How to re­main sane while build­ing

Lesotho Times - - Property -

BUILD­ING a new house is a big un­der­tak­ing and there’s a good chance there’ll be a few stress­ful mo­ments dur­ing the process.

For­tu­nately, there are plenty of steps you can take to min­imise the prob­lems. Load up your tool­kit with some of th­ese stress avoid­ance and man­age­ment tech­niques, and keep your san­ity along the way!

1. Have a clear idea about what you want to achieve from the out­set One of the best ways to avoid stress dur­ing a new build is by start­ing off with a com­pre­hen­sive plan of what you want to achieve.

There’ll al­ways be is­sues you can’t ac­count for, but mak­ing changes creates cranky builders and costs more in time and money. Spend some ex­tra ef­fort go­ing over your plans be­fore you start and you’ll save your­self un­nec­es­sary has­sle down the line.

2. Back your­self Once you’ve de­cided what you want, make sure you com­mu­ni­cate your ideas firmly. You’ll prob­a­bly come across a few trades­peo­ple who do a bit of eye rolling when you tell them what you want, but it’s your build and it’s not nec­es­sary to jus­tify your choices.

There will be times, of course, when you need to weigh up the ad­vice of pro­fes­sion­als, but try to re­mem­ber your goals and lis­ten to your in­tu­ition. Hasty last minute changes can lead to sub­stan­tial re­gret.

3. Make sure you un­der­stand ev­ery­thing Mis­un­der­stand­ings can lead to a wide range of un­nec­es­sary com­pli­ca­tions, so make sure you ask lots of ques­tions.

If you’re not on a build­ing site ev­ery day, there’s no way you can be ex­pected to un­der­stand all the ins and outs of putting up a new home.

Good trades­peo­ple take the time to ex­plain things thor­oughly, with­out mak­ing you feel fool­ish and in­se­cure.

4. Have re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions Make sure you un­der­stand the costs and tim­ing, and re­mem­ber to ex­pect the un­ex­pected. Build­ing is a multi-faceted process with lots of small steps, and some­times things go wrong.

Fac­tor in a 10-20 per­cent bud­get con­tin­gency and add an ex­tra six months to your build cal­en­dar so you won’t be overly stressed if the bud­get starts to creep or the build­ing sched­ule hits a few snags.

5. Try to keep your emo­tions in check This is prob­a­bly one of the hard­est things to do, es­pe­cially if you’re build­ing a home for your fam­ily. You want it to be right, and that’s un­der­stand­able, but tak­ing a step back and dis­con­nect­ing your emo­tions a lit­tle can help you see more clearly.

Build­ing a new home should lead to hap­pi­ness, not a heart at­tack, so if you find your­self get­ting an­gry or up­set, take a deep breath and use your head in­stead. So­lu­tions will be a lot eas­ier to find.

6. Get In­volved Keep­ing an eye on things is im­por­tant, es­pe­cially if you don’t have a pro­ject man­ager or ar­chi­tect. If you spot any is­sues you can nip them in the bud be­fore they get out of hand.

Visit your site as of­ten as pos­si­ble and if you no­tice any­thing un­usual, make sure you bring it up im­me­di­ately. Don’t as­sume that it’s all un­der con­trol, or that ev­ery­one knows the plan.

7. Main­tain com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your neigh­bours No-one likes a raft of build­ing trucks parked out­side their home ev­ery day with­out an ex­pla­na­tion or apol­ogy.

Make an ef­fort to let the neigh­bours know what’s hap­pen­ing, and of­fer them your mo­bile num­ber if they want to dis­cuss any is­sues.

Tak­ing time to lis­ten is of­ten all it takes to keep the neigh­bours on­side. Put your­self in their shoes, and of­fer some gen­uine un­der­stand­ing.

Fail­ing that, move on to some good old­fash­ioned bribery — a nice bot­tle of wine and a cou­ple of movie tick­ets usu­ally does the trick!

8. Spend some time on ac­tiv­i­ties that don’t in­volve the build The build­ing process can be long and ar­du­ous so make sure you take some time out to clear your head.

Un­less there’s a bunch of ur­gent “do or die” is­sues sit­ting on your desk, fac­tor in a cou­ple of nights away or an af­ter­noon on one of your hob­bies.

It will help re­duce any pent up stress and re-ig­nite your en­thu­si­asm for your pro­ject.

9. See the stars When it all gets too much, go out­side at night and look up at the sky. Noth­ing puts it all in per­spec­tive like a cou­ple of awe in­spir­ing mo­ments think­ing about the size of uni­verse.

OK, so the builder or­dered the wrong ma­te­ri­als. Most things can be fixed, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s re­ally not that bad.

Build­ing a new home should be a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, not one that leaves you feel­ing fraz­zled and dis­ap­pointed.

Al­though it’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to re­move all the stress from the process, hav­ing re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions, a com­pre­hen­sive idea about want you want to achieve, good com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and a time-out plan means you’re more likely to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence.

And who knows… you might even want to do it all over again!

— Prop­er­ty­ob­server

The build­ing process can be long and ar­du­ous so make sure you take some time out to clear your head.

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