Friday, May 13, 2016

Things I Learned About Remodeling

My sister Becky and her husband are in the process of buying a house. Of course, that brings out the conversations of "the kitchen needs a new floor" "how hard is it to put new tile in the bathroom?" "wouldn't the house look cute with a front porch?".
And all those questions make me think about my house journey and things I have learned. So, Sister (and Friends!) here are a few tips on remodeling old houses!

~ It always takes longer then you think.
It sounds so easy on paper. All you have to do is rip out the carpet and lay new tile on the floor. What you don't realize, is first the floor joists must be fixed, then the kitchen cabinets removed, then the old rotten floor boards ripped, then cement board laid and THEN you can tile the floor.

~ There is always going to be something that you wish you had done different.
You try and try to think of all the options and all the possibilities, but in the end, something changes or what you think would have been an issue, is no issue at all. Don't sweat too much, it happens in life.

~ Be prepared to make a lot of choices.
I wasn't prepared for all the decisions that needed to be made. Suddenly, everyone is looking to you for direction, even if you have no clue to what you are doing, you get to say nay or yea. From the big (how do you want the bathroom laid out?) to the small (How many shelves in the linen closet?); easy (wall color?) to hard (where do you want the toilet?); the expected (what style of sink?) to the unexpected (how many faucet holes in the sink?); you get to make them all. And it can be overwhelming, but hang in there!

~There is a lot of advice out there. Don't let it bog you down.
If your family is anything like mine, everyone has three different opinions (which adds up to a lot fast!) about everything. Then there is the internet and blogs and diy websites. I almost had a nervous breakdown finishing my floors. I thought I had done something horribly wrong when in fact you can't expect stain to dry fast when it is pouring rain.
Advice can be helpful, but remember, you don't need to take it all.

~Enjoy the journey.
Remodeling is messy, it is crazy, chaotic and tiring. But if you are fortunate enough to have handy friends and family (or even just friends and family that are willing to pitch in!) it can be a special bonding time. There is nothing like late night painting parties or bonding time with your sister while squeezed into the stair well elbow to elbow pulling staples,

~Take your time.
This may sound like a no-brainier, but once the end of the project is in sight and all anyone can think of is Finally Getting It Done! Just make sure you take a little breather in the middle and enjoy the excitement of being there. And when there is another decision to be made and another trip to the hardware store and another huge expense to pay for, that is the time to take a break and have tea. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day and creating a lovely home is no different.

So Sister, I wish you good luck on your house journey and know I am going to be right there beside you with a paint brush in my hand! I can't wait!
(I am hoping Becky will let me share updates with you all too!)

What about you? Been there done that? Have any advice for a new house owner?


  1. It really helps if your husband/other half is a "finisher", one who finishes jobs. Mine can't be bothered to finish all little fiddly things before moving on to another project. It's frustrating, but I've learned to just relax and live with it. All your advice is good!

    1. Finishing always seems to the hardest part, doesn't it? Though I love the satisfaction of knowing it is completely done. Motivates me to start three more projects! Lol!

  2. Rozy, I am still waiting, over one year later, for my husband to finish up the little things. lol My biggest piece of advise: plan to spend twice what you budgeted. Especially in an older house, you will uncover things that need fixing that you did not plan for. Or you change your plans midway through a room. Or.... or.... or.

    1. So true, everything takes twice as long and twice as expensive! Old houses always have surprises, some good and some bad.