When my husband and I inherited my grandmother’s house we knew we were in for a big and exciting project. We had never taken on anything like this before and had no idea where to start. Turns out you start by knocking all the walls down! We completely gutted our 4 bedroom 1 bathroom Cape house into an amazingly gorgeous 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom Colonial. Luckily, we worked with some great people who guided us through the process and made it very easy for us. With that being said, here are some things I learned during the project…
1 – Find A Good Contractor
I was lucky enough to have known an AMAZING team of contractors [insert plug for Kadilak Homes here]. However, finding a good and trustworthy contractor is more than half the battle. You can ask around to people you know that have had work done or you can hop on websites like Houzz and check out reviews. Always visit one of your contractors finished projects and check all credentials, such as insurance and referrals. There are some really questionable people in the industry and you want to make sure the person you hire is credible, but you also want someone you are going to enjoy working with.
2 – It Will Go Over Budget
One of the biggest things I learned was that it will always cost more than you thought. You start out with a quote, but maybe there’s an unforeseen issue that arises. It could be that the old 1940’s sewer pipes aren’t in great shape and you have to tear up your entire front lawn to install new pipes ($$). Or oh no, after opening up a wall you find termite damage ($$)! Perhaps you get a little carried away with a few upgrades… of course you want that natural gas line hooked with up to your brand new grill ($$)! Why wouldn’t you upgrade to a tankless water heater ($$)! Make sure you prepare for at least 10% more than what you had originally discussed with your contractor. You never know what’s behind walls, ceilings, or even in your front yard!
3 – Design Is Hard
The hardest part of our remodel for me was the color and tile selection. It can be very overwhelming to walk into a tile or paint store and have to pick what you want out of hundreds of options. I can scour the Internet and Pinterest for hours and say what I like and don’t like, but actually having to select things off a wall of tile and books of paint samples is whole different experience. It can be difficult to visualize what this tone of gray will look like with that backsplash or this countertop. Take paint samples and tile samples you like along with you to help you get a better idea of what everything will look like once its complete.
4 – Dust Is No Joke
We have been done with our remodel for over a year now. There is still dust in my house. Granted, it’s on a hallway wall that I can’t reach to clean, but it’s there! I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the amount of dust that is going to be in your house. It doesn’t matter how much taping and plastic there is, it is NEVER enough. Dust will always win and the sooner you realize that the better. I wish I had a solution for you, but I don’t…Sorry!
5 – It Will Never Be Perfect
As much as you will love the finished product there is always going to be something that you wish you could change or that you aren’t completely happy with. It’s really okay. You didn’t really need that pot filler anyway!
Going through a remodel is one of the most stressful things, but I promise you it will all be worth it in the end. I’m serious, I know a great contractor if you need one!! Curious to see more before and afters? Check out the project blog HERE.
Attend one of our FREE HOME BUYER & SELLER CLASSES!
See our client reviews on Zillow.