How to survive a renovation with your family

Renovating can be stressful at the best of times, even more so if the family is involved.

While it may be more cost-effective or practical to pool resources with family members, dealing with the stress of renovating and balancing family relationships can prove challenging. 

From quelling arguments, to looking at legal requirements, Cherie Barber, CEO of Renovating For Profit (RFP), shares her top tips on keeping the peace during your renovation.

Avoiding arguments

“There’s no getting around the fact that renovating is stressful and tests even the most resilient of relationships,” Cherie says. “So it’s important, right at the outset, to put some parameters and agreements in place.” Doing this will mean that you have something concrete to refer to when inevitable conflicts and disagreements arise, she adds.

“Be very clear on the renovation design plan before any work starts, and make sure all family members are in agreement. The same goes for budget and timelines,” she advises.

Become a taskmaster

Cherie suggests allocating tasks according to each person’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Someone might be great at budget management, but a hopeless organiser. Or great at researching the best prices for materials, but not good at coordinating and communicating with tradies,” she says. “Assign roles – and then make sure people take ownership of their own roles and butt out of other’s tasks!”

A great way to keep on top of everything is to hold a daily work in progress (WIP) to keep everyone on track and nip any potential issues in the bud, she adds. 

Legal issues

“A joint venture (JV) agreement may seem a bit heavy-handed but it’s a surefire way to protect all parties against legal fall-outs if things turn nasty,” Cherie advises.

This is particularly important if the renovation is particularly complex, lengthy or if there’s a large budget in play.

“Unfortunately, not very many people do it, thinking they’ll never have a fallout with a family member,” she says.

Putting out any fires

The key to preventing any disagreements from getting blown out of proportion is to have some conflict resolution strategies in place.

“Before any work gets underway, sit down and discuss how you’ll resolve issues,” she says. “Agree there’ll be no yelling, tantrums or flying missiles.”

Cherie also says to be mindful that there may be some times where you will have to compromise, especially if you are up against the majority.

For more family removation fun watch Good Bones season 3 on Lifestyle HOME, weeknights at 7.30pm. 

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