Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top 5 Things I've Learned While Renovating

I'll be the first to tell you that I had a lot to learn when it came to renovating this apartment. I've done a lot of DIY projects over the years, but they were small in comparison to totally revamping this dingy, outdated space. 

My Mom and I were recently discussing things we've learned and what knowledge we will use from now on in future projects. Here's our list…

1. Measure every surface, wall, floorspace, and window in your space. 
Keep the measurements with you at all times. You'll never know when you're out and about and find something (a sink, a light fixture, a piece of furniture) that would fit your area perfectly. 

2. You will go over budget. It's inevitable.
This is something I was always told, but never believed. I thought that because I'm so organized and price-conscious, I wouldn't go a penny over. This wasn't true. When renovating a space, there are always hidden money pits. You can do your best to avoid them, but you might as well embrace that some things are going to cost money. 

3. It will take more time than you think. It's inevitable. 
Mom and I thought we could paint three rooms in a day. We were so wrong! I'd say that whatever time span you've given yourself or another person (contractor, repairman, etc.), add two to four weeks on to that span of time. Trust me, it'll save you the frustration if, like going over budget, you embrace it now. 

4. Don't cheap out on paint. 
We figured out that because we weren't using the highest quality paint, it was taking us two to three coats to cover an average size room. This was time consuming and annoying. We should have just spent the extra money to purchase the good stuff (Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, etc.) and saved ourselves the hassle. 

5. Know when to call an expert (or as Mom and I say, "Know when to fold 'em").
I can watch a ton of YouTube tutorials and read countless blog posts about how to do repairs and certain DIY projects, but there are times when you just need to throw in the towel and call an expert. For example, there's no way Mom and I could have restored the terrazzo floors ourselves, so we spent money on hiring a restoration specialist. It's time and frustration saved when you hire someone who knows exactly what they're doing. 

I hope this helps you with your next renovation project! Good luck!

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