, drywall and boxes of material through your home things can easily be knocked off. Even pictures on the other side of a wall that is being worked on may fall off with the vibration of banging of hammers etc.
6. The workmen should be trying to isolate the work area from the rest of the house and cleaning up after themselves daily. But it is a good idea to try and vacuum every night. It sounds like a nightmare, but if you simply do the area around the work this will reduce possible damage to things that aren’t being changed. Dust can engulf your entire house, but taking away as much as you can each day, when the work is finished you will have less of a disaster on your hands.
7. Discuss with the contractor before they start that this is your family home and you have children or pets that have to be considered. That way they will be aware of leaving doors or gates open, and reduce the risk of you losing something precious.
8. Don’t set yourself unachievable (normal) work goals each day. Remember that there will be constant noise, which upsets your concentration, and you will feel more tired with the home being all upset. Do what you can while they are working during the day and sneak in some extra work at night to keep up, remembering that this is only temporary!
9. Arrange to meet with clients away from your home office. You won’t be able to be professional in your home with renovations happening.
10. Make sure you look after your contractors, a cup of tea or coffee, some cake occasionally. This way they will like working for you and hopefully stay to finish the job!
11. Make sure you have a realistic agreed upon date that the project needs to be completed by. You want to get the work done as soon as possible, reducing the amount of disruption in your home and office but you want the work done right. Otherwise you could find yourself living in turmoil until the builder decides he is ready to finish your job.
12. Make sure that you have one “sane” place in your home to go to. You need an untouched area, so that when you feel you have had enough of the constant mess and noise you can go and relax and feel slightly normal.
Keep reminding yourself that this is only temporary and it soon will pass.
Keep your mind on the goal, the new improved living for your whole family.
Don’t forget to enjoy the finished product, you’ve earned it!