The home renovation industry continues to grow every day, and growing in lockstep: the number of people who are doing it themselves, with, well, varying results. Launching into a difficult project with no experience or training can prove disastrous. So can undertaking a renovation without a strong foundation in place - and that applies to both the home you're working on and your relationship.
Follow a few tips to help you DIY without leaving your body, your house, your marriage, or your finances DOA.
Make a plan - and stick to it
The research and planning you do beforehand will save you time and aggravation later on. Figure out your new floorplan, if there is one, and all the materials, details, and resources before you swing that hammer. The tighter your plan, the better your chances for achieving your desired result.
Take a broad view
Yes, experts insist that the secret to a successful remodel is planning, but "more specifically, a master plan," said The Oklahoman. "Having a master plan doesn't necessarily mean you are going to do a full house remodel this year. It just means you have an ultimate vision for your house - a clear goal as to how you want it to function now and in the future."
Choose - and order - your products early on
So, you fall in love with this floor tile that looks just like old barnwood, but you wait until the last minute to order it, and... it's been discontinued. Uh oh. Selecting your products at the beginning of your project is important because it helps you develop the big picture, but make sure you get them ordered, too, or you might have to start over.
"Making product selections early can prevent delays later," said Better Homes and Gardens. "Proper planning can also help keep you on budget."
Create a realistic budget
Speaking of budget...
You may think you can fully renovate your entire kitchen and master bath for $5,000, but...nah. Unless you have some trick for getting products for free, you're dreaming. Can you make some significant changes to your spaces without depleting your bank balances? Sure. But your budget has to match up with reality, or you'll just end up frustrated and disappointed. And don't forget to add in a contingency to your budget so when you have oopsies and overages, you don't have to scramble to find extra cash.
Be realistic about the timeline, too
Do your research when it comes to figuring out how much time to set aside for your renovation projects. Then add some more. And, if you're a super-novice, sprinkle some more on that. It's better to err on the long side of a potential timeline; that way, if you're making arrangements to be off work, to stay with friends, or to have someone watch your kids or dogs, you'll be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Learn a little something
Resources are out there to help you become skilled at all kinds of stuff. Take that online class or head to Lowe's for that workshop. The more you know, the easier it should go.
Bring in the pros for the tough stuff
Knocking down walls or getting into electrical or plumbing? it might be a good idea to bring in contractors to accomplish those tasks.
Renovating with a spouse or significant other? Be kind to each other and keep the communication flowing. Renovating is known to be one of the most stressful activities a couple can do together. You don't want to end up with a beautiful kitchen but a broken marriage.
Don't sweat the small stuff
The success of your renovation, to a large degree, depends on your ability to roll with it when things don't go your way. The stain color for the floor will be off. The bathroom tile will be backordered. The countertop will be delivered with a massive crack in it. Does that all qualify as "small stuff?" Maybe not, but keeping a good attitude - and keeping your eye on the prize - will help you make it through, even when it seems like your project is going off the rails.
"Sure, remodeling is exciting," said Better Homes and Gardens. "But there's also a lot of frustration as you encounter unexpected snags, delays, and the inevitable inconveniences that come from living in a construction zone. You'll handle the lows better if you know they're coming."
Practice the art of compromise
Back to the stress of renovating and the effect it can have on your relationship...
Want to know why couples fight during the process? Taste issues, according to a survey on Houzz. "Why all the tension? It's everyone's style choices, dear. The survey found that one-third of respondents did not like their significant other's taste," they said. The answer: compromise. "Indeed, renovating is a crash course in compromise. But that's one of the great things about it, because compromise often creates the best design."