This is a question you should ask yourself before you embark on any major renovation works. I’m not talking here about making sure you have planning permission, building regs approval or even about choosing a builder (that’s a whole separate topic for another day). I’m talking about whether you are personally and emotionally ready. Any major renovation project is stressful, it disrupts your lives, it’s dirty, messy and always takes longer than you want it to.
So what can you do to brace yourself for this journey that will ultimately transform the way you live, give you more space and greatly improve your lifestyle and wellbeing?
Choose a single contractor
Don’t try to manage the project yourself and deal with different tradespeople. They won’t work together and if they don’t turn up it’s your problem. If the electrician falls ill you will delay your build while you find a replacement. The knock-on effect of one trades delay can add months to your timeline. The impact of one small delay can be exponential.
Prepare for dirt
There will be plenty of it . There is no escape. The dust from a building project will get everywhere – even in the parts of the home that are not part of the renovation. Brick dust is a killer – it hangs in the air and settles slowly over several weeks. If you or anyone in your family have respiratory conditions like asthma you should really consider moving out of the property when the worst of the dust is being generated.
Plan your alternate arrangements
Building work is intrusive. During the project you need to ask yourself how will family life continue in the midst of all the chaos. What will be the impact of not having heating, hot water or a working washing machine? How will you cope and what is your contingency? If you are renovating your kitchen how will you cook and feed your family during the project. The reality of the stress of a renovation project is often underestimated. The duration of the impact is also usually underestimated. It’s not going to be a couple of weeks! I recommend talking to your builder about the impact and seriously consider alternative accommodation while work is in progress.
Once you’ve had all your plans and building reg drawings approved you will feel like you’ve made quite a few decisions already. However, when you start to build this is where the decision making really starts. And you can’t deliberate. Any delay in decision making is costly. The clearer vision you have of the end destination the more prepared you will be to make these decisions. The earlier you know what you want in terms of lighting and layout the more efficient the process will be. And you won’t have to undo anything later at your cost.
Be clear who is making the decisions
Do you know who the decision maker is? Is it you? Countless disagreements and arguments can the result of not being clear from the outset who will be making the decisions. If you and your spouse or partner have very different tastes then I can’t stress enough the importance of working this out before you start laying any bricks.
Hire a professional
One of the best decisions you can make on a large project is to hire the right professionals. I find it interesting the number of people who spend thousands on building work but end up with a compromised finish because they have not been guided through the process by a professional or have left all the finishing decisions to the builder. Some builders will have great ideas but they are not interior designers! Builders won’t consider the human element of the design and how the space will feel. Investing in professional interior design is money well spent on a large renovation project, particularly if you are inexperienced. You will save time, money and a whole lot of stress.
Ultimately if you prepare well and plan for your renovation you can minimise the stress. Renovating is an exciting process and the end result is always worth any inconvenience. At the end of the road when you are enjoying your new space the stress and dirt will only be a distant memory.
If you are thinking about starting a renovation project and would like some advice then please get in touch to arrange a complimentary consultation.
M: 07930 980 444