5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Remodeling

1.Plan Ahead

Take the time to plan everything that is required of your projects before starting including the costs, tools and supplies. While this may seem like an obvious step, it’s a step that often gets skipped in the excitement of remodeling. What is most important to you to get done first might not be the correct order of priorities. Those ugly floors might be driving you crazy mad, but it’s smarter to get the walls painted before you do the flooring in order to save you from the extra time needed prepping your space for painting and to prevent any disasters on your new flooring.  

My husband moved into our empty house a couple weeks ahead of the rest of us. In that time he ripped out all the carpet and tile, and took down the wall that was our fire place. While it felt like a great idea to get stuff done while he had an empty house to work in, it created two projects that were not on the top of the to do list. Had we planned ahead, we would have known that we needed to paint before we installed new floors. Refinishing the fireplace was a low priority on a long list of to-dos and wouldn’t get done for a long time after. Thus ugly, unfinished wall

2. Tackle One Project at a Time

This goes along with planning ahead. My husband and I have this ongoing joke about changing a light bulb. The joke is in reference to the popular T.V. show Malcolm In The Middle. It seemed like every time we started a new project, we would have to start a second or even third project before we could get the first project done! For instance, before we could tile the bathroom floor, we needed to install a new tub. After we installed the tub, we needed to tile the shower. Soon one project would turn into three projects and then things would start to get a little overwhelming.


Don’t let those Pinterest posts fool you. I fell for them, too. While it may seem really awesome that you can shiplap a whole wall for under $50, many of those posts either: a. don’t use the right supplies and lack quality, or, b. its some amazing killer deal! Remodeling the right way will cost money and while you may be able to save on some things, for others, it’s not worth the cut in costs. Do your research and overestimate when it comes to planning a project. Believe me when I say, every project we did cost more than we first thought.

Another thing! Consider the cost of tools.  Unless you know someone who has all the tools you can borrow, then you are going to have to add those costs either buying or renting. Most rented tools require a deposit and then charge you by the day or hour. You get the refund when you return the tool. When we did the math, we were close to the cost of purchasing the tool outright. So we chose to purchase instead of renting



Before taking on any big projects that require changing the structure of your home or even removing drywall, call your city’s planning and permit office.  The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money on a project only to find out it’s not up to code and have to redo it. We were able to learn a lot from just a phone call. It helped us to decide what projects we could tackle on our own, and what projects needed a contractor.

5.Create a Construction Free Space

This can be an area that you tackle in the beginning and finish completely first, or, something that you don’t touch until the end. Put it on your priority list. Make it a place for relaxing and unwinding. Remodeling is a lot of stress and sometimes you just need to take a break from the dirt and fuss. It’s not fun when you take a moment for yourself to relax only to have a half-painted wall staring at you reminding you of all the stuff you have left to accomplish. We got to a point where every room in our house had something that needed to be fixed, painted or organized. It became so hectic that I found myself constantly thinking about the long list of to-dos. I had nowhere to go to get away from it all. This month we finally got our room completely painted and all the baseboards done. I could kick myself for not making it a priority (see no. 1) to have a completed space. It’s nice to have a relaxing area that feels like a home, and not a construction zone. 

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