In any home renovation, there's things you do right, and things you do wrong. We usually have plenty of each. Here's the stuff we did really right:
- Keeping expectations in check. When we discussed doing the kitchen, B kept saying "We could flip it in a weekend!" I half believed him. Once the time came, we were realistic about when it would be done, and tried to plan it in a way that our helpers wouldn't be overwhelmed, and luckily ended up with only one really late night.
- Planning the renovation for the warmer months allowed us to leverage our grill for meals and not have to eat out *as* much - although it was still too much for me.
- Having a microwave let us make some food - granted it was my mini-one from college and took about twice as long as a regular one - which was better than any more Subway!
- Shopping around before making our purchases. It might be completely and totally exhausting and frustrating, but I'd say we saved several thousands of dollars by pitting Lowe's against our local lumber store, and Home Depot against Sears on our oven. The key is to ask, to be honest that you think it's too much, and ask if there's anything they can do. Chances are, there is.
- Using people. Ok, that doesn't sound right, because we weren't really using them, they were helping us. And they were all willing - I swear! We're really lucky to have quite a few friends with some useful skills, and trust me, our bank account appreciated it! And don't worry, we'll be ready and willing to help them all out in return any time!
I'm sure there's more stuff I could list, but I don't want to brag or anything :P Don't worry... there's a list of what we did wrong coming shortly as well!