Lake Mary Life's Rebekah Grier (pictured on the right), a recent first-time homebuyer, shares top 5 unforeseen challenges and joys of getting "down n' dirty" with her home renovation.
HGTV makes it look so easy. Chip and Joanna, Tarek and Christina - I love them, but they also led me to believe that I could completely renovate my new home in just under an hour! In December, my husband, Seth, and I bought our first home. With our modest budget and enthusiastically disillusioned ideas of handiness, we eagerly embarked on an all-encompassing, tear-it-down-to-the-studs renovation. After a few months into our first home reno, these are the realities of getting down ‘n dirty with a fixer upper that a one-hour HGTV show can’t fully convey.
1. You’ll be tempted to do all the things
When the walls are open and the floors already torn up, you will undoubtedly come across ideas that make so much sense to just do now while it’s easiest. So far we’ve re-plumbed the whole house and raised the sunken living room because of this temptation. It does make so much sense, but it also costs $$$$. So be prepared to prioritize what you need now vs. what you can do later.
2. It always takes longer than you think/want
Especially if you don’t have a general contractor working on your home full-time, it can be surprising how much longer projects take. For example, did you know that concrete takes 27 days to cure and therefore you can’t lay tile on it until then? We sure didn’t! Try to set your timeline before you even get started, but give yourself some grace if things take longer.
3. Don’t even think about living in your renovation.
4. Eventually you will want to give up and pay anything for Chip and Joanna to come finish for you
There will come a day when you just want to give up. When you completely forget about your budget and are willing to pay anything for it to just be DONE. Take a breath. It’ll get there. Just try to remember how far you’ve come already!
5. It’s one of the most rewarding things you will ever do
Even though we’re only six weeks into our renovation, we’ve had our ups and downs. And while there are days it’s hard, it’s also one of the most rewarding things Seth and I have ever done. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and each other. And every day I get to see a little bit more of our mutual dream come to fruition. It’s exhilarating. And exhausting. But I know we’re going to look back and be so thankful we just went for it.
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