My husband and I are knee-deep in bathroom renovations and I’d be lying if I said it’s been smooth sailing. We’ve been plagued with scheduling delays and tile issues and our two-week reno has turned into a six-weeker. We’re finally wrapping it up now, but it’s been a stressful time in our homeowner history.
Renovations are famously stressful, thanks to the disruption to your normal routine. While we haven’t loved sharing a bathroom with our 13-year-old, undertaking this together has taught us a thing or two about managing renovation stress. Did we have our fair share of bickering? Sure. Renovations have a way of increasing tension. Still, we made it out (relatively) unscathed, thanks to these tips on staying sane.
Make sure you nail down a budget before you start renovating. Image: hanohiki/Shutterstock
Be clear on the budget
Renovation budget issues are probably one of the biggest complaints between couples. Your budget (and being clear on how you’ll pay for things) will color your entire experience, so make sure it’s your first discussion. How much do you have saved and how much will you use other funds (e.g., credit cards, home equity loan or other methods). Nothing is more stressful than seeing your funds dwindle faster than they should. It’s not always the most pleasant conversation, but setting a budget and creating a contingency fund will help you keep your calm when other reno issues arise.
Get choosy with your arguments
In your quest for your dream space, it can be easy to get fixated on the details. How will you love your kitchen if you don’t pick the perfect paint color? But nitpicking every detail might be one of the biggest factors in renovation stress. At the very start of our renovation, I pinpointed the one thing that I wouldn’t budge on: countertops. Identifying my one must-have has made it easy to defer and compromise on other details. When our shower contractor couldn’t get my first-choice finish in on time, changing it for something more accessible was no big deal.
Choose your top three renovation must-haves and then be flexible on the rest. You’ll get what you want without going completely crazy in the process.