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6 Surprisingly Simple Tips for Successfully Renovating Your Home

6 Surprisingly Simple Tips for Successfully Renovating Your Home

A home renovation is in equal parts exciting and scary. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster. In the beginning, you’re beaming with creative energy and dreaming of the finished product. Halfway through the renovation, you’re wondering if it will ever be done. Then, once things are finishing up, the stress of coming in under budget begins to rear its ugly head.

While it’s impossible to have a perfect home renovation, you can mitigate stress and increase your chances of success by keeping the following tips in mind:

1. Choose the Right Contractor

Choosing the right contractor is more important than any design decisions you’ll make. The right contractor will make your project a breeze, while the wrong one will leave you frustrated.

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Have you ever heard of contractor drift? It’s a term people in the construction industry use to describe a contractor who slowly disappears as the project progresses. They show up on time every day for the first few weeks and then, as time moves on, gradually become absent. This pushes the project completion date back and ruins any renovation timeline that’s in place. By choosing the right contractor, you can avoid contractor drift alltogether.

2. Expect Unforeseen Expenses

On paper, everything always looks great. The project costs X amount of dollars, it’ll be completed by a particular date, and you’ll need these supplies. Unfortunately, remodeling doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Something always goes wrong and you have to be prepared for unforeseen expenses that accompany these issues.

While every contractor has their own approach, most would agree that it’s a smart idea to build a cushion of at least 10 percent into your budget. So, if your renovation budget is $20,000, aim to come in at $18,000. This gives you $2,000 to play with in case something happens.

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3. Protect Against Dust

If you’re living in the home during the renovation, one of the worst parts of the process is the dirt and dust. In order to live in comfort and cleanliness, you’ll have to actively work on keeping this dust contained to the rooms being renovated.

“Don’t underestimate how much construction dust will permeate the rest of your living spaces through the air and ducts,” says homeowner Deborah Fairchild. “Remove valuable objects from the walls or displays so you’re not having to micro-clean, and seal off any closets that contain clothes, linens, and food.”

4. Handle the Small Things On Your Own

Everyone has their own skills. If there are certain tasks that you can handle on your own, there’s no need to pay the professionals to do it. Not only will this reduce your costs, but it’ll also speed up the process and ensure things stay on track.

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5. Send the Kids and Pets Away

A construction site can be dangerous. While adults know what to avoid, the same can’t be said of pets and young children. Depending on the length of the renovation, you may want to send them to a neighbor’s house during certain parts of the project. This will keep them away from potential hazards.

6. Stick With Your Gut

One thing you don’t want to do during a home renovation project is change your mind a bunch. For most people, it’s difficult to know how something will look until it’s totally finished. Don’t be surprised if you walk into one of the renovated rooms and wonder what’s going on. Trust your gut and wait for the finished product. In most cases, your design will pan out just as you anticipated.

Ready, Set, Renovate

By following these tips and strategically approaching every step of the process, you can enjoy a successful home renovation that’s stress-free and efficient.

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It’s time to renovate!

Featured photo credit: Charles & Hudson via flic.kr

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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