There’s no doubt that a remodeling, addition or new construction job brings stress to the homeowners. Just ask me. Last spring we added a new upstairs bedroom and a downstairs entryway and mudroom, losing our attic space, emptying our garage and losing a bay in the process. Where to put the stuff and how to find it again were just two of the stresses encountered. We chose to hire a project manager, so hiring of all the subs was his problem, but we stressed and sweated over every decision. In fact, most veterans of a remodeling project will tell you that the two key qualities you need to survive a home project are the ability to make decisions and spend money—fast.

If you’re indecisive or wildly controlling when it comes to finances, better take a relaxation class. Like to cook in your own kitchen and sleep in your own bed? Well, you’d better plan how you’re going to stay in your home while the work is being done and what facilities you will need to live without. One of our colleagues just moved the kitchen out to the patio for the summer. They ate off the grill and stored all refrigerated and pantry items in the garage. Their main stress was weather! So, you like your morning coffee and a chance to get the kids or yourself on the road? Forget it—during a house remodel, your schedule begins at 7 a.m. with the builders. Sick? Too bad. I had the flu and had to give up my bedroom because they were working in there. Oh, and I HAD to pick my fixtures right away, flu or no flu. Funny, that bath was a week late being installed. Why did they need my choices that day?

Remember back when you had work and a life? Well, during remodeling, the house becomes your work and your life. I’m getting stressed just writing this. Oh, did I mention the errors or “disappointments,” like the lovely golden paint color that came out some shade of Band-Aid®, the stairs that weren’t supposed to have noses, the doors that don’t block sound and the garage door that sounds like the depot downtown? Don’t like to communicate? Well, forget that. You’ll have to find as many ways to explain the layout you want as there are words for snow in Eskimo. But, in the end, whether you are your own contractor or the boss, the silence, beauty and new space are entirely worth it once it’s done. So, sign up for a yoga class, get sleep now and start planning for your remodel. At the very least, book a massage for yourself along the way.