“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”- Napoleon Bonaparte
I have LOVED to watch HGTV and the DIY channel for years. When Covid hit, my husband and I took it as the perfect opportunity to make the changes we’ve always dreamed of to our home and embrace our inner Chip and Joanna Gaines. We tackled a bathroom renovation and are nearing the end of a kitchen renovation. Both projects have come out better than expected! Both projects have also taken significantly longer than expected as well, but the result has been worth it. Below are my lessons learned from the process:
Make a Budget: Make a budget of how much you can afford to spend on your renovation. Include a contingency within the amount budgeted, so you are prepared for the unexpected surprises that come up during the process.
Get on the Same Page. At the beginning of the process, my husband sat me down and said, “Let’s have a planning session for the kitchen.” I wrote down what needed to be accomplished and we wrote a date next to the action items. The plan has deviated and taken longer, BUT it was so helpful to understand generally all the items that had to be accomplished to have a fully functioning bathroom and kitchen.
Expect Surprises: There will be unexpected surprises throughout the process! Let go and let the project happen. (I am taking my own advice here!)
Take a Break. The balance of working full-time jobs AND doing a renovation has its ups and downs. Several weekends in a row, my husband was spending most of the weekend working on either the kitchen or bathroom. This made the entire family grumpy and like we did not truly have a weekend! Instead, he works one day of the weekend. The other day, our family can have quality time doing fun activities and spending time with loved ones.
YouTube is Your BFF. Don’t know how to do plumbing? YouTube does! This tool is why so many millennials can teach themselves to do so many cool things.
Know When to Bring in the Experts: It is ok to be honest that a certain aspect of the project would be done more efficiently and effectively by a tradesperson who is an expert in that area.
Have Fun! Throughout the process, I have gotten frustrated with the ups and downs. It is a blessing to be able to afford to make these upgrades. Me ten years ago never would have thought this would have been a possibility.