FINALLY! A few years ago we purchased our current home and this summer we finally got around to making it our own. There was so much more to my full gut renovation than I ever imagined. Thankfully, with the right team to give me support and guidance I was able to educate myself and navigate all things full gut remodel. Here are my notes 🙂
- If possible, live in your house for a while before making any plans to overhaul. Learn its flow. Get a sense of its soul. Because when you make your plans to change things, it will make all the difference. I took 3 years to start this overhaul.
- A remodel like this one will go over budget and will take longer than what you expect. I say add 20 percent to what you think your project will total when budgeting. If you don’t have the funds, cut the job back until you do.
- There will be unforeseen events that are out of your control. For me, it was a hurricane 🙂 And although the hurricane thankfully was not a direct hit to south Florida it was a possibility that caused construction to slow down. Be prepared for the unexpected. You never know what’s behind that wall you’re opening up 😉 I had a few surprises!
- You are about to spend more money than you ever thought possible. Hire someone knowledgeable from the start that can guide you and give you the support to navigate this. Good professional help is worth the money. Be willing to pay for good leadership, and be wary of anyone who’s cheap and available right away. Make sure they are a good fit for you. If he or she doesn’t ask you a lot of questions about your needs, desires, and the way you live, find someone else. Listening skills and curiosity are crucial!
- ACTUAL FACT- Most people can’t read blueprints. HIRE SOMEONE THAT DOES. Ask lots of questions. There’s no such thing as a dumb one, and besides, it’s your money you’re spending. You should know why and on what.
- Changes that seem simple to you may require a lot of work on the back end, so be sure you check with your designer or builder on even slight adjustments. Even moving a light switch a few feet can cost $.
- Put together a list of items that need to be purchased and deadlines for making decisions.
- DON’T skimp on quality. Spend good money on things you and your family touch every day, like door hardware, doors, faucets, appliances, kitchen cabinets.
- If you are purchasing appliances, lighting, and other items for a renovation, print out all your specs and/or installation instructions. I put them in a binder for the contractor and the subs and kept it onsite so everyone had access to these docs.
- Many of you have asked me why I left my house during construction. Deciding whether to live at home or move out during a renovation is a tough call. The disruption of relocating to new surroundings, coupled with the added expenses, is enough to make many homeowners put up with the challenges. For me, however, I couldn’t live in the dust, drilling, and distractions. If you decide to move out, visit it often. I would go almost daily.
- Don’t work on too many rooms at once. The place where you spend the most time should really serve as the focus of your energy and investment. For us it was the kitchen.. When the budget allows, move on to the next space. Let me know your thoughts on this transformation! Karyn
- I know I am going to get a lot of questions on the chairs 🙂 Buy them here.
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