I have been thinking about how I kept my sanity during a renovation, as we embarked on a major tile job in our house. I discovered that it takes effort, especially when our toilet was in the living room!
Since we bought our house, we have wanted to replace the tile that runs from our front entrance, through the hallway and down through the mudroom and powder room (400 square feet in total). The tile served us well and hid the dirt exceptionally well, but there was cracking and chipping going on under foot, so it was time.
As we all know, renovation projects are never quite straight forward. The estimate for the project came in higher than expected, so my wonderful husband @geraintthewelsh, who I introduced you to here, decided to put in some elbow grease to reduce the cost.
The first weekend of demolition in the front entrance and the middle hall way, revealed an extra layer of sub floor and solid original vinyl, as well as an aching back. The next weekend, @geraintthewelsh and my helpful brother-in-law managed to clear the tile from the back hallway, power room and mudroom, revealing more of the pre-existing subfloor that had to be removed.
After two weeks of living on old plywood and glue, the time was starting to feel long. Dust was constantly being tracked onto our hardwood and the puppy was always chewing random shards of wood.
By weekend three, the doors were all off and stacked alphabetically in our living room. The toilet and vanity and laundry tub were also in the living room. The dining room housed our recycling centre and freezer. The puppy was removed from the only home she has ever known in the gated mudroom, to the family room and kitchen where she had free run. We battened down the hatches, as she recently ate my paycheque!
We were ready. The tile install was expected to take one week.
As you know these projects, big or small are never easy. Here are seven things that I did keep my sanity during this month of upheaval:
1. Clean-up once, then move on
During a renovation, as soon as you clean up dust and debris, more will appear. Don’t let it drive you crazy.
2. Get out when it gets loud
Hammering and drilling can get on your nerves, so do something before it does. Go for a walk or go to another part of the house. Put in ear buds and play music while you do something else. Remember that the noise is hard on pets also.
3. Plan for it to take longer than expected
It’s rare that a renovation takes less time than expected. Most renovations, big or small always take longer than planned. I knew my house would be upside down for a while so we planned some dinners out and snagged a couple dinner invitations to spend more time out of the house while this was going on.
4. Plan for it to cost more than expected. It always does
Plan for it to cost more than expected. It always does. Always make sure there is money set aside for contingencies. If you don’t have to spend it, all the better.
5. Don’t be disappointed when the renovation reveals something else to do
You know what it’s like, you get new windows then you realize that you need new window coverings. In our case we will need new baseboards. Try to plan for the surprises at the end if you can but don’t feel pressured. Enjoy what you have been accomplished.
6. Put some meals in the freezer
You will thank yourself. No one wants to cook when it’s loud and dusty. Make it easy on yourself and take one of your pre-made meals out of the freezer when the going gets tough.
7. Make a plan for your pets
Remember that workers and noise in the house will probably upset them. Is it time for a date with the groomer or a play date with a friend? Try and get your pets out of the mess if you can and help reduce their stress.
Renovations are always a bit challenging but remember how fortunate you are to be able to make the changes you want to improve your home. It won’t be long until you are enjoying the space you dreamed about. More about my tile renovation soon.
How do you keep your sanity during a renovation?