Friday, October 21, 2005

Renovation Wisdom We Have Learned

This is what we've learned from renovating our home in numerous attempts both large and small:

~ If your husband suggests redoing the kitchen floor before he goes into the hospital for a "routine" procedure, say NO
~ No matter how small the project, it will soon eclipse itself in duration, price and hassle
~ Remember, when redecorating one room, you'll have to tear up at least two more (to store the stuff from the room that has to be gutted)
~ Budget at least the cost of your renovation for meals eaten out (most of us won't cook with sawdust in our kitchens)
~ If you are doing anything more than one room in your house, budget for a hotel or stay with compassionate friends, better yet leave the country
~ If you are renovating any part of an old house, it is always easier to tear it down and start over (but don't do it!)
~ An architect for big projects is worth their fee, especially if they will work with the contractor so you don't have to
~ Forty year architectural shingles last less than seven
~ Lead paint lasts a lifetime
~ A woman is always, ALWAYS allowed to change her mind, even if the first coat of paint has been applied (but it helps to do a sample area, first)
~ Prepasted, vinyl coated wallpaper is crap
~ When considering a hand-blocked scenic wallpaper mural that will cost more than a year in one of our finest colleges, make sure your children are past the stage of wiping their hands on the walls and woodwork
~ Bring good danish and coffee to your workers on a regular basis
~ A good plumber is hard to find (treat them well!)
~ A good electrician is hard to find (treat them well!)
~ A good painter is hard to find (treat them well!)
~ A good carpenter is hard to find (treat them well!)
~ If your marriage survives a major or minor house renovation, it can survive just about anything
~ If you can't afford to redecorate or renovate in a given year, just rearrange the furniture!

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