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5 ways to survive a home renovation


If a friend tells you she’s renovating her home, when she finishes gushing about her new marble backsplash, expressions like “our place is a wreck right now,” “I’m so stressed” and “I’ve had it up to here with my contractor” may soon follow. Yes, renovations can be a major headache and they’re certainly a challenging time to be living at home. Thankfully, many have survived remodels, and so will many more.

To help you handle your reno without losing your cool, interior designer Leslie Banker is here to help. She has co-authored two decorating primers: The Pocket Decorator and The Pocket Renovator. Read on for Leslie’s tips on surviving your remodel.


For a complete gut renovation, there’s no choice but to live somewhere else while the work goes on. For smaller renovations, if you must stay at home be sure to seal off dust-free areas with plastic sheeting and implement strict rules banning dirty shoes in clean areas. If you are living through a kitchen renovation, set up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the house: a mini fridge, coffee maker, toaster oven, and hot plate should do the trick.


Existing floors that are not being replaced must be covered so they don’t get scratched. Carpets that are being kept need to be sealed with plastic so they don’t collect dust. Hardware, such as doorknobs, in the work zone should be carefully stored, or else protected in place.


Assemble your design team – architect, interior designer – early in the process. Hire people you trust and like and let them do their jobs without micromanaging. Commit to the project fully by being available to answer questions and go on regular site visits while always keeping in mind how the best results come from great collaborations and positive team dynamics.


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