Realities of Renovating

The process of a complete home renovation is always bittersweet. On one hand it is exciting to plan and visualize what the new space is going to look like, on the other hand you are faced with the reality that is it not all smooth sailing. In fact, most phases of the process are rough (especially if you are living on site while major renovations are taking place). Fortunately, it becomes well worth it when you get to enjoy and live in the finished result!

I have compiled a list of the realities we encountered during our renovation so that you all can be better prepared than we were:

  1. Change orders will happen. And they suck. I know all of this is overly dramatized in shows like Love It or List It and Property Brothers, but they are certainly something to be mindful of when you are considering the budget of your remodel.
  2. Pick out fixtures that go with the home’s architectural design. This one may seem obvious, but it is something that I overlooked a few times when considering the finishes of our new home. I picked out the outdoor sconces and a pendant that looked amazing to me in the lighting showroom, but once they were installed I realized they looked a bit gothic and it might have been better to go with a more contemporary option. My dad picked out sand finished stucco for the exterior wall coverings because that is close to what we had before, but once that was applied I could not help but think siding would have been more suitable for the home’s contemporary traditional architecture.
  3. Sample that paint! Also, remember to sample the paint in the room it is actually going to be painted on. We made the mistake of sampling all of the paint colors in the living room and not taking different lighting into consideration. Our other mistake was when we would decide against certain paint colors that we had sampled, then pick out different color and have the room painted without sampling the new paint.
  4. Do not forget to measure. This one goes for new furniture, rugs, and lighting. There were many times where my family and I would eye the measurements of something and buy it just to find out we were wrong. This can be frustrating when it comes to shopping at outlet stores because of their strict return policies.
  5. Have fixtures picked out way in advance. This tip is important because you are working with the general contractor and subcontractor’s schedules. So if your fixtures are not all shipped in by the time it comes to install then you are on your own. For example my mom was indecisive about what kind of light fixture she wanted for her room. By the time she finally decided it was only a few weeks until the electrician was coming to install all of the light fixtures and the chandelier she picked out was on back order. Lucky for her it took the electrician longer than anticipated to install the other light fixtures so it worked out, but it is a good lesson for other projects.

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