6 tips for surviving a property renovation

unhappy face

It’s easy to underestimate the potential havoc property renovation has on your home. Plaster dust, exposed outlets, and tradesmen letting the dog loose are a few issues that could occur. After having lived through a number of property renovations, I wanted to share my tips on how to survive them and not repeat the same mistakes I did.

We’re currently on week 5 of our 8 week kitchen renovation. And so far it’s not been too bad. However I can’t say the same for previous renovations!

Tip 1: Box everything!

packing boxes

One mistake I made from a full house renovation I did back in 2006 was to unpack boxes when we moved in. Don’t!! Leave everything in boxes (as much as possible) whilst you’re doing the renovation. Otherwise things get dusty, you have to keep moving things from one place to another, and it’s just stressful.

Also consider what you are going to need whilst you are packing up, and leave the commonly needed items at the top of the box pile, and make sure to label them. This will help you find that must-need item when rooting through your piles of boxes!

Tip 2: Don’t do the whole house at once

Another mistake I made on that same renovation was to attack all rooms at the same time. This leaves you with no safe haven to escape all the dirt, dust and mess. I’d recommend completely finishing a room first that you can use to relax in. The master bedroom is probably a good bet.

Tip 3: Set up a mini kitchen

Whilst you’re renovating the kitchen area make sure you have a mini kitchen set up somewhere else in the house, preferably with running water. This is much easier to do in the US than it is the U.K. as laundry rooms are more common and often have a sink. I’d also recommend buying an electric skillet, mini fridge and microwave. That way you’ll be able to cook a variety of healthy meals without always having to get take-out.

Tip 4: Buy a chest freezer and meal prep

meal prep

To be even healthier and more prepared, you could even buy a chest freezer and do a whole load of meal prep before the renovation. We’ve done this on our current project and it’s been great. We literally cooked all day Sunday for a few weeks before the project started and froze about 100 meals in disposable containers. Now all we have to do it reheat them in the microwave and throw away the container!

Tip 5: Cover everything!

What little you do leave out of boxes, make sure you cover otherwise you’ll be dusting for weeks!! If you’re knocking walls out or sanding plaster it’s also a good idea to put up temporary plastic sheet walls to contain the dust, as it literally gets everywhere! Make sure the walls are completely sealed and stay sealed. Much to our disappointment one of our sheet walls wasn’t sealed and I literally spent an entire day dusting every single item in the room.

Tip 6: Clean up regularly


It may sound counter intuitive, but clean up regularly, even if it is a building site. I recommend buying a Shop-Vac or Karcher so you don’t ruin your vacuum cleaner. But make sure to get as much of the dust and debris up throughout. A tidy site is a safe site and will make the renovation a whole lot more bearable.

I hope you find these tips useful. I wished I’d known about some of them for my earlier renovations instead of having to learn the hard way! Hopefully you can avoid those same mistakes.

Comment below what tips you have for surviving your home renovations.

Thanks for reading!

Jo (@britflipper)

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