We spent a recent glorious summer afternoon inside a big-box home improvement store, picking out $80 worth of transition strips. If you're thinking to yourself, "You guys are lame", don't worry- we agree with you...
Stupid transition strips. You see, our new little old farmhouse was built piecemeal, one room at a time over the last hundred years. Most rooms are at least an inch higher or lower than their neighbors, but some have an even more dramatic difference. Even with our beloved new laminate floors installed, the transitions between each room looked crazy, and we were worried they would buckle over time. Oh, and we didn't want guests breaking their necks walking into the kitchen. We wandered around the store brainstorming DIY solutions, but nothing panned out and so we gave in and purchased eight hardwood carpet trim strips from Menard's. It was really boring. We lightly stained them with a grey stain, the look good and work great, but they're still boring.
This is but one of the many, many hopelessly dull things you might find yourself spending money on mid-renovation. Outlet and switch plate covers (dirt cheap until you multiply them by 5 per room), window blinds are stupidly expensive (I elected to spend hours scrubbing the ones that came with the house rather than buy them), primer is no fun at all, and don't even get me started on air filters. As excited as I am about our new house, sometimes I miss the days when I'd spend 50cents on some impractical fascinating thrift store item and call it a day.
What purchases have you found to be necessary, surprisingly expensive, and painfully dull?