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- The Low-Stress Home Renovation
The Low-Stress Home Renovation
Complete your home improvement and keep your sanity
For eight months, Sue Gladstone’s home in Suburban Boston was a maze of plastic construction sheeting covered in a haze of construction dust. Half of her first floor was off-limits. The stove and the sink were the only things she could access in the kitchen. The refrigerator was in the living room, which was now the only place in the house other than the bedrooms that anyone could go.
Her home improvement project involved expanding the kitchen and family room and adding a master bedroom suite to the first floor, and offices and a laundry room in the basement. It was supposed to take five months. It lasted eight. “It just was very stressful when you think you are going to be done at Thanksgiving, and then you are going to be done at Christmas, and then you are hoping for Valentine’s Day,” says Gladstone.
But despite the delays, the dust, the close quarters and the frustration of having workers underfoot, Gladstone emerged with her sanity intact. And her family, including her husband and her two kids, ages 15 and 11, did not resort to wringing each other’s necks. How did they do it?
“The number one thing is communication,” Gladstone says. “We had someone on the job every day who was our lead person. And every day, he said, ‘Here is what we are going to be doing today’ or ‘Here are the things I need from you. I need these paint colors; I need these specifications, so that I can keep moving.’ “
Although the completion of her house was delayed, it did not come as a surprise to the Gladstones because of the good communication with their contractor. It’s the surprises that will stress you out. Here are some other ways to keep your stress level as low as possible as you renovate your home.
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