You see beautiful renovations of kitchens and bathrooms on popular networks, your mind starts working… I would LOVE that in my own home. The episode on television shows a 10 minute clip of the work actually being completed. You think, “how hard could it be!?”, right?
Bathrooms and kitchens have a significant amount of components, making them logistically complicated and time-consuming to complete.
Going into our bathroom renovation, we knew it would be a lot of work. The reality of how much work was actually involved was the shocking part, more specifically, how many things could go wrong.
Up until this point, my husband and I have had relatively painless renovations. I suppose, we were “due” to have a nightmare.
Here are a few tips to help avoid a nightmare situation:
1. Know when to hire a professional. Seems obvious but renovation “gone-wrong” shows do not exist for nothing. Have you ever noticed the renovations that typically go wrong are bathrooms or kitchens? I am a firm believer we have experts out in the world for a reason, use them! Hiring a licensed electrician or plumber is the best investment you could make when completing a renovation. Can you imagine having the project finished, looking pretty and new, to only find out the “do-it yourself plumbing” is now leaking? Horrible. Bite the bullet, hire someone.
2. Have a vision. I can’t stress enough the value of creating vision boards with paint swatches, tile and countertop samples, etc. Your end result will have the effect you are dreaming of if you have some “method to your madness”. Quick side note… I was in the home improvement store and overheard a lady actually changing the entire colour scheme of her kitchen based on a change in countertop. Pretty expensive change in heart if you ask me…
3. Start the renovation when it makes sense. In hindsight, my husband and I started the bathroom at a horrible time when we didn’t really have the proper amount of time to complete the work. Being down a bathroom, super stressed with work and life in general, then add living in chaos… just a horrible decision on our part.
4. Be realistic on timeline. If you are completing the renovation yourself, make sure you are honest with yourself on the amount of time you can dedicate to the project. Are you taking time off work? Can you only complete the work on evenings and weekends? Do you have a friend that can help? Is it the start of hockey season and your kids are starting to travel? etc…etc…etc.
5. Stay on budget. Let me clarify, stay on budget for the right things. In our recent bathroom renovation I went over budget, but they were on fundamental aspects that made sense, i.e.: fan installation, new toilet, hiring professionals to fix discovered problems, etc. Do NOT go over budget on the “pretty” things. You can very easily research the cost of fixtures, tiles, material supplies, etc. There is no reason to stray away from budget with the “pretty” stuff just because you see something on a whim.