Remodeling and stress

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You’ve thought about remodeling your home. Everyone has! There are so many changes you’d like to make, but the unknown of remodeling can be scary. You likely have a lot of questions. What’s the process like? Will there be expensive surprises? Will your house fall apart? Will your contractor discover a secret room full of dead bodies or a portal to another dimension??? Alright, the last one would be pretty great if it’s a friendly dimension…

We’ll discuss what the process of remodeling is like over the next several posts but for now, let’s focus on your emotional experience. Feelings are factors that will shape your experience and perception of the process, so knowing what’s normal can be helpful. The graph below represents the emotional effects you may feel during your project. Some of us are more emotional than others, so you may experience things differently.

Online Graphing

Every project is unique, but on a major remodel like an addition, basement finish or main level remodel the graph above illustrates common emotional ups and downs of the process. Most of the time you’ll feel pretty great. Progress is being made, you’re seeing changes happen that are exciting and the closer to the end you get, the more peace you feel that everything is going to be alright. 

There are ups and downs though. Most of us don’t like to sign contracts or make payments for thousands of dollars, or even a few hundred dollars for unexpected repairs. Demolition and framing can be exciting since the changes are so dramatic. The mechanical trades are interesting too. There are also parts of projects that are less enjoyable than others. As important as insulation and drywall are, they’re just not much fun. There’s usually mess involved and drywall sanding and texturing seems like the dirtiest part of the project. Once that’s complete, the finishing starts and that’s progressively more enjoyable.

Something happens at the end of most projects which isn’t pictured in the graph. I call it project fatigue. Toward the end of the project, usually during the last 20%, you may start to get impatient for everything to finish. You’ve shifted your focus to when the project is complete, and small delays or complications can feel much more significant than they are in the grand scheme of things. 

It’s like the end of winter when you’re ready for the snow and cold to be gone. We’ll get a few days of sun and 60-degree temps, then it’ll plunge back into the 30s, maybe even snow. It can be frustrating, depressing, and it may even anger you. All of that is completely normal! The best thing you can do is remember how much you’ll enjoy your home when it’s done, and that hurrying means lower quality. 

The best part of the project is ALWAYS the end! 

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