After living in the same house for the past seven years, my wife and I decided it was time to do some interior renovations, both to make it more practical and to get rid of the antiquated decor.
This was the first time either of us has ever done any sort of major remodeling and, even though we did a decent enough job planning ahead and calculating our costs, we discovered it still was a major learning experience. In fact, there were three things we learned that we will remember the next time we plan a project like this.
First, home renovation isn’t nearly as hard as we first thought it would be. Part of the reason why we waited so long to start renovating our home was because we thought it would be overly difficult and time consuming. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case at all. A lot of the projects we put off were considerably easier than we expected. In fact, had we known they would be as easy as they were, we would have done this years ago and, while there are still some things I won’t attempt to do without professional help (like replacing our toilet), it’s given me some confidence with future projects.
Second, it’s important to make sure you know what you want. One of the rooms we are renovating is our kitchen and, when we started out, we had a picture in our heads about what we wanted to do in that room. However, after starting, we came up with a completely different plan. Fortunately, we didn’t commit any money toward our previous plan and making the change was easy. However, in the future, we are going to talk things out a little better ahead of time.
Last, we learned it’s important to have a contingency plan. One of the first things we did as part of our renovation was pull up the carpeting in our hallway. The original plan was to use the hardwood floor that was already underneath the carpet and just clean it up a little bit. But, as we were pulling up the carpet, we discovered it was attached by an obscene amount of staples (about one staple every 2-3 inches). By the time we destroyed the floor ripping those up (and there are still at least another 100 still in it), we ended up tiling the floor instead. Fortunately for us, we thought there might be a chance of this happening and had put some extra money aside, just in case.
We still have a long way to go until we get the house renovated to the point we will feel completely comfortable in it. But, thanks to these lessons, we will be prepared for any future projects.