Home Renovation Survival Guide

Home renovations are notorious for being stressful. Whether you’re taking on a large project like a historic house or “just” remodeling your kitchen, home renovations can challenge your relationships, budget, and sense of sanity.

However, it is possible to cut down on the stress and conflict of a home renovation. Here are some tips to help you manage a renovation with fewer headaches and more joy.

Choose a leader.

If several people are trying to lead the project, conflict is likely to ensue. This tension can be especially damaging in a marriage. To help avoid arguments, the couple can decide beforehand who will manage the project. If both you and your partner are strong-willed and want to stay involved, consider relying on an outside person, like a designer.

Hire reliable experts.

DIY projects can be fun, but when you’re dealing with a massive undertaking like a home renovation, hiring experts can relieve a lot of stress. Although you might be able to do some things yourself, it’s important to know your limits. Be honest about your weaknesses, and bring in experts for the rest.

Do make sure the experts are trustworthy, though. Take time to compare reviews, research legalities, and evaluate the contract before you hire. A critical eye during the hiring process can help prevent unpleasant surprises later.

Set aside plenty of time.

Even if you’ve hired contractors to do everything, you’ll still need to spend several hours each week answering questions and reviewing the contractors’ work. A home renovation can easily turn into a part-time job, or even a full-time job if you’re doing a lot yourself. Be sure you’ve reserved enough time in your schedule for this work. Otherwise, you might end up renovating your home for years.

Find an effective way to stay organized.

To successfully manage a home renovation, you’ll need an effective way to keep track of deadlines, expenses, appointments, and paperwork. Before you start the project, find an organizational method that works for you. For example, you can use a bullet journal or an accordion folder with a calendar. Ideally, the method you choose will not only help you stay on schedule, but also give you peace of mind.

Budget for surprises.

Even with meticulous planning and the best contractors, you may still run into problems, delays, and unexpected costs. You can hope for a smooth renovation, but your budget should be prepared for the worst. Then, if you do survive the renovation without any extra costs, you can use that money to hire professional cleaners after everything is done.

Protect your valuables.

Renovations tend to be dirty and messy. The dust alone can get everywhere. You can try to protect your valuables with plastic sheeting, but for complete safety, it’s best to move them somewhere else.

Items you regularly use, such as clothing, can be stored in plastic bags and put into a “renovation-free” zone, like a spare room. Other items like collectibles or artwork can be put into self-storage unit. Then, they’ll be completely secure, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Give yourself a break.

A home renovation is important, but so is your health and wellbeing. To ease the stress and prevent a burnout, take a time-out every now and then. Plan fun activities away from the renovation, doing something that takes your mind off the project. During this mini vacation, avoid talking about the renovation and focus on other activities you enjoy.

Also, try to create peaceful areas in your home where you can escape the renovation. This oasis doesn’t need to be large. If you don’t have much extra space, you can reserve a small corner or a balcony for relaxation. Keep this area chaos-free, and go to it whenever you need a break.

Keep your team’s spirits up.

A renovation is a team effort. Even if you’re the only person continuously working on the project, the chaos and stress still affects other people. Anyone who’s affected is part of your team, from your spouse and children to the contractors you’ve hired. Remember to stay attuned to how these people are feeling. Are they positive about the project or feeling overwhelmed? How can you buoy their spirits?
This thoughtfulness doesn’t need to take much time or effort. A compliment or a glass of wine at the right moment can make a big difference. The better your team is doing, the easier the project will seem. Together, you can turn a difficult renovation into a memorable adventure.

Home Remodel | How To Keep Cat Safety in Mind

There’s no denying, moving is stressful. It is stressful for people, and it causes stress in cats. Moving is so stressful that many homeowners decide to stay put and renovate. Keeping cat safety in mind during a home remodel will be at the top of your list whether your remodeling plans include creating a cat-friendly home, replacing drafty windows, or something more extensive.

Create a Cat Safety Room

If you work from a home office, keeping your cat at home during the remodel is a viable option. Help prevent cat anxiety by moving your pet’s food, water, and toys into your office. Relocating the litter box to your workspace might not sound appealing, but at least it will remind you to clear it out once or twice a day.

If you are working away from your home, you may want to consider boarding your kitty. It may sound drastic but, if your home remodel is extensive, this could reduce your cat’s anxiety in the long run.  

Choose Low VOC Paints for Your Home Remodel

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are toxic and potentially dangerous to humans and their pets. The most common products used in home remodels with high VOCs are found in paints and adhesives. Fortunately, there are plenty of choices for eco-friendly, low-VOC paints, stains, and finishes for your renovation project. These choices are much less toxic than their counterparts.

If your cat suffers from feline asthma, manufacturers like ECOS Paints manufacture paints and coatings formulated for individuals with chemical sensitivities. Keep in mind, selecting safer paints and coatings is of particular importance in bedrooms. It is important to have healthy indoor air quality where people spend such long hours sleeping.

Clearly, a better choice, using low-VOC paints during your home remodel will be safer for your family, cats, and the environment.

Know the 5 Signs of a Stressed-Out Cat

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Remodeling involves considerable decision-making, and it rarely gets finished on time or under budget. Even so, nobody knows Frisky as you do, so be sure to keep a watchful eye for these signs of stress in your cat. If you are juggling a full-time job, kids, and remodeling, then you’ll be stressed out too. Task family members with showing extra affection and attention to your cat.

1. Urinating Outside the Litter Box

A cat that tinkles outside the litter box is typically suffering from stress or an underlying health issue. One of the most common causes of cat stress is when their environment changes in unpredictable ways. Loud noises, new smells, and strange people in your home are sure to set off alarm bells. Insulate your cat from these changes to the best of your ability.

2. Decrease in Appetite

Anyone who loves Garfield already knows that cats do not go on diets. If your fluffy friend loses his appetite, it is important to consult your veterinarian. It will probably be due to the disruption happening in your home. However, it could also be due to an underlying health condition.

3. Hiding

Even though cats are often characterized as aloof animals, most cats are sociable— just on their terms. If your cat is hiding under the bed, it might be a good idea to set up her home in a bedroom room during your remodel. Relocate their litter box, toys, water to this room. Also, be sure to turn on a radio or TV to help disguise constructions noises.

4. Excessive Grooming

A kitty grooming itself is such a natural sight that it might be difficult to determine when too much grooming turns into a bad thing. Sure signs are sores or bald spots, but barring those, you probably don’t need to worry too much. Grooming is a natural way for cats to alleviate stress.

5. Aggression Toward People or Other Animals

If your kitty shows aggression towards another animal, the simple solution is to avoid the other animal and keep your cat feeling safe. However, if your otherwise mellow cat starts acting aggressively towards people during your construction project, it’s time to check-in with your cat veterinarian. Starting treatment for pet stress sooner rather than later will result in a better outcome for you and your cat.

Construction Clean Up

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Creating a cat safety zone during some phases of your home remodel will be more challenging. It is advisable to make cleaning up the construction zones at the end of every day a part of your contract with your remodeler. Doing this will help eliminate dangerous objects to your cat such as nails, staples, or scraps of sandpaper. Before letting your feline enter the remodeling zone at the end of the work day, double check for poisonous substances such as open glue bottles or paint cans.

Whether you own a famous kitty featured on the #catsofinstagram or your cat is too cool for social media, emergency trips to the vet is an unhappy cat. It is never too early to start thinking about cat safety during your next home renovation project. You know and love your kitty better than anyone else.