What to expect when you're expecting a reno

It takes moxy and a whole lot of mental fortitude to handle large-scale renovations. It's less exhausting when it's a brand-new home, one that is fully empty and yet to be filled with your belongings. However, an occasional renovation is necessary post-move-in, and it's at times like these that you'll need to arm yourself with grit, a good vacuum cleaner, a telephone number for an actual cleaner for hire, and a really good cocktail.

First off, find out what work needs to be done.

  • Resign yourself to the fact that a renovation has to be done. Steel yourself to the work. Yes, it will be horrendous cleanup afterwards. Yes, you'll be frustrated. Yes, there might be drilling and hacking. Yes, it will cost a lot. Yes, you will get through this.
  • Find out from your contractor how long the work will need.
  • Plan for leave days from work if no one will be at home to let the workmen in and out.
  • IMPORTANT: Make your contractor map out exactly what needs to be done, in which parts of the home, and when the work will be done. This way, you will be able to plan accordingly for it.
  • NOTE: Some contractors will lie to you. It's a fact of life, so be prepared that you might come home to find the promised flow of work altered.
  • Prepare yourself for the very real possibility that everything you own will be covered in an inch-thick layer of dust.

Next, prepare your home for the imminent arrival of the workmen.

  • Remove all small trinkets and decorations from surfaces. Put them away in a closed closet. This applies to all your appliances on display in the kitchen.
  • Tarp. Find it, buy it, cover everything too large to keep away with it.
  • Make sure you've appropriate insecticides at home. Renovations can sometimes draw insects from their hiding spots, and you'll want to be prepared in the unlikely event you've somehow drilled through an ant nest or something equally unsavoury.
  • If the workmen will be in your bedroom, remember to cover your bed with an extra sheet, pillows and all. You can reuse this cover sheet for the entire duration of the reno, and change all your bedsheets in one go once the reno is over and done with.
  • If you've pets, send them away to relatives, friends, or pet hotels. They may get in the way, and the loud, drilling noises and strangers in the house may scare them.
  • Lock up all your important documents and valuable belongings.
  • Set some ground rules. Prepare a bathroom for the workmen to use, especially if you would rather keep your private ensuite to yourself.
  • During the renovation, be sure to voice your concerns to your contractor. This way, if it's a long-term reno, you'll be able to nip any problems in the bud.
  • During the renovation also: Mop your floor every day. It's age-old wisdom that moisture keeps dust down, and you'll most certainly want to keep the dust down every day. It's tedious, but you'll be glad for it when the renovation is over.

Finally, resign yourself to the fact that it's time to clean up.

  • Make yourself a cocktail. Speaking from experience, it helps. Try this recipe: One part Campari, one part Vermouth, small splash Balsamic vinegar, topped up with apple cider and ice.
  • Put on some good clean-up music and blast it as loud as you want.
  • Assess what needs to be done and make a list.
  • Engage the help of a cleaner if it's too much work.
  • Dust off all surfaces, starting from the ceiling, to tables and mantlepieces.
  • Change your bedsheets if necessary. Throw all your floor mats into the wash.
  • Check for insects that might have been evicted from their nooks and crannies during the reno. Dispose of them accordingly.
  • Make another cocktail.
  • Once all surfaces above the ground have been cleaned, you can vacuum the curtains, the couch, and the floor in that order.
  • Mop the floor as many times as you feel is necessary.
  • Replace all the trinkets and decorations you've put away beforehand.
  • Take a good, long, shower.
  • Congratulations, you've survived an unexpected and unwelcome renovation!

What are your tips for a painless reno? Share them with us in the comments below!


TOPICS: Renovation