Ways to Reduce Remodel Anxiety

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ShutterstockWhatever the project, go into it with a clear plan and budget.
By Jennifer Riner

Remodeling is a complicated process, especially for homeowners taking the DIY route. Luckily, with a little foresight you can organize your project, minimize anxiety and create a comfortable home for years to come. Need help getting started? Check out these stress-busting tips from fellow DIY aficionados.

Visualize Your New Design: Begin by envisioning your future space. What will be the focal point? Which colors and textures would you like to incorporate into the design? Magazines are a classic source for ideas, but these days, DIY enthusiasts use online design boards, social media platforms and renovation blogs to get their creative juices flowing.

Historical architecture, modern art and even local buildings also can inspire flair at home. "Sometimes a unique storefront display, or the architecture and lines of a cityscape can create a concept for the perfect look," said Dina Riccobono of Pfister Faucets.

Rely on your intuition. Aaron Schoenberger of Fix & Flip Network keeps future owners in mind before making definitive plans for a fixer-upper. "When looking to remodel a home I am inspired by a variety of things. For one, I consider the purpose of the remodel (i.e., will the home be my%VIRTUAL-pullquote-"I think the most stressful part of a remodel for us is the money. The budget always seems to end up being a lot more than you plan for, so we always expect to go over."% primary residence or rented/sold) and base the project on that. The purpose gives me inspiration," the house-flipping expert said.

If you're planning to sell in the near future, avoid overly-unique features. Ultra-modern or excessively ornate interiors may deter potential homebuyers looking for classic styles.

Consider Function and Lifestyle: Aside from aesthetic preferences such as paint colors and textiles, remodeled spaces must function properly for the home's residents. "Deciding to want to change something comes from my need to want my family's house to feel like home. If something isn't working with who we are and our style, it's a goner," said Selene Galindo, a mother and home decor writer.

Owners of older homes with dated or potentially dangerous fixtures should prioritize safety upgrades. Samantha Pregenzer, a professional organizer, tackled her home's most unfavorable features first. "Since we have three small children, I worked on and have completed a lot of the jobs that were bumped to the top of the list, like the swimming pool for safety reasons," the Bay Area mom said.

Create a Budget and Then Some: Lidy Dipert of Hello Lidy recommends always budgeting for additional costs, especially because DIY mishaps sometimes require professional assistance to fix.

"I think the most stressful part of a remodel for us is the money. The budget always seems to end up being a lot more than you plan for, so we always expect to go over," the mother of three said.
Scarlet Paolicchi of Family Focus Blog faces the same issue but has learned to cope with the%VIRTUAL-pullquote-"Spend time away from the house -- restaurants, friends' houses, yoga classes -- anything that makes you happy and gets you out of the clutter for short bursts of time."% unexpected. "Planning ahead is a good way to deal with this so that you know exactly what to expect and in terms of money and time," she advises.

Completing a project yourself can save a significant amount of money, but the work is not always easy, as Debbie Westbrooks of Refresh Restyle learned. "The first time I laid tile on a patio, I thought it was difficult. Before the job was over I realized it wasn't that bad, except on the knees!"

Tackle One Job at a Time:DIY writer Nicki Parrish says she minimizes stress by focusing on one project at a time. This has allowed her to stay in her home during major DIY renovations.
Kayla Janachovsky, who is currently on her own remodeling journey, says the clutter and dysfunction during a renovation are tiresome. She advises to stay social.

"Spend time away from the house -- restaurants, friends' houses, yoga classes -- anything that makes you happy and gets you out of the clutter for short bursts of time," she said. "Then just keep reminding yourself that once this is all done your house is going to become a home, and you're going to LOVE it!"

Sometimes, bypassing your own doubts can be the most difficult part of remodeling. "The decision to go ahead with a remodel is the hardest thing," said Shellie Wilson, founder of Craftbits. "Once you have made that commitment, everything else is easy."

Whatever the project, plan wisely. With a reasonable blueprint and potential costs in mind, you can alleviate the hassles and create a space you'll love for years to come.
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