overwhelmed by house renovation

Overwhelmed by a House Renovation? Find Help Here

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Are you overwhelmed by a house renovation?  

Me too.  

We’re gut renovating a bedroom while I’m 6 months pregnant – and yes, it’s not done yet, and yes, we’re potty training a toddler, and why yes – I have considering booking a one-way ticket to Vegas, never to return.

Perhaps you, too, are going through a seemingly never-ending remodel.  

Is it the contractor that flaked, never to return to his cell phone and email?  

Or is it the “oh no, look at that leak… followed by that underground pipe… which means we need to dig up the entire backyard…” situation?

Regardless, here are ways to help fight the overwhelm that comes with a home remodel.  

Why Is Renovating a House So Stressful?

To prevent being overwhelmed by a house renovation, let’s identify why it’s so overwhelming.  I see two main reasons.

1. Decisions

Why are there so many decisions??  

In just your kitchen, you’ll be deciding on hardware, cabinet doors, faucets, appliances, lighting, tiles, backsplashes… the list goes on forever.  

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a house renovation, perhaps all the decision making is wearing you out!  

Decide what is important to you and let go of the rest.  

For example, I was super particular about our drawer and door handles, but if the faucet was brushed nickel and functional, I was content. 

2. Disruption

During a home remodel, your day-to-day routine is disrupted.  

Not only are you fielding calls from your contractor or emails about deliveries, you might be dodging a blocked-off doorway, kitchen, or bathroom on your way our the door every day.  

This can obviously get under a person’s skin.  

If you have a partner, spouse, or kids underfoot, this is multiplied exponentially!  

Remind yourself that it’s all temporary.  

how to cope with house renovation
Seeing a view like this regularly could make anyone feel overwhelmed!

Depression During House Renovation

You might even be referring to your overwhelmed feeling as depression.  I think there are two levels of “depression during house renovation.” 

  1. One is the casual kind, where you might toss the word “depressing” around at happy hour because your contractor flaked last weekend, the vanity you ordered is delayed 3 weeks, or you found a leak in your bathroom that ruined the wall of your closet.  
    As in, “Oh my gawd, it’s depressing!  The bathroom looks awful and now the plumber says it will take another week!”  
    All these things are a total bummer – so order up a happy hour special (or two), gripe, and then move on.
  2. The second level of “depression during house renovation” could be the serious kind.  
    If you or your loved ones are truly experiencing feelings of depression and inconsolable sadness, please get help from a therapist or counselor.  
    If you broke your arm, you’d see a doctor, right?  
    Depression is similar, and it will help to get help.  

How to Cope With House Renovation


An ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure.  

Let us help you with planning a renovation project:

It will also help you to declutter your house before you start, and move out completely from the room you plan to remodel.


Are your expectations reasonable with regards to timelines, cost, and outcome?

For example, did you start a gut kitchen renovation on Dec. 1 in hopes of it finishing by Christmas?  I hate to burst your yuletide bubble, but that might be an unreasonable timeline. 

Or maybe you’re expecting HGTV results but you’re DIYing for the first time.  Give yourself some grace!  As with anything, DIY’ing a renovation yields better results with practice.  


Do you have a working budget?

Nothing halts a renovation like budget stress – or worse, running out of money!

If you haven’t already, we urge you to create a Home Renovation Budget to keep your finances in check.  Structure breeds freedom!


Check your priorities. Are you sweating some pretty crown moulding but still have a leaky bathroom?

Compare your priorities against your to-do list.  

If your goals are to insulate and seal a room, be sure that’s at the top of the punch list.  


Find the root of your stress!

Is it a sub-contractor? No kitchen? Family pressure? Renovating during the holidays?

Take ten minutes to reflect on where your stress is coming from.  It might be unexpected, but once you find it, you can address it.  


It seems counterintuitive, but take a day off.  

Perspective will help.  

For example, during our massive first floor renovation (start here: Kitchen and Pantry layout), we went to three weddings!  

Yes, each slowed progress on our project for a day or two, but it was more important to reconnect and be regular humans.  

why is renovating a house so stressful
Brushin’ up nice after a morning of reno!

Make a List

Lists on lists.  

Whenever we get overwhelmed by a house renovation, out comes the notepad and pen.  We are huge believers in lists!  Like:

  1. Overall house project list, such as Curb Appeal (before and after here!), first floor open concept galley kitchen renovation, nursery makeover, etc. The big overall bites, if you will.
  2. Current project “to-do” list.
  3. Today’s punch list
  4. Ongoing shopping and return list
never ending home repairs
the folder on our fridge which holds all lists, receipts, and invoices.

Bust out the bullet points and make yourself some lists!  They’ll guide you and keep your team on the same page.  

Accept Help

If someone says they’d like to help you out on a renovation, let your pride step aside. Say yes.

This is hard to do sometimes. Particularly among DIYers and home owners, we have the go-get-em attitude that forgets the fact that we are not meant to exist in a vacuum.

We’ve been so lucky to have friends and family help us on everything from sheetrock to painting to demo day. Let people help you.

overwhelmed by home renovations
our awesome family on demo day!

Never Ending Home Repairs

The best part about home ownership is that it is a journey!  

No home – no home, anywhere – will be without repairs forever.  

They do seem to batch themselves (how exactly do the dryers communicate with the refrigerators to break in the same calendar year)?

But please know, if your repairs seem never-ending, it’s because that’s the nature of repairs, and not that the universe is out to get you. 

Even if you purchased a recent or new construction, you’ll have to fix things someday.  Appliances wear out, fixtures loosen, and even the finest craftsmanship needs updating.  

Keep your finances in check, keep realistic, and pace yourself, and you’ll be through this renovation before you know it!   

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