After being in our house for over fifteen years and redoing almost all of it a bit at a time, we have learned many lessons in doing it right. Renovations look easy on HGTV: there is no mess to clean up, and the work is done quickly for little money. As an added bonus, TV renovations are done by attractive men and women who are all passionate about their jobs. Reality is a far cry from TV shows but the end result can be even more fabulous – what could be better than designing a space around YOUR needs?
Good luck on this week’s writing challenge!
Here are the lessons that we have learned over the years.
- Watch HGTV and other channels and learn from the mistakes of others. Ignore the time and cost of every renovation as they will only serve to depress you later. Make note of colours and styles that you like, as well as pieces of advice. Start a notebook to jot down thoughts as you watch, and start thinking about the logistics of things such as getting giant furniture in your bedroom or a Bobcat onto your patio. Ignore the time and cost of everything on TV. Did I say that already? Well, it’s important. No contractor wants to hear, “but it only took a week and cost $5,000 on TV!
- Think about the emotional cost of renovating. Are you dealing with other things right now that are stressful or busy? Do you have small children? Is there somewhere you can live for a few days or weeks when the house is torn apart? Some renovations should be done as soon as possible, like getting rid of mold. Others can, and should, wait until kids are older when you have more money and sanity. Life continues to happen while you renovate so it’s best to start while things are calm.