20 Things You Learn When You Go Through Your First Remodel

This kitchen remodel was my first major remodel I’ve ever experienced. Not satisfied with any room, I had to tackle the challenge of the kitchen being out of commission. The only room that would be worse is the bathroom.

So what lessons did I learn?

  1. Doing the dishes in a tiny bathroom sink is not really feasible.
  2. Paper products are your friend.
  3. Just because you can plug a crockpot into an outlet in the garage and cook something, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to easily clean the pot afterwards.
  4. Visitors don’t really like it when you snap at them, “Are you going to wash that when you are done?” when they mistakenly grab a glass instead of a plastic cup.
  5. The fridge can be put most anywhere and be just fine. It was weird.

  1. There are a thousand little things that need to be done that will show no progress whatsoever. (Caulking, I’m looking at you!)
  2. Your crap will multiply while it is in the packing box.
  3. Having your interim kitchen in the garage is like the worst camping trip ever.
  4. All other rooms will suffer collateral damage.

  1. You can’t trust any of the contractors to keep track of all things that need to be done even though they are the professionals. (Who cuts the hole in the floor for the dryer vent after they leave?). Even if they are the ones that un-did something you never even knew existed. (New flooring, over the old dryer vent hole.)
  2. When they say, “We’ll put everything back for you.” they are lying. Or delusional. Probably both.
  3. Even though you may have lived in your kitchen for 20 years, there are things you don’t know about your kitchen that will suddenly become critical. For example, without looking, can you tell me if the side of your stove has a lip that goes over the counter? If it doesn’t, that counter edge needs to be finished. THESE ARE THE KIND OF THINGS YOU HAVE TO KNOW!
  4. Your life will be put on hold while you try to juggle all the details. If anyone’s birthday is going to fall in the middle of this, just buy and send their present early. Return your library books now. Fill your prescriptions. Pay your bills ahead. Your life will be consumed with subfloors and flush-mount lighting fixtures. Nothing else can exist.
  5. Accept the kindness of strangers.
  6. When the contractor tells you something is hard and will be expensive. Research it. Get more information. It may end up being nothing and you can do it yourself on a commercial break while watching Castle.
  7. The contractor doesn’t like it when you do things to save money.

  1. No one cares about your home as much as you do so even though it feels like you should just stay out of their way, keep track of the work and make sure you are happy with what you will pay for.
  2. Related to the above: you will be amazed what others think is good enough!

  1.  The remodel will end eventually. It feels like forever, but it isn’t.
  2. You will eventually be able to put things back the way you want them.

Maybe not today, but someday…

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6 Responses to 20 Things You Learn When You Go Through Your First Remodel

  1. Amy says:

    Up to hearing you point out your trim finishing flaws, I never would have paid mine a second glance. Now, I am overwhelmed with layers of incompetencies in what used to be my darling little home.

  2. Sue says:

    Your levels of patience and persistence are amazing. Also, what the heck have I been doing with my money that I never have enough to do my dream remodel projects?!? There are emergencies and too many dinners out getting in the way. Love the lived in look, btw, discussed yesterday.

    • LoveThisSpace says:

      Well, technically, I don’t have enough money for a remodel either but when the bill comes you do what you have to to pay it (Hello Top Ramen)! I probably would never have gotten around to it if it hadn’t been for the washer disaster. It’s still a little early for me to call it a blessing in disguise but that will probably be something I say down the road.

  3. Scaloot says:

    I finally moved the fridge to the living room yesterday – It can now feel at home with the stove by the front door, The wall oven in front of the front window and the dishwasher still in it’s packing (I only bought it last February!) But the kitchen ceiling hole (2 x 6 feet), thank you electricians, can now be covered ! Oh and the ‘remains’ of the old built in base cabinets are also in there…

    • LoveThisSpace says:

      Oh I sympathize! I don’t get overwhelmed easily and my kitchen redo was overwhelming. Hang in there. It will end.

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