5 Hard Truths of Home Renovation

A few friendly reminders to consider before letting that hammer fly

A few friendly reminders to consider before letting that hammer fly
By Shannon Cahoon

Ah, a renovation. Nothing like new and exciting changes taking place in your home, waking up to the sweet sound of hammers in the air and the feeling of sawdust covering literally every surface of your home. Whether you are DIY-ing your renovation, or have some pros on the job, here are a few friendly reminders to consider before letting that hammer fly.

1. Your house will be dirty
Even with the best laid plans and lots of plastic, dust is a sneaky little devil and will creep into EVERY crevice, nook, cranny, drawer, and sock that you own. While putting up barriers, like temporary walls and plastic sheeting, can help, it won't completely stop the dust from traveling. If you have a lot of dust-inducing work to do, consider running an air-filtration system. You can also see about turning off your furnace or central air in the impacted areas, to prevent the dust from traveling that way.

2. The unexpected always happens
If you have spent any amount of time watching HGTV or listening to a friend talk about their renovation experience, then you know: It's not a matter of if there will be an unexpected problem, but rather how expensive it will be to overcome it. I personally can't imagine heading into a renovation without budgeting at least an extra 10% for things that will undoubtedly pop up.

3. Time flies ... except when you're renovating
Along with unexpected expenses, there will always be things that drag out your timeline. It could be delays due to weather, unexpected or added dimensions to the project, or things that arrive broken or late and hold things up. Just be prepared for things to drag on a bit and keep reminding yourself that it will all be worth it in the end.

4. Know thyself
Are you sure that you can handle this project on your own? Who am I to say that you aren't God's gift to do-it-yourself-ing. Then again… if you haven't done much more than paint and change a light bulb before, it can be easy to get in over your head. Be honest about the time and skills you must commit to this project. Likewise, be selective when choosing a contractor to make sure they are the best fit for you.

5. Decision fatigue will set in
As much as possible, try to think through every visual detail of how you'd like the space to look. This is, of course, almost impossible. You would be surprised just how hard it is to pick a mirror for your bathroom, or the right grout color for your tile. Don't get too bogged down in trying to get every detail perfect but do remember to make every choice with dedication to your ultimate vision.