Why Renovating is So Stressful (and How We Can Overcome It)

Renovating stress

Source – CC0 Licence

If you’ve never done it before, you can be forgiven for thinking that a home renovation project is an exciting venture full of promise and potential. Those montages in movies where people are painting and playing around come to mind, but while those montages are over in a flash and they’re pretty quickly admiring their handiwork, renovating a property is something that tests our patience and resilience beyond any happy montage. We need to know why renovating is so stressful, but we also should come up with solid solutions to overcome the stress of the renovation process. So let’s dive in.

Budget Concerns

When there’s a major renovation like your kitchen costs can quickly escalate, this means we end up grappling with so many financial concerns. When we get people to do the renovating, costs can easily spiral out of control. One of the cold, harsh realities of renovating is that no matter how much you try to stick to a budget, it will go overboard. 

There are things that we all need to bear in mind, such as budgeting for the materials, labour, and time, as well as factoring in the wastage of certain products. For example, if you need to purchase materials like tiles or flooring and you’ve got to create a certain pattern, like herringbone, it may take a couple of tiles’ practice to get it right. It’s always worth understanding the true budget of the works, not what you think it might be because almost always it will go over time and over budget.

The Burden of Decision-Making

We can face numerous decisions, from design choices to material selection, and this means decision fatigue can set in. The fear of making the wrong choice can get the better of us. Part of the reason decision overload sets in is because of our limited knowledge of the process. These days, it’s very rare to be supremely skilled in DIY, despite having all of the will in the world. This is why it’s important to allow time before your renovation project to get an understanding of what you need to achieve but also how long it will take to achieve it. 

There are plenty of online guides that you can consult, but the best thing to do is to visit those material supplier websites because they have real bonafide knowledge. For example, you can visit here and look at the blog to get a greater insight into a number of different components of a renovation project relating to building materials. 

Because there are so many different building materials that we don’t know which one would be perfect for our project, we’ve got to ensure that somebody is able to give us no-nonsense advice in ways we can understand, and this will reduce our fears of making the wrong choice.

Dealing with Disruption to Daily Life

We can feel this in so many ways when we are working from home. Living in a construction zone can be very challenging. If you are in the process of renovating your living room and every single day, after finishing your work, you then start attempting to strip wallpaper or fill cracks in the wall, this pressure can be overwhelming. 

What’s more, if you then have people coming in and doing work, you are on their clock, and this means that you’ve got to split your head in some different directions, which can cause a lot of anxiety. There’s very little comfort, not to mention little privacy during this, and when you start to feel like there’s stress in every single part of your life, and it’s in your home, you’ve got to learn when you need to step away.

Dealing with Contractors

There is a lot of coordination necessary when renovating a property. There can be scheduling conflicts, communication issues, as well as concerns about quality during renovations. Many people opt for cheaper contractors because of budgetary limitations, but the best solution is to go for those that come recommended, but use the opportunity to gauge them as a person. 

You can have someone come and fix a structural issue, but the information they give you might not be what you envisioned the work to be. This can be partly because we don’t know what it takes to fix the structural problem, but it can also be due to the fact that tradespeople don’t necessarily have to be skilled in the art of communication. There’s a balance to be had here, but what we need to remember is that it is all for the benefit of our property. 

One of the best things we can do is to have a clear vision of what we want, but also, if we’re not getting the information from the contractor, then we need to ask more questions. This might elongate the project a bit, but if it means you understand what is going to be done, you can then plan accordingly and minimise your stress in the process.

Dealing with the Unknown

Because the renovation project is unpredictable due to our lack of knowledge, not to mention the fact that you don’t know what is lurking beneath your walls, these unexpected challenges can be very disheartening. Dealing with the unknown is never easy, especially when you factor in all of the above components, but this is why we need to do some of the following to minimise our stress and master the renovation process:

A Well-Thought-Out Plan

This will always be your first line of defence against stress. A clear understanding of the goals, budget, and timeline, but also preparing for contingencies and the unexpected will ensure the project stays within a certain budget but you also have a more realistic approach to the work being undertaken.

Hire Someone You Trust

We’ve got to fight hard to resist the temptation to hire the cheapest contractor. Professionals who have extensive experience and references will help you navigate any complexities. Many contractors are more than happy to come and visit the property for free, and it’s at this point that you can see what they’re made of. It’s not just about their skills but if they have the ability to communicate as well. 

Open and regular communication is essential, and we need to be sure that everybody is on the same page to minimise surprises and misunderstandings. Hiring someone you trust who can help you understand the project is one step towards peace of mind.

Staying Organised

Because we can become overwhelmed with the unknown, this is when we have to work harder at being organised. Keeping detailed records makes it easier to resolve issues when they arise. Staying organised will help you to see the bigger picture and focus on the end result. It can be very easy for us to become stuck in a certain mindset, thinking that it will never come to an end, but you need to remind yourself why you’ve started this journey in the first place. Visualising the end result can be inspiring and a major motivating factor.

Find Ways to Relax

If you’re living in the home during the renovation, creating a comfortable, separate area away from the construction zone will help you maintain some normality that can ease your stress. You also need to make time for self-care, and this is absolutely crucial to maintaining your sanity.

We all need to remember that renovating a home is a challenge, but it will be a rewarding one. If you understand the reasons behind renovation stress and implement practical strategies, you will be able to tackle the process in mind, but also ensure you have the confidence to emerge out the other side with a beautifully transformed living space.



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