5 Tips To Survive Your Home Renovation

Reality is never quite like its depicted in the movies or tv shows, right?

And this couldn’t be any more true than during a home renovation.

It takes much longer and is much more of a pain in the butt than you will ever see in a tv show. Is it worth it in the end? Absolutely. But let’s talk about a few things you can expect during your renovation to better prepare you for what’s coming.

Let’s keep it simple and discuss the renovation most folks would be doing, a kitchen renovation.

A. It’s going to be a mess

This is an absolute guarantee. Not only the mess of having to clear your countertops and move all of your cabinet contents to another room and having to live like that for a few weeks, but the fine dust from any sheetrock or wood work (that seems to get everywhere). You will think that hanging plastic or drop cloths will help contain the mess, but you would be wrong. You will still have to dust and vacuum everything when it’s all done. So just plan on it.
You’re basically going to be living on a construction site, if you’ve never been on one, it ain’t pretty. If you can tell yourself ahead of time and remind yourself often that its going to be a mess, and not fight it or try to control it, you’re going to have a much better renovation experience.
Just embrace it, (yes, I realize how difficult that can be) clean up when you can and remind yourself its part of the process. No, really!

B. It will be inconvenient

You don’t realize how much you use your kitchen sink until you don’t have one. You also don’t realize how difficult to is to cook without a sink. My best advice is to plan your meals way in advance for the days you will be without a sink and countertops, than add a few days so you don’t lose your mind when the schedule gets extended. Also, get paper plates, cups and plasticware and plan for as few meals as possible where you don’t have to use the sink or stove. (You want to be real careful with what you allow to wash down your bathroom drain.)

IMG_9680

I set up a few tables in my dining room (during our reno) with the dishes and cups etc. that we use most often but I ended up using disposable items the majority of the time.

Catrina At Home Kitchen renovation
Also, you will want to set up a table with food and items that you use everyday, like vitamins, cereal, bottled water, snacks, etc..

C. It’s not going to go as planned

This is probably more important than anything else I write here. The reason things will not go as planned is because you’re working with humans. Plain and simple. LOL
Get a schedule laid out with your contractor of what is happening and when, but understand that it will likely just be a guideline.
Let me give you an example, today is Wednesday, I typically write a post every Wednesday night in my downstairs office. But right now I’m in my dining room and the guys that were supposed to install my countertop on Monday (a date we set three weeks ago) are walking back and forth from my front door to the kitchen, installing my counters.
They didn’t work on Monday because it was Labor day, we found out on Monday. Then they called to say they weren’t going to be able to make it on Tuesday either.
So here we are on Wednesday, it’s after 5pm and I’m a little concerned. Why you ask? Because the guy who is coming to spray the exterior of our cabinets is coming at 6pm today and they still have a ways to go, plus I still have to tape off the cabinets in the kitchen. My painter/cabinet maker is coming today because he could’t come yesterday as planned.
These are all great guys, they do good work and we recommend them to others but things come up and other jobs take longer than they should and that means it might take longer to get to your house than planned.
Don’t take it personal, expect that there will be hiccups, plan for possible delays and you will sail through your reno like a pro.

D. If you are a DIYer, know when to hire out

There are no brownie points for killing yourself. I totally understand saving money when you can but know what your limits are and hire out when you can.
Another example, I knew we could handle sanding and painting the inside of the cabinets and shelves but I knew right from the start that I wanted the outsides to be professionally sprayed with lacquer paint.

Catrina At Home Kitchen renovation

I also knew we could handle floating the walls but wanted to leave the cabinet crown molding to our cabinet guy who does it every day. I wouldn’t let anyone but me touch our 100-year-old doors and casings that needed to be restored but we will likely hire out the floor refinishing.
It would be better to save up to have someone else do the jobs you don’t feel 100% qualified to do than to waste a heck of a lot of time and energy and still have to hire someone to come in and do the job properly, after you ‘finish.’

E. ‘Install day’ is going to be crazy

Install day is when your cabinets and counters are installed. If you want to help the process go smoothly, try to stay out of the way. lol
Don’t hover and watch their every move, let them do their work so they can get out of your way. Stay close by if they have any questions but this ain’t their first rodeo, trust them to get the job done.

Catrina At Home Kitchen renovation

Having said that, don’t settle if you don’t like the way something is going. Find out who is in charge and politely ask questions if something is different than what you agreed to. You don’t have to live with poor craftsmanship, communicate your concerns before they leave for the day.
Install day is also going to be when you want to go back and read A. again.

Remember, things often will look worse before they look better.

It’s going to be noisy, dusty and crazy pants. Your cabinet guys and your granite/countertop guys are all going to be coming and going and tracking dust everywhere. Try not to focus on it, it’s part of the process, let them finish and then you can clean to your heart’s content.

As with everything, keep your eyes on the prize! Don’t get distracted by the dust and inconvenience, much like it is, I’m sure with having a child, once the child is born the pain of childbirth is long forgotten.

I hope these tips have been helpful!
Have you been through a kitchen renovation? What would you add to my list?

Blessings,
Catrina

 

 

Kitchen Reno Update 1

Finally, finally, finally!!!

I set a BIG goal in January to work on our kitchen in 2018. It’s a big job.

After lots of stops and starts this year and working on a few things here and there, I finally got the husband to agree to set aside a little time to work on it with me.

Our house was built in 1908 and we bought it in 2010. We’ve worked on lots of other houses in the last 8 years so I was more than ready to have MY kitchen done.

This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house.

CatrinaAtHome my kitchen 1

CatrinaAtHome My Kitchen 2Fancy, right? Check out those micro upper cabinets and the exposed dishwasher! Lol

We knocked out the wall between the kitchen and the butlers pantry to make the kitchen a little roomier. CatrinaAtHome my kitchen 4

We also raised the height of the windows and ran the counter along the exterior wall.

CatrinaAtHome my kitchen 5

I had white cabinets for nearly seventeen years at my last house and I thought I wanted dark cabinets in this house.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Dark cabinets show every speck of dust and every single finger print. Period.

No bueno.

We also realized when we invited company over that everyone piled into our tiny kitchen and turned it into an oven! lol

So I needed to open up the entry into the kitchen.

CatrinaAtHome My kitchen 6

CatrinaAtHome my kitchen 7
I doubled the size of the entry so folks would feel comfortable being in the dining room yet still close by.

CatrinaAtHome my kitchen 8
This was back in November of 2016 and we have lived with all of our Tupperware piled into this hole at the end for long enough. I am so ready for it to be done.

This was my final shot on Monday before we started tearing off the cabinet crown molding and the granite backsplash. Farewell dark cabinets!!

CatrinaAtHome my kitchen 9

The granite is being removed on Sunday afternoon (we sold it on Craigslist), my new end cabinet comes in on Monday and all next week we will be painting the insides of the cabinets.

Lots to do but I’m so excited to finally be working on it!

More updates coming soon..

Blessings,
Catrina

My blue bedroom

So… I’m thinking of going BOLD for my bedroom reno project. Like– really bold. eeek!

Our Craftsman bungalow was built in 1908 and she came into our hands seven years ago, in 2010. We’ve been working on her off and on (in-between renovating other turn-of-the-century homes) ever since. Every square inch of her needed renovation. And I mean every. square. inch. We’re alllllmost done with the dining room and the back bathroom and I’m not sure if I’m going to start on the kitchen (again) or the master bath.

So basically our bedroom is still in the dream stage, lol because it’s likely going to be a while before I can work on her. But dreaming is fun!

So I want to go deep midnight blue, floor to ceiling, for the bedroom.

navy-blue-walls-and-ceiling-1.png

No photo credit available :(

I haven’t told my husband yet, he might want to kill me. lol I wanted to do this in the dining room but I chickened out. Granted, there were a lot more issues to deal with there, being the pass-through room sandwiched between the (whitish) living room and the (whitish) kitchen, but still, I bailed on it. And it would’ve looked awesome too because of the conferred ceiling in there. sigh…

Here’s another great pic of a blue room.

Primitive Classic Navy Blue Room

designsponge.com – home of Melissa and Keye Lee

Stunning, right?

The photos above were a little difficult to find! Most navy/dark blue rooms have white ceilings and trim, like this photo..

Blue Living Room With White Ceiling

Contemporary Living Room by Toronto Photographers Lisa Petrole Photography

The is a lovely room but I don’t want that, the contrast is too high and the space becomes very defined with your eye drawn to the lines. Meh.. I want the baseboards, walls, window and ceiling to be the same blue. White trim screams “traditional” and my style is more eclectic.

Check out this Caribbean blue library found on Housebeautiful. It’s a different shade, but Wow!

Caribbean Blue Library

There’s just something about blue. So inviting and strong.

And while we’re talking about blue… that is what we’re talking about, right? What do you think about this GORGEOUS sideboard/dresser?

Solid blue sideboard:dresser

No photo credit again. What’s up with people “pinning” photos with no link? grrr :(

I just want to SAS (sit and stare). Don’t mind me, I’ll be right here for the next 30 minutes. Lol Beautiful design, beautiful color.

Anyhow, back to my blue room. :-)

Holy smokes. our ceilings are only 9.5′ tall but I would love this detail in our room! Now my husband is really going to kill me. LOL Can I at least die in my blue room?

Navy Blue walls:ceiling:trim

photo credit: tollens.com

The deeper the blue, the better, floor to ceiling for a killer, classic look.

My bedroom reno may be a year or so away but you better believe I’m going to begin the search for the perfect navy blue ASAP.  :-)

What color is your bedroom? Are you happy with it? Do you plan to change it? What’s your dream color scheme? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Blessings on your home,

Catrina