Remodeling mistakes happen. The remodeling mistakes to avoid are the ones that affect your everyday tasks and make life more difficult.
Close to two years ago, my husband and I had a dream come true. We moved out of our 2 bedroom townhouse into our newly remodeled 4 bedroom home (with a brief 7-month stint in between at my parent’s house, which was very kind of them!).
We worked really hard to get to a point where we could do this and found a short sale that needed some love. Like most people, what started as a small project quickly escalated into a full remodel. Throughout the process, I learned tons about how even a simple decision can have repercussions once you are living in that space daily.
The Unconventional List of Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid:
1. Paint choices matter
Flat paint shows every ding or drip of water. Especially in the bathroom, where water splashes are everywhere you look. I am bad at drying my hands and most of the spots are my fault but still they are hard to hide. Also, dust does not easily come off of baseboards. Yuck.
2. Cheaping out on an interior designer
Before you think I am fancy, I’m not.
I only spent $150 on an interior designer but she saved me hundreds in repainting. Like anything, finding an expert to help in an area you aren’t familiar with is money well spent. To save money I researched all of our options and spent the time with her going through the choices to make the final decisions. This helped with deciding coordinating paint colors the most. No need to rebuy or repaint!
3. Forgetting about window treatments
When we were budgeting for the various items needed in each room we never even considered this, until it was too late. One room alone was $1000 and that was cheaper than most places I could have bought it from. Plus I don’t love them. So I will be purchasing another set in the future, much to my husband’s displeasure.
4. Avoiding confrontation with contractors
In an effort to get moved in quickly, and avoid an argument, we did not insist on the paint touch ups being completed. They drive me insane and we haven’t had the time or money to fix them. I know the conversation wouldn’t have been a fun one but what were we paying them for if the job wasn’t complete?
5. All wood floors
They are gorgeous, and I love them. Just not when I am trying to sneak quietly out of my children’s rooms. They make the loudest noises when you need it to be the quietest. Plus cleaning them breaks my back.
I have since invested in a mopping/sweeping robot. It is WELL worth the money as it helps keep the dust and dirt at bay. Plus it mops the floors without any effort, I only have to mop when there is a more stubborn spill. Check out my FB Live Post about it here!
6. Think about how things will have to be cleaned
When we gutted the master bathroom we had visions of a beautiful shower that had crystal clear glass doors. This one item in our house has taken up 60% of my cleaning effort. Look at that mold! EWWW I have tried multiple ways to clean it to no avail. That beautiful glass has to be held up somehow but cleaning it is not possible.
7. The expense of bathroom hardware
This is one of those items you take for granted since it’s everywhere you go. You never think about the cost and how quickly a toilet paper holder, towel ring, towel bar can add up. We went without it until we had family coming to stay with us and it was easily a couple hundred dollar visit to Home Depot.
8. Custom sizes of windows and benches
Having nonstandard sizes easily adds to the cost of accessories. It is worth looking for cushions and window treatments before you determine a size. If you can buy it already made it will be much easier to buy and replace in the future. No need to go crazy picking out fabric and finding someone to sew the cushion together. (Which is still on my to-do list)
9. Make sure to have all elements decided upfront
I HIGHLY recommend having knobs picked out ahead of time. It’s easy to get bogged down in the big decisions like counters, cabinets, and appliances and completely forget about the little items, like knobs. They can really change the look and feel of the room and are just as important.
10. Not being consistent
We only have a backsplash on one side of the kitchen and under cabinet outlets on one side. We did it to save money but now I wish we had been consistent. If you are particular, like I can be, try to anticipate what might drive you insane later. Even if it costs more upfront. You already have the contractors there and it won’t take much more effort for them.
And the Bonus tip is…
Don’t forget that after a year or so the house settles. We did new trim in the entire house and after a year much of it has settled and separated. At some point, we need to go back and caulk these spots or pay for someone else to do it. Either way, it’s another expense and time suck we didn’t plan for!
Plus the toddler points out every place it’s separated and tells us the house is broken. Needless to say, I want it fixed sooner rather than later!
Remodeling a house can be an amazing experience or a complete nightmare. With some planning and thought you can help avoid making the mistakes that affect your day to day life, and money in the long run.
What items would you recommend someone think about when remodeling that will affect them later?
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