03 Dec The ultimate renovation survival guide
If you’ve got a renovation looming and you’re wondering how you’re going to get through the days or weeks where you won’t have access to your kitchen, bathroom, laundry or bedroom for the time the renovation project is underway, don’t worry. We’ve put together this renovation survival guide to get you prepared for the work that’s being done in your home and how to handle not having all your creature comforts.
It can be a little daunting knowing that you’ve got to give up your kitchen or bedroom whilst walls are being ripped down or cabinets are being pulled out. There will be noise, dust and building materials in your home for a few days or weeks, but don’t worry – with careful planning, patience and figuring out how to minimise the impact, a renovation can be a straightforward process giving you an opportunity to see your dream home being built right before your eyes.
Every Day Planning for Renovations
Depending on what renovations you’re having done to your home will determine the level of planning you need to put in to make yourself comfortable during the project. For example, if you’re having your bathroom remodelled but you’ve got a second bathroom, really the only issues you’re going to run into is scheduling with the rest of the family about who’s using what and when.
If you only have one bathroom, this is an entirely different situation and you will want to make arrangements to either set up an outside shower (if it’s summer) have baths (if you have a bathtub) or use a neighbour’s or family member’s shower for the few days yours is out of action (or just use A LOT of deodorant!).
Food and Water
Probably the most important aspect of making sure your family doesn’t kill each other is making sure they’re fed and have access to water and drinks. If you’re renovating your kitchen this might mean moving your fridge to another room for easier access and thinking about alternative cooking appliances like a benchtop hot plate, slow cooker or the good-old-trusty BBQ.
It’s always a good idea to have a few microwave meals on hand if possible and get yourself some bottled water to have handy (these two items can be real lifesavers after you’ve had a long day).
Waste, dust and dirt
There’s not really any way to avoid mess when you’re having your house renovated but you can minimise it. By hanging tarps and/or plastic sheets along with taping edges, etc you will be able to keep the dust, dirt and other building materials from making their way into the rest of your home.
If you’ve lived in Brisbane for any length of time you’ve seen a few bushfires or dust storms and know how easily dust can make its way onto EVERYTHING! By keeping it contained in the one room you can avoid having to do a daily cleanup of dust and dirt around your home during the renovation process.
If you have floors that need protecting (polished floors, carpet, vinyl, etc) make sure you have drop sheets, cardboard or sheets of MDF for heavy use areas.
Mentally preparing for a renovation
Running a family and a relationship is tough at the best of times but add to that a renovation where there’s dust, workmen, stress and considerable investment involved and it’s a recipe for stress for most people. This is why we recommend trying to get away if you can. A weekend getaway is great if you can do it but you’d be surprised at what a nice dinner out or sleeping over at Grandma’s with a home-cooked meal can do for the soul and the mind.
If you’re a family or couple getting a renovation project done, it’s important to make sure you allocate time to connect and talk about the project throughout the process. It’s normal for couples to get a little stressed in situations that feel a little uprooting, so making sure you take the time to catch up and connect throughout the process will help you to stay on top of everything and be there for each other.
We find this to be one of the most useful tools for any person, family or couple getting a renovation done. Making sure you have the right mindset about the renovation can actually be one of your most potent weapons – particularly just after halfway through the project when you’re starting to tire and your patience might be wearing thin. Just remind yourself that “it’s only temporary” and to think about the end result.
If you’re the type of person that isn’t too worried about mess or being a little uncomfortable from time to time it’s likely you’ll be fine however, if you like to have everything in order and in its proper place, you may struggle so it’s worth getting your head in the right place and realising that whilst your house may look like a bomb hit it, it’s only temporary and “this too shall pass”.
Ultimately think about the end result and all the slight discomfort and inconvenience for a great end result.
Preparing for a kitchen renovation
Out of all the renovations you can do, renovating a kitchen is probably the most disruptive (unless you’re doing a full home reno) as cooking a meal for your family is usually a daily occurrence in every home around Australia. Not being able to simply go to the kitchen, open your drawers and grab your favourite pan and start cooking means there’s going to be extra planning involved with:-
- Preparing food and ingredients
- Preparing storage space
- Preparing kitchen appliances
- Preparing a place for washing dishes
- Preparing alternative cooking arrangements (microwave, benchtop hotplate, BBQ, Mum’s place)
Consider easy meals
During the period you’re having the renovation done, consider preparing and eating easier meals like a BBQ chicken and a bag of salad from your local supermarket. Microwave meals are quick and easy and there are lots of things you can do on a BBQ. Whilst you may not have a super healthy diet whilst you’re renovating, remember it’s only for a short period of time then you’ll have all the time in the world to enjoy cooking wonderful meals in your newly renovated kitchen.
In the weeks leading up to your renovation, cook extra large meals and put the leftovers in containers and freeze them in preparation for your kitchen renovation. This will enable you to simply heat and eat. Simple!
Ask your mum
Parents are great aren’t they – think of all the wonderful things they are happy to do for you. Perhaps you could consider asking your parents if you could have the odd meal with them to help lighten the load when it comes to mealtimes.
There’s something to be said about the ease of eating out when you’re renovating. No washing up and lots of different choices means this is an easy option when renovating however, since you’re spending money on renovating it’s likely you’re on a budget so maybe stay away from Michelin-star restaurants!
You will want to plan out your storage and requirements for the time you’re expecting to be out of your kitchen. How many plates will you need? Do you have all the cutlery you require for a meal? Have you gotten chopping boards for meat, veggies and your favourite knife?
Preparing for a bedroom renovation
Depending on what time of year you decide to renovate will help you decide where you might want to move your bedroom area to whilst it’s being renovated. For example if it’s the middle of summer and you have air conditioning in the loungeroom, it’s a no-brainer to drag your mattress there for a few nights whilst a renovation company remodels your bedroom.
Often people with kids will get their children to share rooms and take one of their kids rooms (if there’s enough room) or set up temporary bedding if moving mattresses or bed isn’t an option.
One thing you will want to consider is the clothes you will need whilst the renovation is taking place. If you have a walk-in wardrobe you may be able to simply close the door to stop dust and particles getting into the room (you will probably want to put something against the bottom of the door (like a rolled up towel or draft stopper/door seal).
If you don’t have a walk-in wardrobe and your cupboards are likely to gather dust during a renovation it’s a good idea to either tape plastic sheets over the doors or move your clothes out of the bedroom entirely.
Take pictures off the wall
We see people forget this one all the time. Dust tends to settle on everything including the tops of photo frames and pictures hung on your walls so it’s best to remove them from the room altogether.
Preparing for a bathroom renovation
Most homes have two bathrooms these days and if you’re lucky enough to have a spare bathroom, you’re pretty much set when it comes to renovating your bathroom as you just need to co-ordinate with other family members’ shower times. If you don’t have another bathroom this is where it can get tricky.
Beg, borrow and steal
If you don’t have a second bathroom you can use during a bathroom renovation, you may have to approach neighbours, family members or friends to borrow their bathroom whilst yours is being renovated.
Hire a portable bathroom
There are lots of services around Brisbane that offer portable bathroom and ensuite services. These are essentially small bathrooms on wheels that can be a real lifesaver if your only bathroom is getting torn down and built back up again during construction.
Ultimately a renovation can be a wonderful experience if you’re prepared, organised and think ahead. Hopefully this renovation survival guide gives you some ideas about how to handle your upcoming renovation as smoothly as possible and when the time comes, we hope we’re the company you choose to build your next dream home!