This article was originally going to be called ‘How to have a stress-free renovation’, but let’s face it – you’d have to be the Dalai Lama to stay relaxed through a major home renovation. Some common causes of stress include:
- Money – the cost and concerns about budget blowouts
- Disruption – how the building works will impact you and your family
- Quality – worry that the work will not be up to expectations
- Time – concern that the project will go on seemingly forever
However, renovations don’t have to be painful. They can be exciting, inspiring and extremely satisfying when done well. So here we thought we’d walk you through some ways you can achieve that with the absolute minimum of stress.
This is absolutely key. If you don’t know what you want, you’re guaranteed not to get it, and you’ll create stress along the way with last-minute decisions. Taking the time to decide exactly what you want to achieve is the place to start.
Begin with the big vision. What’s the outcome of the renovation – more living space, new rooms for new family members, a home office – and what type of work will best deliver on that vision?
What is the overall design vision? Here you can combine online research with time-tested tools like mood boards and scrapbooks to collect and share ideas.
You’ll soon end up with a whole heap of amazing ideas, and you’ll need to get realistic about what is achievable within your budget. Set priorities of what’s essential, what’s nice to have and what’s a luxury.
Choosing a builder
Once you know what you want, you can set about choosing a builder that can deliver on your vision.
We’ve all heard nightmare stories about ‘builders from hell’, so this is a major potential source of stress. The right builder is the one that you personally feel comfortable with, that communicates well, has successfully completed similar renovations (with glowing references), has all the right licences and insurances (check the Dept of Fair Trading site) and can deliver the project within your budget.
Better still, a builder that can handle all aspects of the project from the design to approvals to final completion will take away another level of stress and make your life much easier.
Stay or go?
Living through a renovation is the most difficult thing of all for many people. Having your home become a construction site for weeks or months is not easy.
For many, moving out during construction is the best way to avoid this stress. However, finances don’t always allow this, so choosing a builder that is experienced in ‘working around’ families becomes important. Ask potential builders how they handle this and get a clear idea of what to expect for your particular project. This will help you make a more informed decision about moving out or staying put.
An often-overlooked but potentially huge area of stress is your relationship with your spouse or partner. If you already have any tensions, renovations will press your hot buttons. If everything is rosy, they might stir up some problems.
The key is communication, especially in the planning stage. Work through the vision together and prepare for a little give and take. Make sure you’re in agreement before engaging your builder, because nothing creates more stress than having an argument in front of bemused tradies. And remember, your relationship is more important than the colour of that feature wall!
Knowing what you want, and choosing a builder that understands (and can deliver) what you want is half the battle. Planning is key, and choosing the right builder will ensure your plans are realised without undue worry.
At Addbuild, reducing stress for our customers is a big part of what has kept us in business for over 30 years. We’d love to talk to you about your plans, whether it’s extensions, additions or a whole-home renovation, to see how we can help you achieve your vision.
To find out more about how we do that and help to keep stress levels down, get in touch today.
For more information on worry-free renovations, download our free Consumer Guide to Home Alterations >>