In December Alec and I decided to take on a task of purchasing a home in our neighborhood, give it some good TLC, and see if we could bring an old home back to life. In 5 short months, we transformed the 10th street cottage and it was a whirlwind of a time!
This week we decided to take some time to sit down and reflect over what we learned on our first full house renovation project. It obviously had it’s up’s and down’s but overall the 10th Street Cottage is what fueled our desire to dive into more projects!
I love this post, because Alec and I decided to each type up our own “5 Things We Learned” and decided to not share it with each other, before sharing it here! Let’s see how these compare :)
Kenna’s 5 Things She Learned
- If you start a project, finish it. There were many projects that Alec and I took on that were overwhelming to us. So it was very easy when we only had a few hours that night or day to decide to do a smaller task instead of tackling one of the bigger projects. However, this left us with half finished projects throughout the course of the renovation. An example is the board and batten. This was a time consuming and lengthy project. After steaming, scraping, mudding, sanding, and painting the walls in the dining room to prep them for the board and batten. We moved on to other projects rather than finishing it all the way.
- Create a general task list and then a detailed weekly list- and go after it! Lists keep me organized. I love lists. We had an overall list of what needed to get done, but I wasn’t great at keeping weekly lists. Although sometimes things don’t go a planned, if I had a list I feel it would’ve kept me more on target throughout the project with accomplishing “To Do’s”.
- Samples are your best friend. When selecting paint colors for the interior I bought multiple small sample paints and put it on the walls in multiple rooms. I knew I wanted a cohesive color pallet and I believe that this really helped me with selecting the right colors for doing that. Where I didn’t do this was with the stain we used on the fireplace and floating shelves in the second bathroom. Instead on one of our runs to the home improvement store I hastily bought a stain. Well when we made it back and I put some of it on a sample board I didn’t like it. All in all, it took three trips and four cans of stain to find the color I wanted. If only I would’ve bought 3 of the smaller cans to begin with, we would have saved time and now storage space in our garage. I’ve built quite the collection of stains.
- Blood, sweat, and tears is not just a saying. I’d elaborate more on this- but there’s too many examples to share. Just know that if you’re looking into doing a flip yourself- HGTV is not always reality.
- If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. I’m such a DIY’er and bargain shopper it pains me to purchase things from a store at full price. In almost all those cases I whisper under my breathe to Alec, “You know we could make this…” or “I bet I can find a better deal”. Sometimes though when I get too wrapped up in the price, I find that I’m looking at items that I don’t even like that much. An example of this was the mirrors for the bathrooms. I knew I wanted non-builder grade mirrors but mirrors that would still tie the bathrooms in together. At first I bought some mirrors online from a build supplier website, and then I bought another mirror from Target in the store. I bought them because overall they looked nice and they were having a weekend special. When all the mirrors arrived I quickly realized they weren’t going to work. So what did I do? I decided to buy mirrors I had my eye on for a long time. I loved them because they tied in new and old. Along with colors of silver and gold. They weren’t on sale, and I didn’t make them myself, but they finished off the bathrooms and I know I’d buy them all over again!