Lessons learned from renovating

This is a collaboration with Cordell

 I have been going through archived photos of our renovation and marvelling at what we have achieved with this place over the last 6 years.

I’ve written about our bathroom, our garden, the deck, updating the exterior and I even published a few scary ‘before’ photos.

As first time renovators, we had such glorious naivety when it came to the whole process and relied of many different sources for information.  I thought I would share with you some of the things I have learnt over the past few years.

Lessons learned from renovating

You need experts for the big things that require spotless finishes.  I’m talking about plastering, tiling and things like polishing floors.  These finishes make all the difference and can add or detract value from your home when you sell.

Without a doubt, electrical work should always be done by a professional.  Plumbing too – unless you are keen for a house full of water or leaking pipes!

In saying that, it is always hard to trust people to do exactly what you want.  Take the time to explain things or draw a diagram – it could make all the difference.

Project management is key.  You need to be at least one step ahead of everyone at all times!  This is probably why renovations and building work can be so stressful.

Confirm dates and times for appointments, follow up with people, make sure anything and everything needing to be completed before trades people arrive is done, or they will be cranky from the get go!

If all else fails – bake them a cake!


Renovation lessons learned - the "oh sh!t" moment.
Renovation lessons learned – the “oh sh!t” moment.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions – I did this a lot with the bathroom renovation, to help me gain an understanding of the process and keep things running smoothly.  Challenge the answers if you aren’t happy with them.  Just because someone says it can’t be done doesn’t necessarily mean that!  It may just mean they don’t want to do it any other way.  Be prepared to negotiate!

Trust your gut – if you get a bad feeling from someone who you are trusting with your biggest asset – your home – don’t ignore it!  If they make you feel uncomfortable when they are coming in for a quote, you will probably feel even worse if they are in your house for days on end.

Use your resources wisely – research as much as possible.  You can learn almost anything on You Tube.  My Husband learnt how to build a niche in a shower, amongst other things!

There is a multitude of information on line in places like Pinterest and Instagram and it is all free – be inspired and enjoy the creative process.

…and my number one personal lesson…

My Husband cannot read my mind – no matter how clear the picture is in my head, we will explain things in two completely different ways, even when we are saying the exact same thing.

What have you learnt from your renovating experiences or DIY projects?

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