Stress comes in many forms, with the death of a loved one, divorce, moving and financial stresses being rated amongst the highest. Another highly stressful event (probably in the top ten) is that of doing home renovations.

With the pandemic drawing us all into our homes to conduct our work, and thousands of people subsequently realising that working from home has many advantages, home renovations are popular right now, but many are not prepared for the kind of stress that this can trigger.

Having recently undergone home renovations myself I realised that there are a few simple ways to reduce the stress of renovating. I hope you find them useful – they certainly assisted me to prevent pulling my hair out and facing a charge of manslaughter!

Get the right crew 

I have made this the first point because I cannot overestimate its importance. Get recommendations and references from people who have done successful renovations with crews that they know and trust. Remember there are often a few different aspects to the whole operation, so choosing the right network of accomplished people is essential. 

Communication is key

Like with any relationship, peace is dependent on good communication. Ensure you will have one point of contact throughout the project if you have one builder who is appointing sub-contractors. This is the best way to go because he becomes accountable to you and all the other contractors are accountable to him. 

Minimising the communication stream with one individual with whom you communicate well will help negotiations. At the same time, make sure your contact point educates the team that they are entering your space and introduces you to the whole team so you can communicate with them individually when necessary.

Control your anger 

Be aware from the outset that if you lose your cool when people don’t seem to be responding to you, you will come off looking like the bad guy and communication will deteriorate as the project goes on.

Once again that’s why it’s so important to have that one point of contact. I have several anger management techniques if you feel yourself being angered easily, but a general rule of thumb is to exercise that old method of ‘counting to 10’ and asking yourself if it’s really necessary to react before engaging with anyone.

Have confidence and understanding

Remember that if you have chosen the right people the renovators will know what they are doing. When you get frustrated ask yourself if the frustration is really necessary, or possibly just because you don’t understand what the crew are doing. Ask questions before exploding!

Also, remember that tradespeople are just people too – some of the nicest people – so have some patience with them. If they appear to be a bit ‘off’ to you, they may be suffering frustrations of their own.

Avoid the misleading mindset

Remember that you have probably heard a thousand times that renovations are a ‘nightmare,’ so avoid going into this with a misleading pre-emptive mindset. Make up your mind that your renovations will be different and have a positive outcome.

If you choose the right crew who will go the extra mile, have one good point of communication and conduct yourself as someone who is understanding and open to suggestions, the chances are that this will not be the stressful event you expected it to be.

Through my business Self and More, I assist people to deal with stress and improve themselves through a holistic body, mind and soul approach. I hope you have found this helpful and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help you to deal with whatever stressful situations you may be facing.

Be kind to yourself – and stay safe!



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