How exciting; you’re building a house. This is your chance to make your home exactly what you want it to be, from size to color to location. This could be the greatest project of your life, or the end of life as you know it. Believe what people say; there is a lot of stress involved in building a house. But other people have survived it, and so can you
- Breathe deeply. Deep breaths, with an emphasis on the exhale, help to relieve stress. Focusing on your breath also reminds you that you’re still breathing. You need to put the stress of house building into perspective. It’s brick and mortar, not life and death. Remember this when you want to kill someone over the placement of a window
- Take your time. Building a house takes months, and then fine tuning it takes years. When the contractor tells you how long each phase will take, smile and tell yourself he’s lying. He’s not really lying, but he won’t be able to bring the project in on time, either. There are many variables to coordinate in building a house. Each one represents an opportunity for delay. Understand up front that the timetable is just a guesstimate, and you’ll avoid unnecessary stress.
- Guard your budget. A project this large is likely to creep over budget and cause you stress. Plan a small contingency fund for errors into your budgeting. However, also be aware of the cost of every decision you make. If you budgeted for laminate countertops but go with granite after seeing the kitchen roughed in, you’ve gone over budget. When asked to make decisions on the construction site, always ask about the cost.
- Create a safe place. During this lengthy construction process, you need a place to live. If you have to live on site, create a place where you can relax and get away from all the upheaval that building and moving cause. Reduce your stress by spending an hour or two each day in this safe place, focusing on something other than the house you’re building.
- Look for the light. One stress reliever in building a house is that it can’t go on forever. Eventually, the house will be done and the contractors will go away. Focus on that light at the end of the tunnel when you’re feeling overwhelmed.