When your home is your office, you must balance the elements of personal with professional to achieve a tranquil and productive space. When you tackle home renovations, that balance gets disrupted.
Home renovations also affect how you run the daily operations of your business. On top of financing and planning your renovation, you need to develop strategies to address how the mess and noise will affect productivity and meetings. Will you get creative with your space or have to convene elsewhere temporarily?
Home Renovation Finances and Plans
Home remodels create tension and stress among family members, especially in the financing and planning stages. You must decide what you specifically want the rebuild to achieve and come to a consensus. Do your plans affect your home office? Find out in advance to adjust your schedule and location accordingly.
Your remodel plan may shift as you speak with your contractor, based on cost, materials, and time. Look at multiple sources of financing, from savings to side gigs. Don’t empty your savings or risk your financial future for a remodel; it’s okay to break a big picture project into reasonable stages. Many families take out a home-equity line of credit, and the average rate is 5.45% while other lenders offer 2.99% for introductory periods, such as six months.
While this may extend your present finances, don’t take on too much debt. Many renovations come with strong returns on investments, such as kitchen or bathroom remodels. Average homeowners spent between $5,666 and $13,031 for bathroom remodeling, but they also typically receive an 80-85% return on investment for bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects. Replacing your roof averages $7,600 but boosts the value of the home by $8,000. If you aim to sell the house at some point, that’s a 105% return.
Don’t forget to give your neighbors a heads up that remodeling will occur within a specific time frame if you believe it will affect their day-to-day activities.
Working From Home in Construction Chaos
Beyond financing and planning, come up with a game plan for running the day to day of your business. As a home business owner, your personal and professional routines mesh and influence each other. Picture waking up in the morning to find that you can’t shower, get dressed, or do your makeup. What the heck?
From hacking your routine to looking at alternative meeting spaces, here are a few workarounds to keep you sane and productive during the construction chaos.
1. Hack Your Routine
You need to go beyond those hacks that college kids implement in dorms. Use your entrepreneurial mind to solve this challenge and innovate. Your home resembles a post-apocalyptic world, and you can adjust to that within reason.
Move your microwave and get used to making interesting but healthy meals. Use this as an excuse to set up a fabulous espresso station in your office. Wash your hair in the sink, but don’t go as far as using the garden hose. The neighbors might call the cops out of concern.
Of course, these hacks can only go so far for so long. Constantly having to adjust everything due to the mess and noise affects your life.
2. Dealing With the Construction Noise
For the noise, take defensive measures. Put up a divider to redirect the noise and give your eyes visual peace to focus on work. Use a fan to generate white noise. Play your favorite ambient music, unless you think death metal will motivate your fingers to move faster over the keyboard and drown out the jackhammer.
Some people worry that using earbuds will ruin your hearing, and there’s merit to the possibility of hidden hearing loss. You can lose 80-90% of your ear nerve fibers, but it doesn’t shift your threshold detection. If you pull your earbuds out and your ears ring, turn down the volume since that’s a sign your music is too loud.
Using music to drown out construction for the period of renovation could damage your hearing. If you use earbuds at a reasonable volume, your hearing is safe.
3. Keeping Up Productivity
Increased physical clutter combined with excessive noise will put a damper on your daily productivity, especially if construction occurs over an extended period of time. Clutter and noise compete for your attention and take your focus away from work. Your stress levels go up, and your mood lowers.
If the noise and mess are minimal, or at least in the beginning stages, head off the adverse effects by cleaning and organizing your typically cluttered spaces. While everything else in your home is in chaos, a particularly efficient office will provide you with peace of mind.
Be flexible with your business, but maintain enough of a routine that you form a stable environment for yourself to flourish at work. Get the construction schedule in advance, and remain updated if that schedule needs shifting to rearrange your routine accordingly. If most of the noise occurs in the evening, wake up earlier in the day and consider moving to another part of the house or going elsewhere.
You may likely need to spend part of your day outside your home to optimize your productivity in construction chaos. Coffee shops offer ambiance, but you also have to spend money buying coffee. Consider your local library if your work is primarily quiet. Asking friends and family may work temporarily, but you must remain considerate of their lives and routines. If you have a meeting with a big client, ask to meet at their office, book a room at the library, or consider renting a coworking space to exude more professionalism.
Consider becoming a member or temporarily renting coworking space. Coworking spaces typically have set monthly fees and come with many benefits; you gain a quiet workspace with many resources, an expanded network of other professionals, access to small office equipment, and more. The benefits outweigh the costs of trying to rent an office and spending a small fortune on coffee.
Tackling home renovations when you work from home challenges even the most zen of professionals. Planning and financing feel like the worst of the stress, but running your business on a daily basis around constant mess and noise affects your productivity and client relationships.
Set a budget and plan in advance. Keep a copy of the construction schedule nearby and be prepared to adjust accordingly. Stick to an established routine as much as possible, and try a few hacks to stay sane and productive. If the construction ramps up, consider moving to another location for those time periods. This, too, shall pass, and your home office will reflect an even more productive and peaceful space than before.
Have you completed a home renovation and successfully worked from home at the same time? What tips do you have for managing the chaos? Drop us a note we’d love to hear from you.
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Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on finding happiness and success in life and at work. You can find her dishing out advice with a side of wit on Twitter and her career advice blog, Punched Clocks.