Hi friends!! If you can’t tell, our home makeover & DIY projects have been on my brain A LOT lately! We’re getting close (ish) to the end of our project list (it’s been a year since we started!!) …and there are only a couple of rooms to go! Looking back at the past year and all of our projects, I realized how much we’ve grown and learned from the process! Home makeovers can be stressful (okay…more often than not, they ARE stressful) but you can save yourself some heartache (and a few headaches) by doing and not doing a few things!! I created a list of do’s and don’ts that I wish Robert and I had BEFORE we started!! Ha! But you know what, you live & you learn, and it’s okay!! When we DO follow these tips, things go much more smoothly, and the makeover process is much more enjoyable!! So, if you’re starting a project (big or small) this spring, here’s my take on the do’s & don’ts of a home makeover:
Timing is KEY
Don’t start a huge renovation project right before a major life event…like a wedding!! Robert and I started our full bath remodel about 2 and a half months before our wedding day. In our defense, the bathroom needed updating, and it is the only full bath in the home, so it made sense to remodel BEFORE we were married and moved into the house. But still…it was crazy!! When we left for our honeymoon it still wasn’t finished. Thankfully, our amazing family chipped in and had it basically ready to go by the time we got home!
Do: Give yourself PLENTY of time for a project…especially if it involves tearing down walls. I would say that 9 times out of 10 remodels take longer than the ‘planned’ amount of time!! And 9 times out of 10 you run into an unexpected problem that adds more work. So…lots of time is KEY!
The Blame Game
Don’t play the blame game!!!! You guys this one is HUGE!!! Remodels/home makeovers are frustrating, time consuming, and can be SUPER stressful! It is so important to remember that EVERYONE makes mistakes and that no one (not even yourself!!) is perfect! The blame game starts with a simple…'why didn’t you do this instead?’ question or a ‘well I would have done it this way’ comment. Before you know it you're blaming each other for the dent in the woodwork that was there before you even moved into the house!! (It's crazy, I know, but it totally happens! And hopefully you can laugh about it afterwards like we do!) The thing is…maybe a mistake was made, but blaming doesn’t make things better for anyone involved in the situation!! Remodels & makeovers are HARD work…and Robert and I have found that it is so much better to work as a team and to build each other up ESPECIALLY when things get stressful!
Do: Work together & build each other up!! In my opinion…painting a room is ALWAYS better with some company! And an extra set of hands is usually a good thing when it comes to big projects!! Projects don’t seem as daunting when Robert and I tackle them together & when we both have a positive attitude! Teamwork makes the dream work, y’all!!!
Also, think about your strengths and weaknesses (individually and as a couple!). For example…Robert and I are both detail oriented people, but he likes the projects that are trickier but that he can complete faster (e.g. hanging a light fixture)…where I don’t mind the projects that are more tedious (e.g. painting a room). It’s also important to know what you CAN’T do…like plumbing or major electrical work. While we’ve learned a ton throughout the process of this home renovation, we still don’t know how to do major plumbing or electrical work. Knowing your limits is key. And calling the professionals (instead of attempting a risky DIY) is always the safer, smarter option!
Don’t start several projects at the same time! I say this, because I’ve done it, and I learned my lesson the hard way!! It is NOT fun to have your whole house in ‘project mode’…ESPECIALLY when you’re living in it! If you have too many projects on your plate, you’re probably going to get overwhelmed. And when I get overwhelmed, I usually don’t do my best work! And that's just no good!!
Do: Tackle one or two projects at a time! Also, make sure to do the research beforehand & take your time. It’s much better to do a project the right way the first time than to have to do a ‘redo’ a few months later.
Try new things!
Don’t be afraid to try new things!! I know that I said earlier to know your limits, but some DIY projects really aren’t too difficult!! I was very surprised at how much Robert and I COULD actually do ourselves! We saved a chunk of change by hanging light fixtures ourselves, painting, doing some landscaping, etc.
Do: I said this before, and I'll say it again, because it is important!! WATCH tutorials…in their ENTIRETY! If you’re like me, you watch half of the video, say ‘Okay, I get the gist’ and then start the project! Please, please don’t do this!! (I’ve done a lot of ‘learning the hard way’!!) Take it from me, it pays off to take your time & actually watch the whole 10 minute video! ;) You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache (and money!) if you do your research beforehand. And the most awesome part? You’ll probably find that you CAN do some of these things yourself & you'll do them well!! I love Pinterest, HGTV, and the DIY network for DIY projects!
The bottom line...
After this year, my ‘must haves’ for a remodel/makeover are: A lot of love, a healthy dose of kindness, and whole bunch of patience & understanding! ;) Seriously, y'all, those simple things make ALL of the difference!! Good luck with your projects, friends!!