The incessant buzzing of saws, non-stop pounding of hammers, buzzing of drills, continual rising of dust and ceaseless chaos in your home can be unsettling at best. And crazy-making at its worst. But looking ahead to the golden treasure looming at the end, you know the renovation project will fulfill one of your dreams, just as soon as the workers finish and evacuate your home. In the meanwhile, what can you do to keep your cool besides moving out during the remodel?

Woman With Headache

Ask any of your friends or family who have recently transformed their home in some way and be prepared to hear a litany of horror stories. To avoid your own nightmare tale, try the following tips.

1. Plan the Project for Spring or Summer

This way you and your family can spend more time outside in the warm weather while the construction is happening inside. If it’s a kitchen remodel, you can grill outdoors instead of eating out or microwaving your meals. This also helps speed the project along because the workers have free reign of the space they’re renovating.

2. Ask Key Questions

You need to set boundaries early on with the person in charge. Find out what hours the crew will be working, how their vehicles and equipment may impact parking on your street or in your driveway and when or if utilities might be shut off. Be sure to get his off-hours contact information and a backup person’s phone number in case of an emergency. Now you have two people to call if workers don’t show.

3. Communicate Clearly

Tell the boss what parts of your home will be off limits to his workers, who to ask when key decisions need to be made and whether or not the crew can use your bathroom. By putting all this in writing, you have an informal that will avoid any confusion.

4. Designate Alternatives

Show the project manager where’d you like him to store his tools and supplies, define how much daily cleaning up you expect from the workers and how much you’re willing to do. Defining tasks keeps anxiety at bay.

5. Monitor the Progress

By staying in your home, you have an advantage. You can make sure the project is moving along at the agreed upon pace and you’re there to make decisions when needed. Celebrating small completions and developments can also keep you from going insane.

6. Shield Your Children

Let the kids watch the construction from a safe distance, but don’t let them play with the tools or supplies. This a good time for play dates at a friend’s home or even summer camp, which will help you avoid an extra worry.

7. Protect Your Pets

With a gentle, laid-back, obedient dog, acquaint him with the crew at the beginning of the project and he should be comfortable with them in the home. You may want to board your canine if he regularly barks at everyone outside the family and doesn’t especially take to strangers. That takes another layer of pressure off you.

8. Maintain a Sense of Humor

Finally, laugh whenever you can even if it’s only internally. You’ll increase your endorphins, relaxation response and reduce stress.


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