Family Advice for Surviving a Remodel

Theresa and Mark Clement of the popular Do-It-Yourself radio show and website, MyFixItUpLife, see a lot of each other. Partners as a married couple and in business they work with each other on many more levels and with many more projects than most couples do.
They’ve also been through numerous remodels and renovations together and DIY Life got Mark to share his Marriage Advice for Remodelers. This is a great list but we also think it applies well to families who are going through a remodel and we’ve pulled the best tips from Mark’s list that would work for a renovating family.
1. Manage Expectations
Things go wrong in projects. It’s not always someone’s fault either. A house is a complicated system and having respect for that going in will serve you as you roadblocks arise.
2. Plan First
Many people suffering from home improvement headaches are in trouble because they got ahead of themselves. They tear down the deck without a detailed plan for the new one. Write an outline of the steps involved. How long you think they’ll take and when you’ll do them. Make materials lists. (Builders call this a “critical path.”) Also plan to be wrong and to improvise.
And for jobs that require them, pull permits. This is so worth it, for a zillion reasons.

3. Get Ready for Dust, Dirt and Inconvenience
The bigger the project, the worse it’ll be. Different people have different tolerances for this. Everything from doing dishes in the bathtub to piles of tools in the corner on Christmas Day to dust in a room not being worked on. It gets to you eventually. Our favorite solution to this is to put hiring a maid into the budget. Which brings us to…
4. Schedule Changes
I can’t tell you how many DIYers we’ve seen — both on TV and in real life — who don’t alter their daily activities to meet the demands of their project. Seriously, their houses are blown apart, they’re hemorrhaging money, both parties are furious, and still they take the dog out for a leisurely stroll, start working at 10:30 in the morning, chat with neighbors, or otherwise seem completely unaware that they’re burning time. And they wonder why they can’t finish?

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