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Surviving a Home Renovation

If you have ever lived through a renovation project, you will know it’s not an easy thing to do. There are people in and out of your home, there’s a mess and it typically gets worse before it gets better.

Here are my top renovation survival tips:

Ensure you have a renovation plan. There are three kinds of plans I believe you need to have during a renovation:

1. Interior design plan. The first step in a renovation is to determine what your home’s foundation palette is. Your home will either have a white foundation palette or it will have a cream foundation palette. It is so important to know your home’s foundation palette in order to create flow in your home. If there are fixed surfaces that are staying (flooring, counters, cupboards, etc.), those will likely dictate your foundation palette. For example, granite is typically something people will want to install to upgrade their homes. If you do not know what your foundation palette is, you may install the wrong granite and will have wasted money on something that will never look good. By having a plan, you can move forward to refresh your space, one area at a time.

2. Budget plan. Once you have a design plan all set, then it is time to talk budget. This always tends to be an uncomfortable talk, but it is important here to be realistic. Take some time to price out some of the items you will need. What you also need to factor in is the cost of having someone do the work for you (if you are not handy). I typically suggest getting three quotes for the work that you need to have done.

3. Timeline plan. The timeline is essential in knowing how long you will be living through your renovation project. If you are having a general contractor do the work for you, encourage them to give you weekly updates to see how things are progressing and to see if the project is still on track.

Invest in storage. There is nothing worse than having a crew that has to work over furniture, move furniture or worry about furniture. Storage units can be delivered right to your home and placed on the street (you will need a permit) or on your driveway. Rent one and get all of your items moved out before the renovation project begins. When the project is completed and the house has been cleaned, then have your items moved back into your newly designed space(s). You will love yourself for keeping your things dust-free!

Have a contingency fund. Whether you share your contingency budget or not, ensure you have one. With every renovating project I have worked on, there has been at least one curveball. Sometimes the curveballs are minor, while other times they are major. Whether it’s the subfloor having some minor water damage or the existing pipe needing to be fully replaced, it happens (just like on a TV show) and you need to be ready.

Never compromise. When you are spending money on a home renovation, never compromise. If the lights you like are on backorder and they are within your budget, then wait for them. If the furniture that will work perfectly for your newly designed space needs to be ordered and you’re looking at a six- to eight-week wait time, then wait! When you compromise and get something that is just ‘meh,’ you will see that piece of furniture, for example, every day and kick yourself. If we go back to having an interior plan, chances are you won’t have to wait for your first choice because they will have been ordered with enough time. If you are finding you have to wait, it’s a short-term pain for a lifelong gain!

There is always a solution. That’s my motto and I firmly believe in it. While Plan A may not work out for various reasons (budget, time, etc.), there is always a Plan B (and in some cases, a Plan C).

When it comes to renovations and work done in your home, you just cannot afford to make a mistake. Ensuring the planning work is done ahead of time will lead to a relatively stress-free renovation!

Sheri is the owner of Get It Together. An eye for details, she is able to proactively plan your entire renovation including the design, ensuring that no item, no matter how small, is missed. For more information on Sheri and her services, visit


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