1. Consider all other options. I type that only partially in jest. While it can be very cost effective to stay in your home during a remodeling project, there are significant trade-offs which might persuade you to re-evaluate you and your family’s happiness vs. monetary savings. The stress of having things un-done and out of place can wear on family members. Everyone handles stress and chaos differently. Take into account how the project will potentially affect each member of your family and carefully consider the alternatives. Are there weekends or even a few weeks when you can be away while the sheet rock dust is most prevalent? Is there a house in the neighborhood, perhaps across the street that could be rented on a short-term basis? If not, treat this adventure as you might a camping trip and box up only what is absolutely necessary for the length of your project.
2. Hone your sense of humor. Aside from an electric skillet and hot water pot, this will be your most valuable asset during a home remodeling project. While the first two tools will allow you to save money that would otherwise be spent eating meals out, your sense of humor will help you to navigate the bumps that come with any every remodeling project. Bumps might include: products that arrive late and push out the finish date, sub-contractors who show up prior to your morning shower (yikes) and commentary on the amount of, “stuff,” your family has to shift in order to get the job done. Remember: you’re not the first family to remodel a home, no one looks camera-ready prior to a shower and sub-contractors have stuff too!
3. Keep your routines. It’s important, especially for kids, to maintain daily and weekly routines while you’re remodeling. If you regularly eat breakfast and dinner together, make sure there is still a place for you to do that; even if the dining room table has to be relocated or a coffee table and pillows on the floor acts as your kitchen table. Kids are amused when they get to eat in a room that is normally off-limits. One of my sons commented on how much “cozier,” our living room was with all of our furniture and my office within it! (truly). Additionally, if they’d normally have a friend over on the weekend, allow that to happen; yes, even in this mess! Kids are wonderful at putting blinders on when faced with boxes and a general state of disarray.
If all else fails, repeat after me: “this too shall pass.”
And more importantly, “the house is going to be amazing when it’s done!”
-Holly Bayer, ASID