Summer is a time for new beginnings, and those new beginnings often include construction projects. In some parts of the country, there’s a joke that the four seasons are autumn, winter, spring, and construction season. Drivers find it harder to get to work when half the roads are closed for repairs, but city and state leaders aren’t taking on those projects strictly to annoy people. They do it because they figure a little dust and inconvenience is worth it in the long run, assuming you end up with a better, more usable street. We should adopt the same philosophy when we’re considering home renovations: It may not always be a smooth process, but we’ll eventually have a better product than before

Before You Begin

One of the most critical things homeowners need to do is set a budget, and then decide how much over budget they’re willing to go to get everything completed in a reasonable time frame. There are often project overruns; even the best-laid plans have a way of going at least a little sideways sometimes. You may inadvertently try to build an addition to your house during the rainiest summer your town has seen in 50 years. A contractor could get sick and be unable to finish the work when he (or she) says he (or she) will. A million things could happen. Don’t expect things to go perfectly, or you risk setting yourself up for disappointment before the first nail has been hammered into the drywall.

Don’t overlook the legal requirements, either. If you live out in the country, you may be able to just start tearing your house up, but if you live in the city, that’s way less likely. Call City Hall and ask about the permitting process for home renovations. Permits are typically required if you’re doing something like installing new electrical wiring, demolishing a load-bearing wall, building a deck, modifying a sewer line, and more. That last thing you want is for your project to invite unwanted attention from city inspectors who would love nothing more than to shut down an illegal construction site. If you don’t have a permit, then you may have just spend thousands of dollars for nothing. Don’t want to deal with the permitting process yourself? Hire professional contractors who do this for living. Contacting a place like Somerville Aluminum in Central Jersey can help provide you with some much-needed peace of mind.

Stay Busy

On the surface, being told to “stay busy” in the middle of a home renovation project can feel a little ridiculous. Won’t you be plenty busy installing that new garden tub in the bathroom or building a new carport by the front door? There will be definite moments when you feel like there’s so much to do that you don’t even have time to sit down and listen to yourself think, but there will also be downtime. The project may stall for a bit while you wait for a certain part or piece of equipment to be delivered. Don’t sit around and worry while this is happening. Distract yourself with other projects. Are you worried about the environmental impact of all this renovating? Try to offset some of that by, for instance, taking your diesel-powered car and converting it to run on SeQuential biodiesel, which is a cleaner, non-toxic alternative to petroleum diesel. If the end of the home project is becoming harder to see, then it’s time to give yourself something else to look forward to. The Internet makes planning a vacation easier than it’s ever been, so go online and check out places to see on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It doesn’t even matter if a vacation isn’t exactly in your budget right now; there’s nothing wrong window-shopping. Focusing on something else is also a good reminder that you did, in fact, have a life before starting this home renovation project. It may feel like it’s sucking up all the oxygen in the room, but life does go on. In a few years, you’ll be able to use your new bathroom or garage without remembering how stressful everything felt when you were in the thick of it.