Renovation Island's Hosts Share Advice For Surviving A Major Home Makeover

Sarah and Bryan Baeumler are the husband and wife stars of HGTV's "Renovation Island," and the duo who demolished, designed, and divined their way through the restoration of a 1960s-built Bahamian resort that had been languishing on the market for a decade. The remote South Andros island property included 22 private villas, a hotel, and various facilities dispersed across ten acres, per The List. The couple became enamored of the island while on vacation and later committed themselves to the resort's revitalization, transplanting their family of six from Canada to the subtropical location for the arduous process. HGTV described the series' pilot season as an armchair travelogue. However, it may have been nearer to the horror genre, with threatening hurricanes, island wildlife, and construction surprises, all within a looming six-month deadline. What would have sent others packing just encouraged the Baemlers to buckle up for the ride. 

They're no neophytes — the licensed contractor and project manager had hosted previous renovation shows and undertaken the construction of their personal dream home on screen (via Nicki Swift) — though the resort was by far their most challenging redevelopment yet. In the program's latest season, the Baeumlers have moved to Florida and begun the transformation of a new property. It seems even a remote, oceanfront luxury resort is not enough to entreaty these intrepid DIYers to rest on their laurels. We may as well take advantage of their considerable expertise and experience — let's discover their tips for surviving a significant renovation.

Give yourself an escape

Bryan and Sarah Baeumler can give solid, real-life advice regarding the best way to approach a major home makeover. They were featured on DIY's "House of Bryan," per Nicki Swift, a show that followed the couple as they demolished a residence and rebuilt it as their ideal family home. They didn't have their pick of 22 villas to relocate to during the chaos, so according to Canadian Living, the family of six lived in the house for the duration of the two-year period. 

Bryan relayed that it's imperative that a clean and uncluttered area is maintained so there is a place to escape from the stresses and hazards of an active construction zone. This is even more essential if small children reside in the home, and a priority during the renovation was providing the couple's children with bedrooms. Once a new, safe space is completed, it can be occupied while continuing work on another section. The Baeumlers constructed an addition for the family to move into, allowing them to begin renovation on the old part of the home. Sarah conceded that a lack of room for the large family to spread out was a huge challenge (via Global News).

Give yourself a realistic budget

According to Global News, Bryan Baeumler has said the most significant issue homeowners experience as they embark on a renovation is inadequate budgeting. He reported that underbudgeting is a catalyst for cutting corners which can compromise the integrity and appearance of the project and damage relationships with contractors and tradespeople. Instead, per Canadian Living, Bryan suggested starting with the highest reasonable budget. 

Planning correctly is vital when creating a financial scope; the couple shared that ideally, it will incorporate details including finishings, fixtures, furniture, and décor. Conversely, Sarah Baeumler believes it's essential to step back and maintain the overall goal and vision for the home in mind. She notes to consider function, the time you plan to own the property, and how your needs might change throughout that timeframe. 

Sarah has also said that it's equally important to focus on the big picture and what all the upheaval is for: your family. According to her, a renovation can be an all-consuming endeavor, and you must remember to give time and energy to your relationships. Bryan agreed, relaying that compromise and considering everyone's wishes for the project are necessary for a successful renovation. He also explained that in what can be an extremely taxing process, sometimes you have to remind yourself to enjoy the ride.