Well, you’ve made it with me through the end of our remodeling project. I say end with a big hearty laugh.
If you’ve ever done a big remodeling project, you know end is a loose term.
We no longer have contractors. But when you start work on an old house, you realize you’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some of my post-remodeling recommendations for you starting out.
PUT EXTRA MONEY BACK! Biggest tip ever. We had bad wiring which had to be fixed. Once the wall was installed separating the den and mud room/laundry room, all the lighting had to be redone so it would be centered. Because we have an open concept home, once we splashed up new paint in the den and kitchen eat in area, we had to paint the kitchen and living room too.
Not to mention all the “new stuff” you want. I’m not even starting on all the new furniture I want. I didn’t get it. I’d love new shelves and a sectional for my den but it was WAY far out of the budget. However, I did need all of this: new trash cans for the bathrooms, new towels for the bathrooms, new bathroom accessories, shelving for behind the toilet, window treatments, etc., etc., etc.
Also, because I didn’t “remodel” the bedroom but wanted it to flow with the lovely new master bath, I sold our heavy wood bedroom furniture and planned to use those funds to purchase new furniture. How expensive could a tufted headboard be? Well… I discounted the furniture I sold for a hurricane family. Then I couldn’t find a headboard I wanted under $500. So I didn’t make my budget, even with my reasonable finds for end tables and a dresser. I got my hubby on board, but I did blow that commitment. (I do LOVE the headboard and it was $799 on Wayfair if you’re interested in buying one on-line but scared about quality.)
Prepare for tack on issues. The biggest issue we have faced is plumbing. Oh evil plumbing. The pipes we replaced in the back half of the house were awful metal corroded pipes. (We really have to replace the ones in the front half, but that will come next year.) The plumber installed PVC pipes as is industry standard now. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, maybe because of increased flow, the downstream lines outside now can’t handle the flow. We have had SIX plumber visits in December and January. We have had raw sewage shoot up our new shower when the washer runs. Water has seeped out from under the toilets. It’s been horrific. We are working with the City because it appears the problem downstream is theirs, but if not could be another $5K to rip up our patio and install new pipes. UGH!
Also, it’s highlighted other things that need to be done. We lost windows in the kitchen eat in area so we need to install a new one on the outside wall and put in a new light. We desperately need new carpet in the back half of the house because it shows how nasty and old it is now. The return flow for the air and heat got messed up because the laundry hall area is closed off now. The AC guy from the contractors got it wrong so for this winter it is too hot in the living spaces and too cold in the bedrooms.
Give yourself time to finish it off. Your budget will thank you if you don’t finish it all the day the contractors move out. I’m a girl who likes things wrapped up. But because I went a little slower than my DNA likes, I saved money. I wanted a clean white comforter that looked like a duvet cover but wasn’t one. I found the perfect one on Macy’s website but it was almost $500 – way out of my budget. Before Black Friday, they marked it down to $249. Oh so tempting. But still, I resisted. Then, thank you Black Friday, the comforter was marked down for the day to $149. I love it even more because I got a deal. The roman shades took time to customize. I didn’t have those in until Christmas. I still don’t have wall hangings for my room because I think I want canvas prints over our headboard but I can’t decide. There’s lots of odds and ends like not having all our linens and bathroom storage done. It’s okay.
I’m glad we did it. I love the look. But, we weren’t prepared for the pain. And we weren’t prepared for all the additional issues it would raise.
Just go in with your eyes open. Pack your patience. Pray. Find a Laundromat and befriend your neighbors (remember when I had to run across to my neighbor’s because we had NO toilets!).