keeping stress low during a full San Diego home remodel

How to Keep Stress Levels Low During a Full Home Remodel

What leads to the most stress during a full-home remodel?

If you answered “changing plans midstream” or “unforeseen expenses,” you’re correct—but only partially. Stressful feelings during a full home remodel actually result from a build up of multiple issues.

As the amount American homeowners are spending on home remodels increases this year, higher stress levels are inevitable. Arguments between couples, and even contractors and homeowners, can easily happen when either party is overwhelmed or exhausted.

Planning on remodeling your home soon? Here are a few ways you can prepare to alleviate stress and stay positive throughout the process!

Maintain your normal routine as much as possible.

It’s tempting to spend all of your free time planning and executing your full home remodel. It’s exciting! However, the more you deviate from your everyday schedule, the more mental and physical stress you’ll experience.

Remember, a full home remodel is a marathon, and this is one marathon that will take a toll over time. Don’t ditch your boxing class to scrape wallpaper for hours. Don’t waste weekends obsessing over different kinds of tile. Don’t skip date nights with your significant other to stay up late vacuuming dust. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue to live your life in full while you’re remodeling.

Of course there will be days when you need to make sacrifices, but don’t spend 100% of your time on your home, or you’ll burn out quickly. Remember, if there was ever an important time to keep you and your relationship healthy, it’s now.

Make a clear home remodeling plan.

Design and planning are the most important parts of any remodeling process because it reduces the likelihood you’ll have last-minute changes that ramp up stress levels (and costs).

Once your design and layout is set, resist the impulse to second-guess it or add on new features “just because.” If you must make a change, try to write down three reasons why this change must be made. If you can’t reinforce the cost/benefit with at least three compelling reasons, it’s unlikely this is a crucial change.

Also keep in mind you must submit a detailed remodeling plan and layout to the city for a required permit before starting work. If you decide to make changes later on, they must be made with the city’s approval. This could delay your time schedule and potentially increase costs, creating more anxiety for you.

Reduce spur-of-the-moment changes by creating a detailed plan based on samples of products and layouts that you’ve seen in person. The Design Studio West showroom in La Jolla is a great place to start your hunt.

Resolve to be flexible.

Anyone who has remodeled their home will tell you–things rarely go according to plan. Even the most detailed, realistic plans can be derailed by complications along the way.

That’s why it’s so important that you remain flexible throughout the entire process. Expect things to not go according to plan, and you’ll be happy and surprised when they do! In a more practical sense, here are some things that could go wrong (just to prepare):

  • Electrical wiring issues
  • Unforeseen structural problems
  • Unknown toxins surfacing (black mold, asbestos)
  • Rodent/pest issues
  • Delays or changes on custom-built items

How can you prepare for these problems?

As you budget finances for your home remodel, add at least a 15% buffer. And while you’re at it, just go ahead and double the time you think your remodel will take. Because if any (or all) of these issues arise, you’ll want to be prepared for that possibility. Finally, see all home design materials in person if possible, and request building records online from your official city website to see if there are any skeletons in your home’s closets (literally or figuratively) that could delay new plans.

Hire a trustworthy design and remodeling firm.

One of the biggest causes of stress? Trying to do it all on your own. Few of us do all of the actual work ourselves, and juggling communication with subcontractors, contractors, and designers is no easy task.

Unfortunately, the people and companies you choose to work can actually make a simple job much more difficult. Contractors may show up late on the job or leave your wood floor unfinished for weeks, subcontractors can be hard to get in touch with, and designers may leave most of the work up to you. On top of this, you must ensure your home remodel is up to code and adheres to your permit, or you could face hefty fines from the local and national government.

Cut back on the stress of organizing, designing, and operating your own home remodel. Just choose a licensed design and remodeling firm hybrid that will take care of all of the important details for you, so you can focus on the fun part—choosing the materials and envisioning the layout. A good firm is well-known with plenty of raving fans, a great portfolio of remodeling projects, and experienced team members who will make sure they completely understand your vision before tearing down walls.

If possible, move out while home construction is underway.

Depending on your home remodel, you can expect loads of sawdust, dust dust, potentially rodents, and even fumes from floor varnishes. Not only that, but there will be some kind of noise–from drills, hammers, saws, and sanders–around the clock. We’re talking about noise that would put a two-year-old banging on pots and pans to shame (and will probably keep that same two-year-old up during naptime).

Homes that are being extensively remodeled are not fun places to live in, and most of the time, they’re not safe for young children or pets.

We highly recommend you budget in money for a rental space while you wait for your home remodel to be finished. You’ll experience a much more pleasant time with uninterrupted access to a kitchen stove and bathroom. It’s much easier to decompress and continue your life when you’re not living in a loud, messy, potentially dangerous home environment.

Write everything down.

This goes for everything from your grocery list to your to-do list, to the list of miscellaneous questions rattling around your head 24/7. The more headspace you clear, the more you’re able to focus on the important things on your home remodeling journey. In the end, remember that all of your efforts and adjustments will be well worth it when you experience your newly remodeled home. 

Ready to start the journey to reach your dream home? Get in touch with our expert team at Design Studio West. We’ll ask you all the right questions, show you the materials in person, and support you every step of the way. What are you waiting for?