15 things I learned (while renovating)

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When renovating, there are often things that you learn along the way that you wish you had done or known before you started.

Maybe these will be helpful if anyone else decides to undertake a renovation (and possibly be a usefulย reminder to myself, if I decide to renovate another space).

1. Make a budget and over estimate the cost
2. Measure everything
3. Measure everything again
4. For a full room, do the floor last (doh)
5. If you can, always get more paint then you need
6. Donโ€™t try and remove nails with pliers โ€ฆ.
7. Donโ€™t put screws on the outside of drawsโ€ฆ (ahaha)
8. Donโ€™t leave tape on a painted floor in summer
9. Screwdrivers that have a magnetic attachment to screws are awesome
10. Having the right tools for certain tasks makes things a lot easier
11. Make sure you have the right type of paint for each surface
12. Drop sheets are better on a floor then newspaper
13. While a paint scrapper is fun to use as a โ€˜multi-toolโ€™ itโ€™s not really its purposeโ€ฆ
14. Get loads of sandpaper, you can do through it quickly
15. DO NOT TRY AND CUT CORNERS (i.e; thinking that paint will be enough to hide some badly grouted tiles and realising that no it wonโ€™t and you have to remove all the paint, grout the tiles and paint them again, eeeeh)

The featured image is a digital illustration I created. My friends lately are paint brushes and paint scrappers!

paintbrushes

Questions
1. Do you like to heavily plan before starting something, or just jump in?
2. Have you ever started a project and learned some valuable lessons?
3. If you have, what are the lessons your learned?

20 Responses

  1. Great tips!

    1. Do you like to heavily plan before starting something, or just jump in?
    I like to have a plan – sometimes rough, sometimes pretty detailed – but I normally end up winging it. It’s more like a guideline.

    2. Have you ever started a project and learned some valuable lessons?
    Yep, writing a novel. Hardest thing ever because you just have to keep going no matter how shit you think your writing is, especially for a dreaded first draft.

    3. If you have, what are the lessons your learned?
    Persevere. And for a first draft, don’t cut anything, don’t edit unless you write something and immediately think “no, I should do _____ instead”. It’s really hard, but once you have your story written down, however badly, you can then edit.

  2. Those are some good tips . . . if I ever were to renovate a room on my own! I don’t know if I could do that, though X_X Not really my type of project.

    One tip I have regarding long projects — make a timeline and try to stick with it — or at least have leeways where if you miss a day here, you can still make it up. I did that this year with one of my annual project, and that really helped unlike previous years when I didn’t have a timeline of some sort.

  3. 1. Do you like to heavily plan before starting something, or just jump in?
    Most of the time, I am heavily planning before starting something.Like what I did on my thesis, I put schedule on my calendar and strictly follow it so I can meet the deadline.

    2. Have you ever started a project and learned some valuable lessons?
    Yes I do! Like, there are shortcuts and other techniques I do to achieve a beautiful motion graphic video.

    3. If you have, what are the lessons your learned?
    I learned that rendering videos on Media Encoder changes the color of your original video.

    Anyway, I am somewhat proud that you are painting all by yourself. I have no intention of doing that. It is somewhat tiring but you manage to do it!:)Oh your illustration of brushes are cute!!

  4. It depends on the plan for me – a lot of the time I just decide to do something (like DIY) without thinking. But, I try to really think about a task first now haha.

  5. I agree with those pointers! Measurements are important and it’s better to overbuy than underbuy. When my parents were remodeling the bathroom, they had to break a few tiles they applied because of a faucet problem…. It was in their favor to buy more tiles than they needed in this situation :D.

    Sandpaper is a lifesaver when it comes to smoothing things out! The end result of putting paint over stacco that wasn’t sanded out doesn’t look that great. Shortcuts in home remodeling = not a good idea…. Oh, and going cheap isn’t good either XD.

    Your art skills = amazing ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s always best to plan things out beforehand- that way, you have an estimate of what to expect. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thanks for sharing your tips, I’ll definitely keep them in mind. Especially budgeting, it’s very very important! Nothing sucks more than stopping because you dont have the means to continue!

    1. Do you like to heavily plan before starting something, or just jump in? I usually plan, I wouldn’t say heavily, most of it is spontaneous during the actual thing.

    2. Have you ever started a project and learned some valuable lessons? Always. Every project for me, has a lesson learnt from them.

    3. If you have, what are the lessons your learned? For example my recent project; I learnt how to lead and co ordinate people so we all work together in sync rather than against each other.

  7. Looks like you’ve learned a lot through your renovation projects! Those are good tips. I definitely agree with having the right tools for certain tasks. Though I haven’t done a renovation project, I learned that from sewing and have ended up with more tools than I originally planned.

    I normally do a lot of planning for… well, everything, haha. Even for photography and sewing, I’ll do a bunch of research up front. With sewing, I’ll also do mock-ups before working with the real fabric. I feel like every project I’ve done is a learning experience!

  8. I love that illustration, its super cute.

    I usually plan ahead if it’s something big, especially if it’s something that involves a lot of people or span over a few days. I prefer to have a rough plan so that I know I’ll achieve what I need to by the end of it. I feel really

  9. Those are great tips.

    Questions
    1. Do you like to heavily plan before starting something, or just jump in? I used to jump right into something. Now, I create a plan before I start something.
    2. Have you ever started a project and learned some valuable lessons? Yes
    3. If you have, what are the lessons your learned? I asked myself questions. How will this benefit me? Is it worth my time and effort?

  10. These are good tips! Some of them made me laugh, because I feel like I would incorrectly use a lot of the tools. I donโ€™t know very much about renovating or construction, so my first step in anything like that would be to enlist the help of my dad. Heโ€™s super handy and if he doesnโ€™t know how to do it, he can 99% of the time figure it out.

    Iโ€™m definitely a planner! It really stresses me out when things arenโ€™t planned properly before I do something. ๐Ÿ˜› I feel like every project has a lesson that can be learned and you should always be learning from your mistakes!

  11. Good points here, especially that I am thinking of renovation lately haha
    I agree with #9 and 11 for I have experience on those hehe

  12. I love those magnetic screwdrivers! Makes life so much easier haha. I heard that in Japan in the car industry they actually made a machine that distributes screws into groups of four because that is what the teams need โ€“ and it is quicker than having each person line up and pick up four screws by hand.

    With big projects I really like to plan. Maybe not super excessively, but I want to have more than just ideas or spontaneity. I have not done many hardware projects though. ?

  13. I love these kinds of posts, because they give you an advantage. I love writing them too, because I always have “I wish I had known”s.

    I’m somewhere in the middle. I like to jump in, but have a general idea about what I’m doing.
    I’ve always tried to take something from projects. Learning from my mistakes.

  14. Aww, cute illustration ^^

    The budget thing seems to be the trickiest part in all renovations. Everyone I know + every single tv program about renovations seem to end up going over their budget. And often it’s not even anybody’s fault, it’s just accidents happening, like something breaks or a delivery gets delayed etc.
    It seems you always have to estimate how much things will cost, and then double it, and then MAYBE you’re safe. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I don’t have much experience with renovating other than helping my parents out a few times when I lived with them. As an adult I’ve always lived in rented apartments which means you need to ask permission before doing most things, so I’ve never bothered. Besides, I find it’s not worth spending a lot of money on an apartment you don’t even own or plan to live in for a long time.
    On the plus side, living in a rented home means if something breaks I don’t have to do or pay anything, I just call the landlord to have it fixed.

    You have to post some pictures of the kitchen once it’s finished! ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Those are some great tips! I’d probably get bored and try to cut corners so it would be done. I’m really not good at dedicating myself to big projects, especially when they involve such difficult tasks.

    I love your paintbrushes! Your illustrations are always amazing. Inspiring me to get back on Photoshop and try and make something!

    I’ve never been much of a planner, I usually just go straight into a project, then learn from failing!
    xxx

  16. Thanks for the tips. As I am renting, and propably will be for the next 4 years I don’t think I will have the chance to do much renovationg.

    1. I way to often just jump right in. And when I get halfway I often realise I do not have enough material for what I am doing, or I just put it down and never finish it..
    2. No, I don’t think so. Maybe that a gluegun can fix a lot, but not everything, haha :’D

  17. 1. Do you like to heavily plan before starting something, or just jump in?
    Depends on what the project is. ๐Ÿ™‚ But in general, I do a mix of both. I improvise some aspects and pretty much go spontaneous on others.

    2. Have you ever started a project and learned some valuable lessons?
    Yep!

    3. If you have, what are the lessons your learned?
    They mostly involve myself stepping out of my comfort zone, like learning to work with and lead other people. It’s a big learning for me as I’m an introvert and quite a moody person too.

  18. I’m so glad I saw your post before I started planning my built in bookshelfs because I was really going into this blind.

    I’ve never done a big project so I have never had the chance to plan or learn any lessons. Hopefully, thanks to you, I might not have to learn so many by starting the right way ?.

    I think I’ve said this before but all the renovating you’ve done has been an inspiration. It gives me some sort of hope that too can have the courage to take that step forward.

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Hey, my name isย ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปย Kassy. I am a 34-year-old Graphic Design / Photography ๐ŸŽ“ย studentย located in country Australia. I createย ๐ŸŽจย digital art, captureย ๐Ÿ“ทย photographs, buildย ๐Ÿ–ฅย websitesย and designย ๐Ÿ“˜ย childrenโ€™s books.ย ๐Ÿ’–ย My blog is my online home where I share my personal stories, university updates, freebies, tutorials and much more.ย โญ๏ธ

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