Renovating looks easier than it is in reality

It is so easy to believe that renovating  your home will be a walk in the park with so many renovation reality television shows on offer that make it seem so easy.

But whether you are doing the work yourself, or employing tradespeople, the reality of the actual renovation has to be experienced firsthand to be believed.

Luckily, there are ways to get through this sometimes stressful time with a nice new kitchen/ bathroom or total home makeover waiting at the end of the tunnel.

Renovate it or completely pull it down and start again?

In an ideal world, you’ll be able to move out of your house and live elsewhere during a renovation. But the time and cost involved in this move, plus additional rental costs, often means this isn’t an option for many of us.

So, get ready to live with dust, noise and chaos for an extended period. Be ready to go between stress and hard work and the excitement of seeing your house transformed little by little with the occasional significant visual step forward as there will be daily disappointments.

Some could be that the costs are not what they seemed at first, or perhaps your tradesmen are particularly poor at doing what they say they will do, or simply don’t arrive at the designated time or even day?

You might even be thinking, as the renovation journey goes on and on, that is all this stress and strain going to be worth it?

Staying positive is not always easy when the rain won’t stop and you are surrounded by rubble, mud and debris.

Tradespeople can be unreliable and unexpected setbacks by delays in the supply of building materials don’t help either.

So you’ll have to learn to cope with the different tradespeople along with the sometimes temperamental weather and the unexpected.

If you are a first time renovator, it is handy having friends who have done similar before.

They’ll have plenty of advice to share with you before and during your DIY experience and will be able to recommend experienced tradespeople who will hopefully be reliable.

Keeping  positive is essential to finishing a renovation job as motivation can evaporate amidst construction dust, despair and disappointment.

For instance, from personal experience, waiting for good weather to finish your roofing restoration, it is depressing watching the rain fall day in and day out. Emptying buckets of water as the wet weather continues is no picnic.

Budget and plan well before you start

Have a very clear vision of what you want your home to look like. This includes exactly what you do and don’t need.

Décor web sites and magazines offer all kinds of ideas for renovators, but it’s easy to get carried away with dreams of expensive kitchen bench tops, hardwood floors and imported bathroom fittings and tap ware.

Perhaps have a simple scrapbook ( digital or real) of all your ideas, and then prioritising them and finally consciously culling them to fit what realistically can be achieved within your budget.

Finances are very important

Stick to your budget and keep records throughout the progress. It is incredibly easy to go over budget especially when surprise problems occur.

You might uncover things that you wished you hadn’t in the first place. So do have a contingency fund to cover the unexpected, that if not used ( unlikely) will be a bonus later for perhaps a recuperation retreat ?

Learn to expect the unexpected.

Plan for the practicalities of your day to day existence such as where you’ll take a shower if the bathroom is being renovated, or even where you are going to cook or to sleep.

Remember that even if you’re keen to do all the renovation work yourself to save money – it’s often illegal to do electrical, gas and plumbing jobs without the necessary qualifications and experience.

You may also need to get your local council approval for some things, so do your homework well before you even start the renovation.

Without doubt, renovation is not for the faint hearted….it can be a dusty, dirty and exhausting time.

So if you know what you are up for in advance, then it won’t be such a shock, now will it?

Looking back

Years down the track, while you are enjoying your beautiful newly renovated home, you will have forgotten about the stress and anxiety it caused, as from personal experience, time does heals most things.

So as you enjoy your beautiful new kitchen or bathroom, under your roof that does not leak anymore, you will only enjoy the experience of the lovely space that you were able to create.

Quite likely, you will know that you have reached this point of equilibrium, when you can bare to look at the “memory photos” that pop up on your phone or social media!