Renovation Survival Guide

August 06, 2023

The time has come. You know it, they know it, everyone knows it. There isn’t any grout that’s not cracked between your tiles, that old oil paint has completely yellowed on every last door frame, the popcorn ceiling has lost its pop and the golden ceiling lamps have given up all hope of becoming popular again. Yes, it’s time for a renovation.

For those who have never done a renovation, yes, it’s usually as difficult as they say, but with the right approach, it can be a positive experience and definitely worth the effort. A really important thing to start with is: mindset. It’s going to take longer than you think and it’ll be more expensive. There are the kinds of renovations that have to be done because your floor is collapsing, and the kind where you don’t want to be living in the 80’s anymore. Whichever one it is, keep these few things in mind:

  • Be prepared to go over budget! There might be bigger problems hiding behind the walls, or you might just want to do a little extra to really round out the project. It doesn’t take an HGTV marathon to know that these things almost never stay within budget, so have a buffer!
  • Space it out! You don’t have to do it all at once! We live in a society of instant gratification, but really there’s no reason you shouldn’t take your time and complete the project one room at a time.
  • Look for deals! You don’t always have to go to the end of the isle where the cheap stuff is. Often there are flooring stores or wholesalers that have a remaining or discontinued stock of certain products- these will often be priced to move! There are also options on social media. Often there are people who had their own home projects and have left over material, like tiles. It might not be enough for a main floor but if you’re only doing a powder room or foyer, you might be in luck!
  • It will be over! It might cost a lot and it might take a few extra weeks, but at some point that renovation will be done, and you’ll be able to sit down and enjoy your new space.

Lastly, remember that each renovation is worth it! There hasn’t been one where after everything was done, the person said “nope, I want it back the way it was!” (ok, maybe in that one episode of Seinfeld), but otherwise making those kinds of changes increases the value of your home, gives your living space a fresh look, and very often catches certain problems (like leaks, mold, structural weaknesses) before they can get worse.

Good luck and happy planning!

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