10 Things We Learned While Remodeling

10 Things We Learned While Remodeling

We learned a lot while remodeling the House house.  Stuff I never cared to know (like how many different kinds of mold there are) and stuff that I found interesting (like all the different steps that go into building a pool).  Here are the top things we learned and wanted to share with you.

1. Everything, and I mean everything, will cost more than you think it will (or want it to!!!). We had sticker shock on so many things and we went quite a bit over our original budget.

2. You and your spouse/significant other will disagree.  The stress levels got a little out of hand on more than one occasion and, yes, we didn’t always agree on things.  In fact, we often had completely different ideas on how things should look.  But, we always worked it out and are happy with how everything turned out.

3. It will take WAY longer than you expect, or want. You buy the house, hire a contractor and think….”yes, this will be done in no time.  It won’t take that long.” This will not be the case. Our entire remodel was a year and a half long.  We knew it would take a long time but honestly didn’t think it would take a year and a half.

4. Don’t cheap out on certain things. For us that was windows, floors and our pool.  We felt that getting the higher quality, hurricane impact windows was worth it, especially living in a place that can get some pretty bad hurricanes (and you get a break on your home insurance too). I also wanted hard wood floors in our main living area and so we splurged and got nice quality ones.  We also spent extra to get the large pool we wanted. This made sense for us since we live in Florida and we use it ALL THE TIME, all year round.

5.  It is a good idea to hire a general contractor.  For us remodeling newbies, it was worth it to pay an expert to help us through the process.  Sure we had our ups and downs with him, and it took way longer than expected but without him and his expertise we would still be waiting for stuff to get done.

6. You must learn to be patient. There will be delays due to weather, backorders, permits, etc.  Things completely out of your control.  It will be frustrating but there will be nothing you can do, except wait. I think my husband and I both created a few new swear words.

7. Learn to expect the unexpected.  Things will come up just when you think you are about done, like our mold situation I talked about here, here and here.

Mold Killer!
Mold Killer!

8. I am not good at decision making.  I live for remodeling shows on HGTV and DIY network but when it came time to choose items for my own home it became very overwhelming.  I knew I wanted a coastal, beachy vibe but I also like so many other styles and I wasn’t always sure if what I was selecting would look ok and all go together.  I am happy with everything I chose and realized, hmmm, as long as I like it then who the hell cares!  It is my house after all.  Hiring a designer would have been ideal but I thought I could handle it and it wasn’t in the budget to do so.

Kitchen Remodel
Kitchen Remodel

9. You will make mistakes.  There were several things that we didn’t notice on the architectual drawings that were built and then we had to tear down and fix.  Like this column I talked about that had to go!

Column that needed to be removed

10. Personalities will clash.  My husband is very detail oriented, a definite perfectionist (and some might say a control freak) and this didn’t always go over well with our general contractor.

Overall our experience was mostly a good one and we couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.  That being said, I’m not sure I’d be willing to do another big remodel anytime soon and we don’t plan on going anywhere anyway.

Has anyone else done this big of a remodel?  What did you learn?


Wednesday Weekly House Remodel Update – 4/20/16 – Floors, Cabinets and more

You guys, things are really moving along now!  It is awesome.  Check out my past updates here, in case you’ve missed anything.

Bathroom cabinets…

All the custom bathroom cabinets have been installed, except for the small powder bath which we decided to not go custom on.  We’ll purchase something ourselves for that.  I’m trying to find something a little different and not white for that bathroom.

Hardwood Floors… 

Our hardwood floors have been installed.  They did this pretty quick.  Only took them a day and a half.  Not bad.  They look freakin’ awesome and really lighten up the space.  Plus they fit into my idea of a beachy/coastal look.  You like? I dig em’!  They might not be your thang and thats okay with me.

Pool Pavers Done…

Our pool pavers are all done too.  Check them out.  Can’t wait to take a dip in this pool and to have our first House house pool party.

“We’ll have a house party, we don’t need nobody
Turn your TV off, break that boom-box out
We’ll wake up all the neighbours ’til the whole block hates us
And the cops will show up and try to shut us down”

Anyone know that song? That’ll be us soon.  Except we’ll probably invite the neighbors.  It’s the least we can do for putting up with this remodel for the past 8 months!

Kitchen Cabinets…

Our kitchen cabinets are getting delivered tomorrow.  So excited!!!  And we finally picked some Quartz for our counters.  This was tricky because of the size of our island.  It’s HUGE.  We will need to use 2 slabs of quartz on the island.  There will be a seam down the middle but they assure me it won’t be that visible.  They told us not to pick anything that had to much movement in it.  We picked Cloud Nine by Pompeii Quartz for the counters and are getting quotes for some recycled glass mosaic counters for the kids bath.

I can’t wait to see my gigantic island get installed.  Appliances are scheduled for Friday of next week.

Here is a reminder of what the kitchen looked like when we bought this house.

And here is what it will look like soon.


From Dumpster Diving to Upcycling…

Last week my husband and I went dumpster diving in our dumpster to rescue a ton of pool pavers that were thrown in there.  We’ll use them for something.  We also have so many left over pallets and other materials from this remodel.  Its cray-cray!  We want to do some upcycling with all this stuff.  There are a zillion different idea’s on Pinterest. Think we could make this porch swing out of all our pallets?



We need to pick out lighting for our house.  More decisions.  Yikes.  It gets so overwhelming.

Almost there now….lots more progress next week.  Hopefully!  Thanks for reading.

Weekly Wednesday Update – 4/6/16

Getting Close…

Lots of stuff has happened in the House house since my last update.

Picking paint colors…

I have such a hard time picking paint colors.  It isn’t easy.  Does anyone else have a hard time with this?  I’ve hired color experts in my last 2 houses to help me choose but last week the painters were ready to paint and other contractors were waiting for the painters to finish so we had to decide QUICK.  There was no time for color experts.

I didn’t realize I’d need to pick colors so soon.  I feel like it is easier to choose when all your furniture and stuff is already in place?  Know what I mean? Anyway, we decided to use several of the same colors we already know we like and then picked a few new ones. I’ll show you the old ones later (lots of blue).  Here are a few new colors we picked…

Worldly Gray for the boys rooms, which I love and Shoji Gray for laundry and kids bath (which is just slightly lighter than this one).

Worldly Gray
Worldly Gray

I was worried that this was going to be really dark but I love it.  Both boys want accent walls too.  Tommy wants a red wall and Matthew wants a green wall.  I thought that would be a hell of a lot better than painting ALL the walls these colors (sorry boys).  I’ll pick these accent colors out later.  Any recommendations? I also plan to do one chalkboard wall in each room.  Haven’t decided if I will do the entire wall or just the lower half in chalkboard paint.  Or, maybe I’ll do a chalkboard wall in the playroom. We’ll see.

Doors and Trim…

Our doors and most of the trim has been installed.  The doors will come off and be painted white. They can’t install the trim in the great room until the wood floors are installed which hasn’t happened yet. It’s coming though!



The guest bathroom is almost done.  Check it out.  It looks amazing, so far.


It was hard to get a good picture of this since the guy was still working in there and I wasn’t allowed to walk all the way into the room.  But, it looks good, right?  Can’t wait until they grout it.

And here is the progress on the Master Bath.  Also looking good but also very hard to get a good picture of.  Kids bath, laundry room and powder room are up next.  Then carpet and hardwood floors.



They are working on the pool too and all our pavers are waiting in our yard for when they are ready. No pictures of the pool to share since nothing looks much different.  They are prepping to put in the tiles.

Lots going on.  We have family coming to town this weekend.  I really wish our house was done for them to stay with us.  Sorry!

Wednesday Weekly House Remodel Update – 1/20/16, Flooring and Stucco

Stucco Done…

The stucco on our house is complete and the new garage door is installed and it looks soooooo good.  It is so nice to see the entire house all one color again and not half yellow, half gray, with parts of an ugly old outdated rock wall. Don’t ya think?


We went back to Abbey Flooring today to try to make some decisions.  We focused on hard wood and carpet for today. We are getting closer to needing this stuff so we need to get it ordered. You may recall I wrote about flooring several times.  You can look back here and here to see more details but here is a short recap.  The first floor that my husband and I agreed on was this one below. It is beautiful but a little darker then I was willing to go.

Acacia hardwood floors
Acacia hardwood floors

We also looked at this floor at Home Depot.

chestnut floors from Home Depot
chestnut floors from Home Depot

I wanted something a little lighter and more ‘beachy/coastal’ looking.  Today, we found this floor and I love it, and it is in stock. It is a Natural Hickory.

These 2 pictures above are actually the same floor sample, just taken in different lighting.  The first image was taken outside in the sunlight.  The second image was taken inside the store today, which was quite bright actually.  It looks so different!  Either way, I really like it. We also chose a nice carpet for the bedroom.  Here they are together, picture taken in the sunlight.

Carpet and hard wood choice
Carpet and hard wood choice

I also started looking at tiles for the bathrooms.  I got a little overwhelmed with all the choices (as I usually do).  I started with the guest bathroom which will have a shower only, no tub, which means it’ll need some tiling.  I like the tile in the below left photo as the bathroom floor and shower walls, with the stone as the shower floor and accent. Similar to these pictures below.  You like?

That is about as far as I got today for tile choices.  So many decisions and of course I kept picking out tiles that I loved that were crazy expensive!  HA!

Other stuff…

Inspections are happening this week. Hopefully all goes well with those so we can move on.  Then shingling will be installed in the next few weeks, then the pool guys can get started.

We will be doing the driveway with pavers toward the end of the remodel.   My husband met with a friend of ours from a local company called European Pavers to get a quote for the job.  The driveway is really a mess.  It is cracked in several places and just looks bad.  Pavers will look so much better!  We need to get our butts to the showroom and pick out pavers ASAP so they can be ordered and ready for when we need them.

That is about all for now.  Thanks for reading!

Picking out floors

We are back from Cape Cod and things are progressing on the house! I don’t have any new exciting pictures to post so I thought I’d talk about floors….

Our contractor suggested we take a look at floors recently.  Wow, is that hard!  There are just too many choices for my already overwhelmed little head.  I thought I knew what I wanted, but, once we got to the showroom all that went out the window.  One things for sure, we definitely want hard wood in the main area/great room.  Bathrooms will be tile, and the bedrooms, carpet.

For this visit we only looked at engineered hardwood options (tile and carpet choices will come later). Apparently engineered wood is the way to go in Florida, with all the humidity.

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