So you’re going to buy a Fixer Upper
HGTV has inspired countless people to take on home renovation projects. Many watch Chip and Joanna and are encouraged to improve the sore thumb in their own home, but in reality, the task is more complicated than shown on TV, possibly more expensive and certainly won’t be completed in 30 minutes! What can we do to embrace the urge to rehab our homes without wanting to pull our hair out?
- Start with one manageable project and take the time to make a list of exactly what is needed to complete the project. Let’s use a powder room for example and create a list that includes the basics like flooring, wainscoting, vanity, toilet, plumbing fixtures, lighting, fan, switch plates and then expand the list to consider items that might come up, such as sheetrock replacement, electrical upgrades, trim, subfloor and budget additional money for the items that you can’t see. It’s never fun to spend money on things that can’t be seen or aren’t expected.
- Take the list you’ve created and go to a few different places (or shop online) to get an idea of what style you like and the cost associated with your taste. If you have champagne tastes, make certain your wallet backs up the style! It will also give you the opportunity to prioritize where you want to spend the big bucks. Perhaps you’ll select reasonably priced tile flooring and spend more on a custom vanity or some upscale, attractive lighting?
- Stop at an open house in your neighborhood to make certain that your design isn’t going to over-improve the house. Your renovation dollars must be inline with the values of your neighborhood and it’s essential that you don’t overspend on an improvement where you won’t recoup the money. If you plan on staying in your home and want to create the bathroom of your dreams, then full speed ahead! Create and enjoy your renovation!
- Once you’ve completed your first renovation project, make a list of other upgrades or changes you’d like to make and organize by priority or timing. For example, kitchen remodels are less painful during the summer since you can grill dinner to avoid the chaos of construction.
Organization is the key to almost any home repair or rehab. Everything will go more smoothly if you have a list of what you need and ideas, photos or Pinterest of what you want. Remember the bigger the project, the more choices you’ll need to make and prepare accordingly. Based on experience, allow more time than a YouTube video or HGTV show suggests you’ll need. One kitchen back-splash taught us two things – 1. Just because you see someone tackling a back-splash and completing the project in 4 hours doesn’t mean that will be the case for you (as we finished around 1 a.m.) and 2. Sometimes it’s really worth the peace just to pay someone who knows what they’re doing!