With more free time on our hands than ever, and most of it spent in the comfort of our homes, people are seizing the opportunity to renovate their houses. But not everything that looks simple, yet splendid on those countless craft videos on YouTube, is so in reality. In fact, oftentimes it goes quite to the contrary.
From renovating and realizing you just removed a load-bearing wall and putting a nice decoration over the toilet only for it to drop all over, to felling cabinets as if there was some meteor shower, these are some of the most “thank god, it’s not me” home improvement efforts.
Have you had some renovation disasters similar to these? Hit us in the comment section below!
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There are seemingly an infinite fountain of readily available resources to help do-it-yourselfers, such as books with step-by-step instructions and online how-to videos. In the past five years, the demand for such videos has boomed since most people have realized it’s easy to save some bucks handling cosmetic improvements alone. Those who tried and succeeded have gone on to more complex endeavors like installing tiles or replacing countertops.
And with so much free time on our hands, more and more people are willing to try out and undertake home projects that they feel comfortable with. The last part is crucial, since making a spontaneous decision when you haven’t a single clue on what you’re about to be doing is a red flag that you may be better off without doing it yourself.
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To avoid renovation disasters that are unfortunately all too common, Bruce Irving, an independent renovation consultant and real estate agent from Cambridge, Massachusetts, suggests not rushing renovations if you just bought a new house. “Learn its flow, where the groceries land, where the laundry wants to go, how the sun hits it, where the choke points are, which way the rain slants, even get a sense of its soul,” he argues.
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The second crucial thing is being realistic about the renovation budget. “If you don’t have the funds,” cautions Irving, “cut the job back. If you happen to beat these projections, then your surprises are happy ones.” A good rule to follow is to always add 20 percent to what you think the project will cost, and make sure that it will very likely take much longer than you initially realize.
Sometimes things are better entrusted to pros. “You are about to spend more than you ever thought possible. It might as well be for a correctly-designed thing,” Irving says. Hiring an interior designer or an architect from the start will prevent you from making bad decisions that will cost you too much to fix.
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Here’s another tip. No matter how much we’d like to think we know things best, there are things that we truly have no idea about, and it’s fine. Realizing that asking questions will make the process smoother and more efficient is another simple trick to make your renovation work. Pretending that you know stuff, like reading blueprints, is not an option, especially when it’s you who are paying the money.
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However, changing things around as you go with remodeling is also a no-go. Sticking to the plan, listening to the pros, and trusting your gut are things that should guide you through the process no matter what. Don’t let yourself get carried away by some way nicer paint for the kitchen walls, because there are always better things out there.