How Do We Set Realistic Remodeling Expectations?

How Do We Set Realistic Remodeling Expectations?

Amber Byfield
Feb 1, 2010

02_01_10_paintDIY.jpgQ: Normally, we turn to readers for questions, but this one comes straight from the author. As apartment dwellers, my fiance and I haven't ever had much leeway when it comes to "fixing up" an apartment because of strict management. Collectively, we've never painted a wall or taken doors off cabinets, let alone replaced carpet or laid tile…

...Now, we may be moving into a place that could use a little work. So we need your help: how can we set realistic expectations for our D-I-Y skills in a fixer-upper situation?

We're sure many of you know the drill: you move in to a place, you assess the damage, you set goals, and then you begin to tackle them. We want to be green and save green with our sure-to-come projects, and we know that there are plenty of resources out there for doing just that.

There are cosmetic things we know we can do (i.e., sanding and painting cabinets) and others we're not so sure of (installing flooring). So we're wondering how to find our comfort level with D-I-Y, before moving into a fixer-upper that needs a total overhaul versus moving into a place that needs some cosmetic updating.

For those of you who don't think twice about bringing down a wall to create an open living space: how do you gain that confidence? And for those of you who laid the flooring a little crooked, would you do it again?

We're sure to make mistakes along the way, but we're hoping to give ourselves the chance to succeed by setting realistic expectations. Bring on the advice—we could use it!

>> Have a good question? Email us!

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