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How To Have A Stress Free Renovation Without Family Drama

Are you thinking about doing a renovation project, but are wondering how to accomplish a stress free renovation without family drama? In this post we have put together a list of the top 5 most common causes of family drama during a renovation and we offer you practical solutions to help you overcome them. These common issues include making endless decisions, going over budget, safety worries, dust, debris, and damage, and the general disruption of your family life. At Graham’s & Son we are a family run business and we understand the special needs of families like yours. We strive to make each of our renovations as drama-free as possible. We will listen to your concerns and try to address each one so that you can be confident and relaxed throughout the entire renovation experience. Contact us today for a free in-home consultation.

“Great quality. Wonderful people to work with.”
Karen – Cambridge

Endless Decisions

There are countless decisions to be made when doing a renovation. From wall colour to cabinet styles, flooring choices to window treatments; the list goes on and on. Even if you are an extremely laid back person, you may still feel overwhelmed. Throw into the mix that each member of your family may have a different opinion and you have a recipe for family drama.

Solution: Start The Decision Process Early recommends starting the decision making process early. Give yourself and your family plenty of time to look at possible choices and make decisions that everyone will be happy with. You don’t want to be rushed into a last minute decision that you will regret. Starting early and making the right decisions and sticking with them will also help you to avoid another stressor of going over your budget.

Going Over Your Budget

One of the biggest causes of family drama during a renovation is going over your budget. According to, you should add 10 – 25% to your budget for any surprises that may occur along the way. However, the surprises like discovering outdated wiring or a rotten sub-floor, aren’t usually the most common cause of going over the budget. It’s actually the spontaneous choices to do extra work or more expensive upgrades along the way that can add up quickly and put you over your budget.

Solution: Make A Plan And Resolve To Stick With It

Before you begin your renovation, decide on the scope of the work to be done and agree on the cost. Then stick to your plan. If you have taken the time to make the decisions that you are happy with, don’t be swayed by spur of the moment changes of adaptations. Yes, there is a time when you may want to add something or change something along the way, like going ahead and painting the master bedroom “while you’re at it” or continuing with the new flooring down the hallway when that was never part of the original plan. But if you succumb to too many of these additions or changes along the way, you may be in for a nasty surprise of extra expenses that you really can’t afford.

Will My Family Be Safe?

Another important concern and possible cause of family drama is worrying about the safety of your family. Remodeling involves the use of very dangerous tools and chemicals not to mention the hazards created when parts of your home are being torn apart. You want to have peace of mind that your family will be safe while the renovation is going on.

Solution #1:  Grill Your Contractor About Safety Practices Ahead of Time

Request that all tools be packed away each evening and that materials be safely stacked out of the and out of the reach of small children.  suggests asking if they would be able to set up temporary walls to shield your kids from the work areas and reduce the amount of dust. You should also request that they use paints and primers that are low in volatile organic compounds so that the health risks to your family are minimal.

Solution #2:  Implement and Enforce Safety Rules With your Children

Even if you have an extremely conscientious renovator who is very careful tidying up every day, it is still possible to miss something; especially a small nail or piece of glass. recommends giving yourself added peace of mind by enforcing some basic safety practices with your family such as wearing closed toed shoes at all times and making certain areas “off-limits”.

Dust, Debris and Damage

According to one of the biggest causes of stress are the 3 D’s Dust, Debris and Damage. Constantly having to live with dust all over everything and excess debris lying around can be a source of contention in your family. Add to this the possibility of other areas of your home unintentionally being damaged during the process, and tempers are bound to flare.

Solution: Determine Their Policies Ahead of Time

Find out in advance how your contractor plans to keep dust to a minimum and if they take measures to protect the rest of your home not involved in the actual renovation. Also find out how often and how they will remove the debris that will accumulate from tearing out walls, flooring, etc. Ask them what kinds of safety rules they follow so that your family won’t be in danger from any unsecured debris lying around. And finally, find out who is responsible for repairing any damages to other parts of your property. For instance, if your lawn outside gets damaged because of the excess traffic from work crews or from piled up debris, who will pay for that?

Disruption of Your Daily Life

During the renovation you will find that there will be many times when your daily routine will have to be disrupted. Hydro, Internet, and water may need to be turned off. If you are remodeling your kitchen, there will be times when it will be impossible to cook your meals.

Solutions #1: Eat Out

According to you might want to plan to eat out for some of your meals, but be sure that you have factored this extra expense into your budget. Set up a temporary kitchen in another room of the house using a refrigerator, microwave, hot plate and coffee maker. You could also invest in some card tables and plastic pullout drawers to make life easier during this time.

Solution #2: Move In with Relatives During The Renovation

You may wish to move in with your relatives during the renovation. According to you could significantly cut down the length of time your renovation might take, if you are not in the house while it’s happening. The workers will have freedom to move and will not be slowed down by trying to avoid inconveniencing you or your family.

Solution #3: Plan Your Vacation During The Time of the Renovation

If possible plan your vacation to coincide with the renovation. If your renovation is going to take longer than your holiday, you might want to plan to be away half-way through. That will give you and your family a much needed break from the daily disruption and will make the length of time for the renovation seem shorter.

How to find a contractor that won’t add to the drama and actually reduce it

Hire a local company. It may be tempting to search for the cheapest contractor possible but according to the book Best Life, you are usually better off hiring a local company. Word of mouth is everything. A local company will want to do the best job possible or they won’t be recommended by others in their community. This is where they are; they have to do well in their home market.

Graham’s & Son: We Can Take The Drama Out Of Your Renovation

Graham’s & Son has been in business for 40 years. We have the required experience and knowledge to help make your home renovation as hassle free as possible. We are a local company that has gained a reputation over time for quality work and exceptional customer service. You can trust your renovation project to us. Contact us today for your free, in-home consultation. We also offer on the spot quotes during your first appointment.


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