#1: Find a guy (or gal).
Most likely you’ll need a contractor. Get quotes from 3 and go with your gut even it it’s not the lowest quote. You will be working with this person on your most important possession (next to your family), be sure it’s someone you can trust and get along with. Fingers crossed after the first job this will be “your guy” for every job going forward.
Never fear it’s ALWAYS worse before it’s better and most everything is fixable. Below is proof from our first kitchen renovation 6 years ago:
Second to your contractor these guys (and gals) work their butts off in manual labor to create a space for you so they deserve much praise and gratitude.
#4 Be preparared for the worst.
Termite damage, rotten subfloors, death (critters), broken pipes or leaks, naughty electrical work, etc you’re bound to come across something.
#5 Relocate everything in that room
and nearby traffic areas because dust will be everywhere (close and seal vents if possible and close doors to other rooms).
#6 Work will ebb and flow
Some days you’ll see lots of progress and other days nothing. Don’t be disappointed, trades take huge coordination and it doesn’t happen like on tv.
#7 Time x 2
There will be delays out of your control and most likely the whole renovation will take longer than planned, just go with it instead of fighting the process.
#8 Be present, be aware, ask questions, know your home
Make sure everyone is on the same page in regards to details and job specifications. You will explain the design and overall concept multiple times but it’s worth it to keep repeating yourself to get what you want and prevent mistakes. Help where you can but don’t annoy, there’s a fine line.
It takes a while to get to know the person, go slow, it’s still your house only better so use it and love it!
#10: Start thinking about the next renovation!
Similar to having a baby the worst parts often seem to fade as you’re loving the new space.
(I purposely did not mention anything about budget or costs. That is a very job specific and varies from region to region. There’s plenty of renovation budget posts out there, my best suggestion would be to do your research.)
My preference is to live through a renovation, I want to be there day in and day out checking on the progress no matter how messy. Even with a kitchen renovation you can live in your house by making a temporary set up in another space.
If you’ve lived through a renovation and have any interesting tidbits please share. I’m sure I missed a few insightful items and I’d love if you would add them in the comments below.