Achieve Your Dream Room Without The Nightmare: Tips For A Low-Stress Renovation

Unless you were able to work with a builder to customize the design of your home, its design is probably not perfectly suited for you and your lifestyle.  Maybe you need just a little more closet space, or a kitchen that is more open, or more usable living space.  If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve at least thought about the possibility of a renovation project.  Renovating is a great way to improve your home, both to better meet your needs and to increase its value.  But the reward doesn’t come without risk.  A home renovation involves a significant financial investment; any number of things can go wrong, adding to your expense and your stress level.  Some unexpected issues will almost certainly arise during your renovation, but being prepared and informed can make your project run much more smoothly.

Consider Your Needs and Budget First
Wouldn’t it be great to call in the professionals and upgrade everything around your house?  Sadly, a whole-home project is well beyond the budget of most homeowners.  Before you go any further, you really need to determine how much you can spend, and how you want to allocate your budget.  Then, think about your priorities; if you can’t afford granite countertops and custom hardwood cabinets, you need to decide which is more important.  Setting your budget and expectations first will save you a lot of frustration and disappointment later on.

Pick a Contractor
Depending on your ability level, availability, and budget, you could be your own contractor.  If you’re not up to the task, you’ll need to hire someone.  Don’t just call the first name you find online or in the phone book.  Ask around; friends, family, and co-workers probably have some valuable referrals.  Interview a few candidates, to make sure they can do what you want done and that you’ll feel comfortable with them in your home.  Be clear about your expectations, and ask questions.  Do not hire a contractor about whom you have reservations.

Remember the Little Things, but Don’t Stress About Them
Many people agonize over the bigger decisions in the renovation:  flooring, finishes and materials, wall color, cabinetry, etc.  When the renovation is over and the budget is gone, they realize they forgot the small things.  Don’t be left scrambling, and spending, at the last minute to finish your space.  Include items like cabinet hardware, switch plate covers, and task lighting when you’re planning your renovation and choosing your materials.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference these small pieces make in finishing your room.

Expect Imperfection
Your renovation will not go exactly according to plan.  Things will go wrong.  Some aspect of the project will not end up how you planned or expected.  And that’s ok.  Be prepared to take changes in stride and accept alterations in your original plans.  You can’t prevent the unexpected, but you can accept it and not let it cause you added, unnecessary stress.

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