Did you know that a major renovation is often considered one of life’s most stressful events? Good grief! You wouldn’t think it would be stressful to create the house of your dreams. But in reality, the final phases of renovation can be tough on homeowners.

The selection of interior finishes is often the last stage of decision making and yet is the most visible and expensive part of your renovation. After months of stressful upheaval, anticipation and decision making, it’s common to be exhausted.

In a 2011 article, the New York Times claimed:

No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain.

Don’t despair. Your renovation will come to an end. Expect to be exhausted and prepare yourself in advance. Here are a few of TLC’s favourite strategies:

Tips for Decision Fatigue

  • Plan your budget early and stick to it. It’s no fun to be forced to select cheaper interior finishes because money has run out.
  • Work with your designer to establish a design anchor early in the process. This can help eliminate options. For example, the marble tile is certainly beautiful but it doesn’t fit in your “Urban Cottage” theme.
  • Work with a colour consultant to help create a consistent flow in your home.
  • Make decisions early so you’re not under stress at the last minute.
  • Maintain an honest and respectful relationship with your builder throughout the process so you’ll have solid footing if the budget or schedule come into question in the final stages.Decision fatigue 1