Living through a renovation is certainly not easy. When I say ‘renovation’, I mean a complete 2400 square foot flip, in our case, not a bathroom remodel or a kitchen remodel. There is a reason that many people don’t do it, and in many cases, why certain people and families can’t do it. We’ve had our share of difficulties, but our personalities are the type that can handle a living situation like ours!
Image via The Design Files
We’ll start with the downside of living through a complete flip: dust, dangerous conditions, tools everywhere, bugs, no kitchen, no bed, living out of suitcases, the list could go on and I’m sure your imagination can give you a few more reasons. Understandably, this is why many people cannot live through a complete home reno. Our home would be completely inappropriate and unsafe for children to live in! Can you imagine if one were to be severely allergic to dust? That would also make this project and living situation unreasonable.
Choosing to live through a renovation came from a place of frugality, efficiency, and just wanting to be together finally. When we can do 75% of the work ourselves, save tons and tons of money by not having to pay rent + mortgage, live together in the place we want to … why not?
Hey, it ain’t easy, but I’ve thought of my top 5 tips to keep you sane for your complete home renovation that really have helped or would’ve helped us:
- Spray for bugs. Our home was vacant for over a year so it was infested with wasps and I’ve seen way too many spiders. When you’re ripping up floors, demo-ing walls, and basically gutting the entire house, the creepy crawlers are going to come out of the woodworks (literally). You can either have a company come spray or even just buy one of those at-home treatments from a home goods store. We used Home Defense from Lowe’s… worked like a charm. This will help tremendously when having to live in an already icky place.
- For homes older than 20 years, increase your incidental budget. When budgeting for a renovation, keep in mind the age and condition of your home. You are more likely to not go insane if you increase your incidental budget by 7-10% based on the age.
- DIY as much as possible, but know when to hire. I’m all about saving those pennies and putting in the sweat equity to get the most bang for your buck. However, when you’re living in a construction zone, if you take on more than you can chew, you won’t be able to escape. You may have to prioritize your peace of mind and comfort over saving some money. As a rule of thumb, if an unfinished project will delay the rest of your projects and it requires special training and/or knowledge, then hire the work out.
- Start where you spend the most time. If you’re living in a construction zone already, start your renovation where you spend the majority of time. Specifically, my advice is to finish a bathroom (if you have more than one!). If you can walk barefoot in your new, clean bathroom, you just might survive this thing!
- Crockpot IS LIFE! You may not have a kitchen, but most likely you’ll have a working outlet somewhere in your house … plug that thang in. You can make SO many hearty and healthy meals in your crockpot, which really helped us on occasion before we had a working oven. Here are some of my favorite easy crockpot meals: Honey Garlic chicken, Lasagna, and Pizza.