It takes a lot of getting used to. And even the smallest things can get blown out of all proportion. "I remember at one point seeing the wrong bit of skirting about to cover a radiator pipe." says Sarah. "We'd asked for a slimmer piece. He'd picked up the wrong one. And that was it - I burst into tears! A tiny section of skirting that you can't even see now, and it sent me over the edge. I hadn't realised til that point how stressed I was."
So what can you do to prepare yourself, and find the "zen" in the midst of the property renovation chaos?
Keep Your Eye On The Prize!
Try to remember the end product. That beautiful, dream extension, kitchen, bedroom, of loft that will eventually exist. And remember that although there was a familiarity with what went before, you didn't like it! So don't let your brain start missing it. It WILL all be worth it, and you'll soon forget the skirting board stresses of the build!
Accept there will be complications
Every build is different, especially on old houses with years of different owners' good and bad design ideas built in. You could strip away a bank of kitchen units and find a decade of damp damage from a leaking pipe that needs fixing. The kitchen unit suppliers may have a delay on their delivery, or an appliance goes out of stock and holds up fitting a worktop... which then gets cracked and needs replacing. Even with the best workmen in the world, there will be hiccups and delays that you can do nothing about. So be patient. It WILL all come together - riding out all the obstacles and solving all the problems is the job of your project manager, not you, so try to relax, and trust it will all come good! And don't put unrealistic time frames on things... if you start a build in December, no matter how much you write to Santa you can't always have it all done by Christmas!