As some of our home improvement and renovation projects are coming to a close, Ryan and I have discussed how far we have actually come. I think it's important to step back from time to time and look at the true progress made. Sure, there are a million other little things we can't wait to finish up. The length of some of these projects can really get you down when life at home is quite disassembled. Our home was built in the seventies and looks a lot like any other house from that time. What it does have is potential and we've always seen that. Last night, Ryan and I were laughing about the mistakes we've made along the way and we'd like to pass on some of the things that now work for us....
1. Don't get upset when you uncover poor craftsmanship in your home.
It's going to happen. When a homebuilder has several builds going on, little things get over looked and corners are cut. Luckily standards have been raised with newer homes. Laugh it off and fix it right this time!
2. If you can't complete a project correctly, wait until you can.
If you have don't quite have a budget large enough to complete the project or are short on time, just be
patient. It's a lot easier to get what you actually want the first time. If you can afford something now that's just not exactly what you are wanting or the quality you need, over time you will get frustrated with it and buy the item you orginally dreamed of. In the long run, you waste time and money. And hubby doesn't exactly like replacing something more than once....
3. Research and find the best deal!
For Heaven's sake, don't buy the first thing you see! Go to salvage stores, yard sales, and home improvement stores! Travel the clearance aisles! With this economy, more people are transforming junk items into hidden treasures. Craigslist is also the way to go when looking to save money. Again, being patient really pays off here too. Don't be afraid to really search for the best prices. If you save on something you just have to have for your renovation, it leaves you with extra for decorating.
4. A can of paint goes a long way....
It's amazing what a little bit of paint can do for tired, worn out projects. Instead of buying new cabinets right now, we used paint on them and they turned out beautifully in our bathroom. $40 in paint saved us several hundreds in cabinet replacement!
5. Turn the music on and grab your hubby!
When you take the time to enjoy the renovation process, it makes all the difference. It seems to get completed a lot quicker if you have something to listen to and someone to laugh with. If your hubby is the one doing the work, jump in and help. If that's not possible, sitting beside him helps too. Home projects are relationship building opportunities!
6. You don't have to spend a fortune to make a dramatic change....
You may be wondering how in the world you can tackle a project. Make a plan and be realistic. If you want a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom with mood lighting and heated tile floors, but you have a couple hundred dollars put aside for the whole project, you may be disappointed. Changing the wall colors, buying a coordinating shower curtain, and adding new fluffy towels goes a long way. Adding more storage in a linen closet or under the cabinets can work wonders. These drastic changes look great and fit a smaller budget.
7. You don't have to do it all at once!!!
If you're remodeling your kitchen, try doing it in stages. It's not as overwhelming! Break it into smaller tasks. Replace the cabinets or refinish them first. Then later paint the walls and decorate them. Then tackle the new floor. Having a kitchen out of commission for a long period of time not only disrupts family life, but it will drive you insane!
8. Search websites and other blogs for creative inspiration.
Other people can offer a wealth of knowledge when they've been in your shoes. The DIY Network acknowledges how many people actually want to renovate their own homes. There are people out there that have made it through the problems you face with your home today. You can find a few of my favorites to the right of my blog.