Going through a home renovation? These are Shea McGee's top tips for waiting out the end result

Home remodels aren't as quick (or dust-free) as they often appear on TV. This is the advice Shea McGee offers if you're living through a reno

Shea McGee in her kitchen
(Image credit: Studio McGee)

If you've ever lived through a home renovation, you will be familiar with the chaos that tends to ensue. Between builders coming in and out of your house at all hours to the inevitable noise that becomes the status quo, it's notoriously a difficult process to get through. And while some get the opportunity to live somewhere else through the worst of the remodel, others are stuck right at home, living amongst the construction.

Luckily, interior designer Shea McGee just shared her top tips to those living through a remodel, from what to expect to how to cope with the worst of the process. And as someone who's led countless renovations (plus lived through many in her own home), there's no one better than Shea to share her advice. And with her tips in mind, you can make the final call on whether you should live on-site when renovating a property. Here's what she had to say.

What to know when living through a home remodel

Shea's first renovation tip is a classic: 'Be prepared for it to take longer than you planned.' More often than not, renovations seem to take longer than expected. Whether a shipment of materials doesn't come through in time or an appointment needs to be moved at the last minute, it's likely you'll need to wait a bit longer than planned for that final reveal. 

By going in with a calm, measured mindset and knowing that you'll probably need to extend your timeline, you'll be better prepared to take things as they come. You may even want to embrace slow renovating to avoid potential disappointment in case everything doesn't come together just so. The wait will undoubtedly pay off.

When living through a renovation, Shea says to know that just about everything will become 'so, so dusty.' As walls come up or down and as power tools are employed, dust and debris is inevitable. Be ready to stay away from the area that's being worked on the most and consider investing in one of the best air purifier's for a healthier, more comfortable renovation process.

Shea McGee
Shea McGee

Interior designer, Shea McGee founded her iconic design firm, Studio McGee, with her husband Syd in 2014. They later launched their e-commerce brand, McGee & Co, and starred in their very own Netflix show, Dream Home Makeover.

White living room with darker accents

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

'Know that the end result is worth it, but you're going to have to just roll with it,' says Shea, offering perhaps the most important piece of advice you'll need before embarking on a home renovation project. Your mindset is everything, and knowing that you'll need to be flexible and open-minded before you begin will do wonders for your stress levels every step of the way.

Finally, Shea says you'll need to brace yourself for the commotion that comes hand in hand with home renovation: 'Be comfortable with there always being loud noises and people in your house,' she says. 

This element of remodeling your home is unsettling for even the most experienced reno pros, but it's hard to avoid. Communicate and work with your interior designer and project manager, and make a plan for embracing it or distancing yourself as necessary to ensure you evade unwanted surprises.

As someone who's been through her fair share of renovations, Shea's tips are tried and true – and we're taking notes. Keep a clear head and make a plan ahead of time so that the final reveal will outweigh the inevitable inconveniences brought on by your home renovation.

Abby Wilson
News Writer

I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.