Thursday, May 26, 2011

How do you do (it)?

  • One of the things you need to consider when buying a property that is in any way distressed (and we're not talking the faux finish), is how much can you do and how much are you able to do yourself.

    Sure it sounds like the best adventure ever to lovingly restore a house to your dream home and an abundance of DIY projects, both heard and unheard of, might provide you with the time of your life but before you put your signature on the last paper, make sure you're at least -trying- to be realistic.

    If you haven't got a clue about foundations, electric and plumbing and have never touched those things before, skip those DIY videos and self-help books and have a professional do it. Trust me, you'll sleep much better at night!

    Also, realize that every project will usually take twice as long and occasionally will cost twice (or more) than you expected.

    Husband and I are so glad we never ever argued over the fact that we needed and wanted a general contractor to bring the Duckling back to comfortably livable condition. While it appeared mostly dirty and ugly, there were a couple of things that needed to be fixed by people who knew what they were doing, not to mention that we both work and have a child to take care of.
    Other items on our list such as refinishing the floors were projects we could have fumbled our way through but frankly, just looking at the floors I know every penny was well spent. They are beautiful (under all that %%$#@@ drywall dust), and even more important my marriage is intact ;o)

    Renovations can be stressful. All you have to do is watch HGTV's "Renovation Realities" and notice the dirty sidelooks, the exasperated sighs from the spousal unit, the snappy comments, the frustrated groans, tears and arguments. It seriously can be that bad. Will it all be rainbows and lollipops when tackling the smaller DIY projects with your partner in crime? Oh, heck, no! There'll be disagreements and the occasional huff or grump but man, they are nothing compared to those cat fights you witness when people are overwhelmed and getting frantic.

    There are only that many hours in a day so be realistic.

  • Don't hesitate to ask for help.

  • Call in the professionals for the big stuff.

  • Decide how much time you want to spent on projects every day/week/month
    Create a to-do list, sorted either by room (to-do list for kitchen, to-do-list for bathroom, etc.) or by project (paint trim, replace window treatments, etc.)

  • create a budget

Oh, and once you have that all sorted out may I recommend you start with working on whatever storage solutions (closets, shelves, etc.) you want to implement first? You know, before you start painting every single room in your house. That way you'll have a place to put all of your stuff when you move in and won't have to live out of boxes for a couple of weeks.

Not like I'd know anything about that ...

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