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Expert Contributor

In the war between your rational mind and your emotional heart, a home renovation is a major battlefield.

Reason wants budget, function and a reasonable time frame for the project. However, your heart wants something worthy of royalty, including all the newest gadgets, and the heart wants it all now. Read on for homeowner insight into how to best balance these two warring sides without losing your mind.

Reason Vs Emotion During Home Improvement Projects

As a savvy individual who is preparing for a home improvement project, you can avoid conflicts that arise surrounding reason vs emotion, whether you are embarking on something as major as a kitchen remodel or bath remodel job.

If you are approaching this project as part of a group (you and your spouse and/or children), keeping emotions out of the discussion helps avoid the drama that comes from any desire for items that are too fancy for your current level of income. 

But even if you are tackling the remodel work by yourself, you will be undoubtedly feel conflicted from time to time as you weigh luxury over price or consider installing a fancy, complicated, state-of-the-art microwave oven instead of a simpler and more reasonably priced model.

Establish Goals and Priorities

Begin by setting priorities to help guide your decision-making process. If you are focused on “going green,” that helps narrow down some purchase options (such as to only use organic paint and fabric or to rule out certain types of wood because of deforestation concerns). And once you realize that you must have wooden floors, you don’t need to get bogged down in carpeting options.

Homeowners on a tight budget will need to pay close attention to the costs involved. For example, after doing research into various types of cabinets, flooring, fixtures and appliances, you will have a better idea of what your budget can handle. 

For example, if you have your heart set on a refrigerator that has its freezer section on the bottom instead of the side, the added expense can be offset by selecting a less expensive flooring option.

Before considering any appliance, you should check out reviews in objective, consumer-oriented publications or websites. You might find more room in your budget after rejecting appliances that have more options than you need, after all.


List and Distinguish Must-have Items with Things that Would be Nice to Have

Make a list of the different items you want to include during remodeling, and designate those that are must-haves and which ones would be nice to have but that you and your family can live without.

Two sinks in a married couple’s bathroom might be more important to you than adding a shower-bath in the hall bathroom, for example. A kitchen island that improves efficiency and gives you greater workspace could be seen as more valuable to you than a new skylight.

A family that keeps its emotion in check (while still relying on emotion to guide the decision-making process for color, materials and appliances/fixtures selection) will have a much more successful remodeling project. You want the home to be an oasis of peace and calm, and there is no need to go through a lot of fuss and bother to upgrade your dwelling.

David C. has written thousands of articles on a variety of topics for websites and numerous print publications, including Popular Science, Wired, Wired Japan, OMNI, Space News, Ad Astra, The Net, Diabetes Interview, Mobile Home Monthly, Video Guide, Food and Beverage Journal and The Optimist. Dave has written on construction topics for a variety of websites, on topics ranging from reading construction blueprints, doing HVAC work, donating construction services to charitable causes, using LEDs for home lighting, incorporating home automation technologies into houses, installing home elevators, and working with plumbing and electrical contractors.