Resented renovations: options for self motivation


There are certain renovations that homeowners have to undertake that are not undertaken willingly.

These aren’t the renovations that excite us; the renovations that promise a new and improved place to live. Those renovations are easy; who doesn’t love the idea of improving their home environment, making every room feel shiny and new again? No, the “resented renovations” are the essential home maintenance tasks we have to do to protect our home-- and persuading yourself to do these is far more difficult.

While it’s easy to summon your enthusiasm for improvement, maintenance renovation is work done to keep your home looking, well, exactly like it always has. Improved in terms of energy efficiency or safety, sure, those facets are important-- but they’re not exciting. So how can you persuade yourself to spend money on the resented renovations?

Option One: Bargaining

Bargaining is fairly simple; it’s a way of forcing yourself to do a home maintenance task that you’re less than enthused about, in exchange for something you are enthused about. It works like this:

You know that your roof needs to be replaced; not the most exciting of tasks, necessary but rather dull. You’re also hankering after a new color for the kitchen walls, which is far more interesting and will improve your living space.

So you strike a bargain; you’ll call in a roofer and replace the roof, then -- as a reward -- you can redecorate the kitchen as you see fit. When the job you’re less-enthused about ends, that’s the starting pistol to start work on the task you really want to do. Bargaining with yourself is surprisingly effective, so it’s definitely worth trying!

Option Two: Dire Warnings

The second option is to give yourself a stern talking to. For example:

  • “If you don’t fix that roof by the time winter arrives, you’re going to waste so much money on heating bills!”
  • “If you don’t get that boiler system serviced, there’s a potential for a carbon monoxide leak!”
  • “If you don’t clear the gutters of leaves, then there’s every chance a family of wasps might move in!”

When you understand the consequences of not undertaking resented renovations, you might be able to accept that these renovations are, indeed, necessary-- and that can give you a push in the right direction to ensure they’re completed.

Option Three: Challenge Yourself

How well can you manage a renovation? How quickly can you organize for work to be done? Are you able to manage the finances? Are you going to be able to get a good deal?

If you’re a competitive person, then you might find that challenging yourself to get resented renovations done is a surprisingly effective way of getting the work done. See if you can outdo yourself and get through a resented renovation in the best way possible-- and your prize? The satisfaction of knowing you don’t have to go through that renovation again for years!


Persuading yourself to go through with the not-fun-but-essential renovations is one of the tougher parts of owning your own home. However, when you get the resented renovations out of the way, you can turn your attention to an area of your house you are genuinely enthused about being able to renovate-- which is reward in and of itself..

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