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The Four Stages of Home Renovation

November 28, 2022
Example of a classic bathroom design in Nashville

The Four Stages of Home Renovation

While it’s true that no two home renovation projects are exactly the same, we’ve noticed that they all follow a predictable pattern: there’s an initial rush of enthusiasm and excitement, a middle period of heightened anxiety and frustration, and finally (hopefully) delight at the end result. Between the significant financial investment, decision fatigue, and the challenges of temporarily living in the middle of a construction zone, we know it’s a stressful time. 

We’ve found that knowing what to expect can alleviate some of our clients’ worries, so we’re here to walk you through the four major phases of a home renovation project: the Honeymoon, the Midproject Crisis, the Renewal of Vows, and the Happily Ever After.

The HoneymoonAfter dreaming, planning, and searching for the right contractor, saying “I do” by signing the project contract feels a little euphoric. You’re full of enthusiasm, and you’re ready to pick out finishes, order materials, and make your vision a reality. While it’s not all smooth sailing (as any honeymooner can tell you about a canceled flight or that time it rained the whole time on their tropical getaway), your general positive outlook is enough to buoy you through these initial challenges. 

The honeymoon phase :continues through the first part of the construction process—demolition happens quickly and it can feel so satisfying to see the progress unfolding. This is the phase where you’re acknowledging not every moment is perfect but the newness of the experience and your enthusiasm for moving toward the final goal you’ve established is enough to keep spirits high.

The Midproject Crisis :You’ve heard of the seven-year itch, right? Welcome to the home renovation equivalent: the midproject crisis. The bloom is off the rose, so to speak—you’re frustrated with drywall dust seeping into every part of your home, you’ve already cycled through every single restaurant in town since every meal is takeout, and, to top it off, the quick early pace of the project has slowed to a barely noticeable crawl. 

While we can’t do much to change the reality of this phase, we can offer reassurance. It’s normal to feel a little frustrated at this point; renovations are stressful, and this tends to be the point where all that stress comes to a head. And, despite the lack of tangible, visible project progress, we promise we haven’t forgotten about you or abandoned ship. Things like plumbing, wiring, permit approval, and codes inspections aren’t exactly showstopping developments, but they’re necessary parts of the process. 

The Renewal of Vows :Once the tile you love is being installed or those perfect countertops are dropped into place, your tenacity during the midproject crisis starts paying off. You find yourself delighted once more with the progress that’s being made and reaffirm that you did make the right choice after all. The days and weeks of frustration become barely a blip on your radar as you become reacquainted with why you were so excited to start this project in the first place. It’s honeymoon phase redux: your enthusiasm and optimism return, progress is tangible and quantifiable, and you find yourself delighting in the daily incremental changes.

The Happily Ever After: Maybe you find your face breaking into a smile every time you see your new soaker tub or you can’t stop marveling over how much brighter your space feels now that  that wall has come down. Maybe a relational happily ever after only lives in books and movies, but riding off into the sunset with the remodel of your dreams is our goal for every client.