Home Planning & Renovations

NYC Home Restoration

By Tiffany Smolick


Advice on Surviving the Home Restoration Process

July 13, 2011

Whether you have chosen to restore your home for aesthetic or disaster-caused reasons, a home restoration process involves disruption, noise, costs and patience. So how does a homeowner survive this intrusive event? Some people simply leave their home and live elsewhere until the renovation is completed, but for many, that isn’t an option.

The best advice to survive home restoration is to prepare everything ahead of time. Deciding to invest in home restoration one day and starting it within the next few days is a decision most people regret. You want to save as much time and money (and headaches) as possible during this time. Anticipating certain things, although they may not happen, will make the home restoration process less stressful and more exciting for you and your family.

Tips to Help Keep Your Sanity
Rather than underestimating the amount of time it will take to finish the restoration, overestimate how long it will take. Of course, this depends on what kind of renovation is being done, so talk to your contractor about a suggested completion date. If he tells you it will take around two to three weeks, expect that it will take a month to complete the job. This way you won’t tend to feel impatient or frustrated because it is taking longer than you were originally told.

If you are someone who has to stay at home during the process, try to plan to be away more than usual to avoid the stress of noise, dust, lack of privacy and inconvenience. Kids might stay overnight at a friend’s house while you and your significant other could rent a hotel room several nights a week.

When renovation involves the kitchen or disconnection of electricity, plan on eating out or preparing simple meals that do not require cooking, such as picnic-type items. This is where preparing ahead of time prevents sudden occurrences of annoying situations where you have to create a plan of action in the midst of all the chaos caused by the renovation.

Spend several hours talking with your contractor to examine what is going to be done, when it is expected to be done (days, time limits) and what sort of inconveniences are likely to occur during specific renovation procedures. This also helps break down costs into a more coherent form, in addition to keeping the process organized.

Decide on what is being renovated and how it is being renovated ahead of time. Write it down and do not deviate from these choices, unless it is necessary due to structural concerns. Indecisiveness is the main reason why homeowners involved in a home renovation process experience delays, cost increases and more stress than necessary. Make sure you and your contractor understand what is needed and desired by you, and have all items bought in advance. This way, you are less likely to suffer from moments of uncertainty.

Remove all valuable items from your home before renovation begins. This includes any antiques, breakables or other things you do not want to get dirty, dusty or, unfortunately, broken. Accidents will happen when power tools, lumber, paint buckets and several big men are working in a home so pack anything you don’t want damaged in boxes and put them somewhere safe until the renovation is completed.

Finally, while you are watching your home being destroyed in the process of renovation and wondering why you chose to do this in the first place, keep telling yourself that life will eventually return to the way it was, only this time you will be living in a beautiful, completely refurbished home.