Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type of building: Single-family bungalow, 950 square feet
Claire and Jeffrey have been generous enough to share their renovation process with us, and we've been following along with them from the disaster that was their old kitchen to their beautiful new space, and every step along the way. Here they are to share a few final thoughts about their renovation with you.
Now that the project is over and you're looking back on it, what are the most important lessons you learned through the remodeling process?
- You'll never really be fully prepared. So. Be prepared for that.
- Embrace DIY, but bring in pros for tasks that affect efficiency, safety, & peace of mind. Don't skip on stuff that you needs to be done while the walls are open, like running electric up to code, etc.
- Explore your network. You probably know an architect, a designer, an electrician, etc.!
- Use Pinterest! There are so many creative solutions to expensive projects available to inspire you. Create a renovation board and pin the crap out of it. Common themes will emerge in your aesthetic, and it will be easier to make purchase decisions.
- Read instructions. Seriously. Read them. And then follow them. No. SERIOUSLY. (After 16 hours of floor sanding/staining, we kind of ruined them with our first coat of poly by not following the instructions on the applicator tool. Wool fibers in the poly finish = major disappointment.)
- Embrace imperfections (for when you don't follow instructions.) Don't lose your mind over bubbles in concrete. Figure out how to glorify them and make them look and feel intentional. Such things bring tremendous character to your world.
- Always buy used, scratch-n-dent, or on sale. Explore your network for professional/trade discounts. There is no reason to pay full retail for anything EVER. You could outfit an entire kitchen with Craigslist if you wanted to. And you're helping to keep crap out of the landfill when you repurpose. AND you're inviting character into your home when things aren't perfect. If it's not scratched when you buy it, you'll scratch it soon enough.
- Try to keep up with the dust that accumulates in the house. That stuff can seriously affect your health.
- Calm down, be nice to each other and express gratitude OFTEN.
- And for gawd's sake, hire professional drywallers!
The floors took waaaaayyy longer than we'd anticipated. Because we patched the hardwood with salvaged pieces, it took a lot of passes with the drum sander to get an even, level surface.
The redirecting of the stairs ended up to be no big deal, believe it or not.
Drywall sanding takes forever and it sucks.
Cabinets and counters were breezy.
Everything else is super exciting so it tends to fly. Painting, installing fixtures, etc.
The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.
(Images and diary text: Claire Moyle)