Hi all! Because August is going to be a heavy month for renovating (siding and kitchens and baths, oh, my!), I thought I’d take a deep breath and pause for a moment. Renovating is a strenuous process and I’ve found that even when you’re not living in the same house you’re renovating, the drywall dust (both literally and metaphorically, I suppose) seeps into every other area in your life, causing a renovation haze that I’m convinced no one can understand unless they’ve lived through it.
So, if you’re considering a renovation (or are in the thick of one yourself), I’m here to answer your burning questions. We’ve been collecting reader questions for a few weeks on Twitter, Facebook and the blog, but if I’ve missed yours somehow, feel free to email me. I’m glad to help.
P.S. I’m sprinkling in a few inspirational rooms that I love so you’ll have plenty of eye candy along the way!
Q: What was it about this particular home, with all its problems, that you fell in love with?
Ken and I both think that the only spectacular thing about the home was its immense potential. To put it another way, the house was cheap and demanded a big project. We’ve always wanted to embark on an exciting renovation, so it was a match made in heaven!
We did, however, keep a “want” and a “need” list. Wants? Basement, large yard and tons of windows for natural light. Needs? Great neighborhood, one story and at least three bedrooms.
Q: Honestly, are you going to go all white in your home?
Ha. Is that you, Mom? I have to live in a space before decorating it. It kills me, because I hate having unfinished projects, but in the long run, it’s smart. So we’ll paint everything white initially so I can get a feel for the space, how the light is reflected in each room, and what sort of function the area will serve. I don’t know that it will be the most logical choice forever, but for now? Yes!
Q: How is the sauna coming?
I have no idea. The sauna is Husband’s project and I like to stay away from the technical aspects of it!
Q: Curtains or shutters or nothing at all?
Each room is entirely different. In our office, I’ll use a heavy, masculine drape to block out the sunlight and in our bedroom, we’ll opt for something more light and airy (I love this patchwork lace curtain from Urban Outfitters). In most other rooms, we’ll more than likely be using a combination of blinds/shutters and drapes.
Q: Are you on schedule with the renovation as a whole?
Not at all. I don’t think it’s possible. Truly. If you’ve completed a gut renovation either ahead of schedule or on time, call me. I want to send you cookies.
We set our original move-in date for late July, which has come and gone. We have yet to install flooring and still have strides to go before it’s live-able, so my new estimation for move-in is October-ish. Emphasis on the “ish.”
Q: How did you go about setting your renovation budget?
Because we purchased our home at a sheriff’s sale, we went into the auction ready to offer the highest number we would pay that would still allow us to complete all changes we desired. Aim high, because you’ll always run into a last-minute issue that will require additional time, which equals additional money.
How did we arrive at that number? Research. We estimated our renovations room by room, adding everything together and adding 10% for problems we could potentially run into. I talk a little more about this right here.
Q: Did you consult an architect for the project? If so, how did you choose him/her?
We did, yes! I talk a lot about our architect and the process here. I highly recommend consulting an architect for space planning purposes.
Q: Have either of you done this before? Will you do it again?
Nope! We’ve always been DIY-oriented (I fell in love with decorating when I created a mosaic headboard out of ceramic tile remnants). And yes, we’re already talking about our next project!
Q: What sort of DIY ideas are you planning to implement when you decorate?
Oh gracious, there are tons. In fact, I keep a running tally of ideas on my desktop for inspiration. We’ll keep most of them a surprise, but a few I have in mind:
- Arrange vintage cutting boards on a wall to create this aesthetic.
- A DIY chevron rug project.
- A DIY art project to create this canvas piece.
- DIY half-hearted stripes in the bathroom like this paint treatment.
- Many more furnishings, like this wire lighting, this inspiration board, this woven lighting, this coffee table, a sweet stool and this floating vase!
Q: Have you thought about landscaping yet?
Not a lot, but I do know that I’d love yellow tulips and a willow tree.
Q: What are your tips for working together as a husband and wife?
The biggest tip is to know your strengths and your weaknesses (or is that two tips?). For example, Husband is fantastic at envisioning things. I’m horrid. I need a photo, or a drawing, or at least an inspiration board of some sort (perhaps that’s the blogger in me). However, I’m really good at sourcing products and finds on a budget, or finding a way to DIY for cheaper.
Our downfalls complement each other pretty well, but we do need a healthy dose of trust to rely on each others’ strengths. Scary? Yes. But great for improving our marriage.
Q: What are you hiring out, and what are you planning to do yourself?
We’re Husband is doing everything ourselves himself, with the exception of drywall (so messy and worth the money for a quick job), electric and plumbing.
Q: What do you still have left to do, and when do you think it will be finished?
We still need to install flooring, finish the bathrooms, install siding, vault our master bedroom ceiling, finish the basement, plank the ceilings, drywall, paint and install lighting. Whew. You’re stressing me out just listing that.
Our ETA? Fall. Of 2024, that is.