You think you’re on the road to Utopia -but, you feel like you’re passing through the seven rings of hell to get there.

If this is you, chances are good you are somewhere in the middle of your home renovations.

Your concept was an open-plan haven filled with light and the sweet smell of freshly waxed wood. Fluffy pillows adorned the deep leather sofas and gossamer drapes graced the honey-coloured walls. Yet here you stand, in the middle of what used to be your kitchen. The floor looks like it’s made of compacted cow dung, the gaping hole in your wall (where your sink should be) is letting in an icy draft and you’re looking for a sharp object to threaten your spouse with if he makes one more comment about the tiles that you chose.

Most home renovations are – quite literally –  done with blood sweat and tears.

So what can you do to make sure that you don’t lose the fragile grip on your sanity when planning your home renovation project?

It’s all about planning.

Rearrange the rooms.

If you are only renovating a few key rooms, such as a kitchen or a bathroom, you’ll need to repurpose another room to serve that function. Plan early and move everything into place before you start knocking down walls. That way, when you are exhausted and are craving a seat and a cup of tea – you’ll be able to find both.

Keep rubble at bay.

You will be amazed at the sheer volume of dirt, rubbish and mess that gets generated during a remodel. Make sure that you know where this is going, and clean up after yourself every day. If you have a contractor doing some of the bigger jobs, then ensure that rubble removal is part of the cost. A garden full of bricks, dry walling and an old toilet is never going to look good.

Protect the rest of the house.

Bringing in power tools and a sledgehammer can spell disaster for your porcelain tiles. Cover up floors that may get damaged with heavy traffic – taping down some heavy duty cardboard should do the trick. Placing old boxes or lengths of rubber hose on door frames and wall corners will stop them from getting chipped. And of course, if you can tape a sheet of plastic across a doorway to keep the dust and fumes away from the rest of the house, that’s a great plan.

Factor in the weather.

If you can, plan your renovations during the dry season. Torrential rain has a way of slowing things down and making the whole process far more difficult than it needs to be. This is especially true if you are doing any work at all on the roof!

Make sure you have everything you need.

Nothing slams the brakes on quite as quickly as not having the correct tools or products that you need to complete your job. Oh the frustration! Plan ahead and have a checklist of everything you will need. This will expedite the process as well as save you a ton of cash when you are running back and forth from the shop.

Project Manage your spouse.

In a recent survey conducted by Houzz, 12% of couples admitted to considering a separation or divorce mid-renovation. One of them was quoted as saying “First time in 10 years I did not like my spouse.”  This is kind of a big deal, and one of the most popular suggestions is to treat this remodel like a business agreement. You have your duties, and he has his. You agree up front on everything; the colour of the walls, the budget, the finishes – and you stick to it.

Home renovations should really only be attempted by emotionally stable, physical strong people with impossibly high levels of optimism. That way, when you’ve slept in the cupboard for two weeks, you can’t find a single pair of shoes that match, and your kettle is sitting with paintbrushes in it – well then that won’t matter at all.  Good luck creating your new space.