Lessons learned from my 4 day renovation marathon | Shifting Roots

Lessons learned from my 4 day renovation marathon



lessons-from-renovation

We bought a small house in our dream neighbourhood in November last year, and ever since we closed the deal I have been itching to renovate it.  However, I don’t live there full time yet.  When I am there it is for serious family time, so my renovation dreams have had to wait until now.  I had 4 days to do all the things and I was going to get them done.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Anyway, here are the lessons I learned in no particular order:

  1. Whatever you think you will get done in the time allotted, slash it in at least half.  I had plans to paint the master bedroom, our son’s room, and small hallway, as well as refinish the floors in those rooms.  (1 project per day.)  What I actually got done was: the master bedroom painted, new countertop in the kitchen, and our plumbing problems fixed. Which leads me to my next lesson. . .

    IMG_1869
    Normally it takes me one day to paint a room. This room took 3.
  2. Be flexible!!  When it became clear there was no way I would be ready to do the floors or paint as much as I thought I could, I had to regroup and concentrate on what I could finish in the time I had.  No one likes a bunch of half-done projects.

    So many compromises were made because of these cabinets. More to come in another blog post.
    So many compromises were made because of these cabinets. More to come in another blog post.
  3. If you have 10 foot ceilings, double the amount of time you think it will take you to paint the room.  Enough said.  It was a nice problem to have, I love my tall ceilings.

    IMG_1870
    So much tape. So many trips up and down the ladder.
  4. Renovating in the off-season means getting your trades in faster. Our plumber was able to fit us in for an estimate that day, and fixed our issues the next afternoon.  When we talked to him about it, he said that February is a really slow month, so he was happy for the business.

    IMG_1856
    This was the point of no return. . .
  5. Be prepared for surprises.  Wallpaper on the ceiling under our popcorn ceiling.  Plumbing where we didn’t think it would be.  An electrical outlet that had been duct taped shut and wallpapered over.  Buying 3 faucets before we found one that actually worked with our smaller than average countertops.  Having to use wallpaper as a backsplash because we could not spare a 1/4″ of counter space for tiles.  This is just the start and I’m sure there will be more.

    IMG_1871
    Do you see any plumbing in the wall here? I sure don’t. One of many surprises.
  6. Keep your sense of humour.  Sometimes you just have to laugh at the craziness of it all.  Even though there were some tense moments, I can’t wait to do more in five weeks during the Easter break, then really go at it in June.

    I bought this mug to cheer up. After having my first cup of tea in it I discovered it had a huge crack in it. Oh the irony.
    I bought this mug to cheer up. After having my first cup of tea in it I discovered it had a huge crack in it. Oh the irony.
Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Kristen

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