My house is a very, very fine house.
It is on a quiet street in a pretty neighborhood. We are in a great school district and have some pretty fantastic neighbors.
I have no desire to move. Ever. Nope. I am staying put right here.
I love my house, but there are things about it I don’t love.
If you are anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time at home in the last year. You might have even binged a lot of HGTV or other home improvement shows. Maybe you did a lot of Pinterest daydreaming.
In the time we have owned our home we’ve knocked off quite a few of our projects. The list is ever-evolving and has certainly grown a bit in the past year. Now, I’m no professional or Joanna Gaines, but I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped my husband and me complete some great projects and keep our sanity in the process.
Make a List
I am a list maker. I make lists for EVERYTHING. It helps me keep organized and keep track of all the things. Luckily, my husband is fine with me being the project manager– I’m the dreamer and he’s the doer.
I have a master project list that we maintain. This is basically our wishlist. It lists what projects we want to accomplish and helps us to prioritize what we should tackle first. I also utilize this list to keep track of materials/tools needed and estimated costs.
Build a Budget
It is so, so important to keep your budget in mind when you are planning out and executing a remodel project. Paying for a project can escalate very quickly if you don’t set a fairly firm budget.
Personally, I refuse to go into debt to make any remodel project that is not a necessity happen. I also refuse to spend so much on a project that it prevents our family from doing other things we enjoy together. So, before we even decide which project to tackle, we sit down and figure out an estimated cost of materials plus a buffer for any unexpected costs– and they do happen. This helps up to determine what projects we are going to tackle when and what we need to make it happen.
I am also a deal shopper. If I can get the look I want in my home for less without sacrificing quality I am all for it. We tend to do a lot of window shopping when we price out materials and styles. Then I do a lot of internet searching for the same or similar materials. I recently found the exact bathroom faucet I fell in love with at Home Depot on Amazon for $100 less.
Know Your Limits
We may all dream about being the next Chip and Joanna or the next Ben and Erin, but we all don’t reasonably have those skill sets. I love to plan out our projects and I love to shop for the touches that make it come to life and I can definitely paint a wall or nail a hammer, but my skillset ends there. My husband is the doer. He makes all of our projects come to life, but even he has limits.
There are certain tasks like electrical work or major plumbing that are best left to the experts and we gladly outsource when needed. I’d rather pay for something to be done by a professional and correct the first time than incur an unexpected cost to fix a disaster later.
Make a Realistic Schedule
I cannot stress this enough.
We have four children and a fairly busy lifestyle. We cannot just wing it and make a project work. Clutter makes my anxiety fire up and I absolutely cannot handle my house in complete disarray for weeks or months at a time. It just doesn’t work for me.
Before we start any project we decide what a reasonable amount of time to complete it is. We also look at whether or not it is a weekend warrior kind of project or something that my husband can work on in the evenings once the kids go to bed. Then once we all the project materials together, we take out the calendar and coordinate these goals with our lives.
We recently did a small kitchen remodel project and I gave my husband two weeks to do it. For two weeks, that was all we did in our free time until it was completed. He was able to paint, refinish cabinets, and complete a new tile backsplash and I was never without a kitchen to cook in or staring at a complete mess in the process.