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10 Unpleasant Truths You'll Realize Renovating Your Home

  • contractor-sleeping


  • This has all the makings of an East Coast-West Coast Hip Hop feud.

    This has all the makings of an East Coast-West Coast Hip Hop feud.

  • You just hope he knows what he's doing.

    You just hope he knows what he's doing.

Renovating your home can be really exciting. You've clicked through a million ideabooks on Houzz, saved up to fund it, and vetted a dozen contractors -- and now your project is finally underway. And not a moment too soon.

Now take a deep breath. Because once you're in the thick of renovations -- like the multitudes of homeowners who came before you -- you will find yourself in situations that will send you into fits of rage, keep you up at night with angst, and make you wonder why you ever thought making any changes to your home was a good idea.

Whether you want to enjoy a laugh of rueful recognition or brace yourself for what's to come, here are 10 realities you're likely to experience as your home undergoes its near-magical transformation.

1. Your contractor feels like family -- and not in a good way

After your contractor has been in your home for the first four hours, it may already feel like he's been living with you for six months. You couldn't wait for him to begin, but between his whistling, chortling, mumbling, and constant measuring tape tricks, you're already counting the minutes until this whole project wraps up. Hope you're not paying him by the hour!

2. You keep forgetting you're no longer home alone

At some point, you will forget to close your blinds and inadvertently flash your contractor. Should you hide for the next three to six months? Or maybe ask him to knock a bit off the price, for the free show? Or you could go with option No. 3: Pretend it never happened. Yeah, us too.

3. You contemplate getting a second (maybe even a third) job

Speaking of what this is costing you, unfortunately, it seems those well-meaning friends and family members who warned you that your project would come in over budget were right on target.

As your renovation continues, your builder will make unexpected, unpleasant, and expensive discoveries that will cost you time and cash. He may also tempt you with an array of attractive upgrades that will look fantastic, but demolish your wallet.

4. When you gotta go, you gotta go

Downsizing to just one bathroom sounds completely manageable for the duration of the project -- until you actually try to live like that. Hearing family members sighing, pleading, and passing out on the other side of the door gets old fast.

5. Small decisions become a big headache

Who knew there were so many choices for something as simple as kitchen hardware? From hinges to knobs, you'll lose an entire afternoon struggling to decide between brushed nickel and chrome. (Yes, there's a difference.)

6. You find yourself in the middle of a subcontractor throw-down

One contractor insists on listening to Def Leppard on his enormous boombox, while another blasts gangsta rap from the other room. You hide out in the basement, keep your head down, and just try your best to stay out of the fray.

7. Your pet may need a therapist

What happened to your Siamese, Ali McClaw? At some point you will have to find out if your pet could be suffering from PTSD as a result of listening to a chorus of never-ending nail guns. Not only is she twitching at the slightest sound, even her meow has developed a stutter.

8. You'll be glad you hired the insured guy

Sure, going with the pro who's licensed and insured sometimes costs more, but when one of the crew falls or gets hurt, you'll be glad you played it safe.

9. You learn your builder follows a different calendar

When your contractor tells you on Monday that he'll be "back in the morning," he actually means maybe sometime next week. While initially you couldn't wait for him to leave, this recurring disappearing act now makes you desperately want to see him again. Maybe it has something to do with that Grand Canyon -- size hole in your backyard. Yeah, that's it.

10. 'Finished' is a relative term

Once you've improved one thing, you will realize how terribly outdated the rest of your home looks, convincing you to take on further renovations. Before you know it, the domino effect will take its toll on your wallet and your sanity.