There are a number of guides online to direct you in how to prepare for a renovation. The Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association lists 10 steps to a successful home renovation:
- Do your homework
- Find out how much you can afford
- Look for a professional renovator
- Choose our contractor
- Check references
- Work out a contract
- Plan how you will live during the renovation
- Establish a good working relationship with your renovator
- Try to stick with your first choices
- Be prepared to enjoy the results
But what about the emotional side? Todd Senft of reVision Renovations shared some insight on this side of your home renovation project.
Todd explained that rarely does the homeowner consider how the renovation will affect their daily routine, particularly kitchen renos. When an essential part of your home is not available, it forces you to change your habits. Something as simple as getting your morning cup of coffee is completely interrupted when you have no countertops or cabinets for a coffee mug.
Even the family pet is affected by a renovation.
The day demolition takes place is overwhelming. Most homeowners aren’t prepared for the dust that flies. The tear down represents what’s broken.
It’s only with the first install can sadness begin to turn to joy.
Another cause for emotions is deciding on the details and building a consensus. Here are a few scenarios from Laura Pollard, Designer with Braveheart Building :
She wants bling. He wants blah: This scenario is more frequent than you would realize. He is a basic beige type of guy and she sees diamonds in the sky. These two are just not going to agree on the final look, so how can you design and price the reno?
Laura’s suggestion is to take them together on a few grueling road trips-to the tile stores, lighting landscapes, kitchen and bath boutiques. Stand back- and watch them duke it out! Maybe a gentle reminder to the homeowners of their project deadline and budgeted quotes can get a couple to come to an agreement sooner rather than later.
The roar of the greasepaint. The smell of the crowd: The owners have both been watching too many antiseptic renos on TV. On RenoTV, work always happens in fast-forward – to a wicked driving soundtrack. Dust just doesn’t happen. Drywall is not a four letter word. Plumbing, wiring, heating, AC, posts & beams never get roughed-in. Structural members disappear into thin air and never dictate the space. And, somehow the end shot is always magically, expensively staged!
We think, when it comes to the home reno space, there should be more reality TV. A great contractor will communicate the expectation of the project throughout the process and make sure the client knows this is reality not TV.
Don’t Cry for My Renovation
To avoid an emotional meltdown during your reno, you must start with your contractor. Work toward establishing good communication and a good relationship with them. Ask specific questions about the process along with asking what you should expect. As the homeowner, you are the leader of the renovation. Your contractor and his/her team are part of your team; they are to help guide you and keep your best interest in mind.
Todd suggests with these tips you can enjoy the process. “Short term pain for long term gain.”