Surviving the strain of living through a major renovation is more gruelling than ever as the building materials shortage is in many instances doubling the amount of time families have to co-exist with the dust, the noise and the disorder of a building site.
Mark Trafford, managing director and founder of the national renovations franchise Maintain To Profit said however, that with an active coping plan in place, families are still getting through what is both a stressful and rewarding event in their lives.
“I lived through a major renovation of a 1970s house with a young family – the children were two and five years old, so I understand that it can be tough.”
Trafford says living on-site while the house is undergoing a major renovation can create health and safety hazards. “You also get builders turning off the power and water so they can work, which can very hard on a family, if you don’t have coping strategies.
“The lucky families are the ones that can afford to put the furniture in storage and move into an Airbnb, but even then the budget is getting hammered by extended stays in the Airbnb (or with family) due to scarcity of building materials.
With the building materials shortage worsening, Trafford says relationships between builders and customers can become strained as frustrations build-up, but current circumstances are beyond a builder’s control.
“During our first renovation, we lived downstairs for two months while they renovated upstairs, and then when the upstairs was complete, we moved downstairs for two months. It was very stressful, especially when tradespeople turned up at 7am and turned the water and power off.
“We tell clients that in about three months, they will lose it. They always tell us that they’re ‘not like that and that ‘everything will be fine’, but we know, after three months, they begin to unravel – it’s only human.”
Trafford says that it is not only possible to live through a renovation – even an extended one – if you prepare.
He offers the following tips for major renovations in 2022:
It’s always best policy to live elsewhere during a renovation. Families living on-site hinder the project, which as a result, takes longer to complete even when there aren’t materials shortages.
“My advice is to factor living elsewhere into your budget and move out. Find an Airbnb or live with family or friends. Even a caravan or something similar is going to be less stressful.”
Trafford says it’s a good idea to spend as little time as possible in the house.
“Take time out as much as you can, even if you are just making better use of your backyard for things like meals, coffee, homework and play – take more walks, do day long picnics on the weekends and make extended visits to family; even take regular weekends away.
“Getting out and about will help you de-stress.”
Designate activity zones
“If you have young kids, they’re going to think they’re in Heaven’s playground. You have to be diligent about health and safety. Designate areas as for play, living and working and make sure the whole family understands the boundaries and that they buy-in to it.”
While some renovations will face delays due to building materials shortages, a significant positive from living through a renovation is that you get to take pleasure in the milestones.
“You feel more a part of things as you watch your bigger and better dream home take shape around you.”
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