Moving can be stressful, but add the process of building a new home on top of it, and you're in for quite the ride.
There are some ambitious homeowners-to-be that take on the task of being general contractor themselves. However, what they save in money, they reap in stress.
Don't fool yourself, though. Those who opt to employ a contractor or builder for this project aren't immune to homebuilding stresses. From the search for the right lot, contractor, and houseplan, to choices in construction grade and interior design details, there's a lot to think about.
Here are some useful tips to keep stress at bay.
1. Plan ahead. There is perhaps nothing more important than starting early and keeping ahead of schedule in your planning. If you wait to the last minute (hello, procrastinators), you will have added stress as you scramble around only to find out your cabinets will now take 5 weeks to ship or that your financing is falling through.
2. Be Organized: Keep a list with contact numbers, notes, estimates and budgets, and projected due dates.
3. Have Re-grouping Sessions. Set aside one day a week to reorganize your list and to look over things that must be completed. Use this time to organize a "to do" list for the week and to figure out what tasks can be delegated to your spouse, family, or builder. A good leader delegates!
4. Open Communication: Have open communication with your builder. Be sure you know where your money is actually going. You need to be comfortable asking even the simplest questions.
And to deal with unavoidable stresses, try out these tried and true methods.
1. Breathing: Have you ever noticed how much calmer you feel after you take in a slow, deep breath and then release it? Conscious breathing can bring a deep sense of peace to even the most hectic of moments.
2. Yoga and Stretching: Yoga doesn't have to mean long and pricey classes. You can learn a few simple stretches and postures that allow you to release stress and keep your body open and ready to handle the next day.
3. Laughter: Take breaks to laugh and have fun! All work and no play, well, it's no way to live. Have family game nights or watch funny movies!
4. Healthy Food: You can't expect a car to make on a cross-country trip running on fumes or contaminated gas. Your body is your vehicle. Be sure to eat healthy, so that your brain is geared to make wise and sound decisions.
5. Exercise: Did you know that taking that evening jog or working up a sweat on the elliptical is about more than just fitting into your skinny jeans? It's about training your body to withstand stress.
6. Simplify. Your friends and family will understand! Don't feel obligated to accept every invitation or make it to every event. This is a time to find balance in your life.
Building a home is a long process. Depending on the size of your home it can take anywhere from three months to a year or more, not counting the preliminary planning stage full of house plans, permits, and budgetary issues. It will all be worth it, though, when you lay your head down to sleep that first night in your very own dream home.