As we have been renovating, we have some tips on how to cope with living and working in your home when you have builders pulling your house and lifestyle apart!
Move everything out of their way and store it in an enclosed space. This way your precious possessions won't get broken or covered in "building dust".
Pack away most of your children's toys. This does sound mean, but it is a lot easier than having crying children with broken or lost toys from leaving them under your builders feet!
Don't plan to work while the contractors are going to be doing major noisy jobs, ask them the night before what they will be doing the next day, this way you can sort out when to make your phone calls and when to leave the house for lunch!
Make sure you put protective coverings over your carpet or hard flooring. It is amazing what gets dropped by accident even by the most prudent of workmen. Building dust can really scratch hardwood floors, so make sure you keep it covered and taped down
Take all your pictures off the walls, as the contractors carry timber and plasterboard sheet through your home they can easily be knocked, or your pictures could be on the other side of the wall that is being worked on and may fall off with the banging of hammers etc
Try and vacuum every night. It sounds like a nightmare, but you simply do the area around the work and this will reduce long term damage to your home. Dust can engulf your entire house, but taking away as much as you can each day, when the work is finished you will have less of a disaster on your hands.
Let the contractor know before they start that this is your family home and you have children or pets that have to be considered. That way they will be aware of leaving doors or gates open, and reduce the risk of you losing something precious.
Don't set yourself unachievable work goals each day. Remember that there will be constant noise, which upsets your concentration, and you will feel more tired with the home being in disarray. Do what you can while they are working during the day and sneak in some extra work at night to keep up, remembering that this is only temporary!
Arrange to meet with clients away from your home office. You won't be able to be professional in your home with renovations happening.
Make sure you look after your contractors, a cup of tea or coffee, some cake occasionally. This way they will like working for you and hopefully stay to finish the job!
Make sure you have a agree date that the project needs to be completed by, you want to get the work done as soon as possible, reducing the amount of disruption in your home and office. Otherwise you could find yourself living in turmoil until the builder decides he is ready to finish your job.
Make sure that you have one "sane" place to go in your home. An untouched area. This way, when you feel you have had enough of the constant mess and noise you can go to the place and feel slightly normal. Don't forget to enjoy the finished product, you've earned it!