And Then There Were None

Finally, the big day has arrived. Demolition begins today! It’s been a crazy month of trying to balance a full-time job in real estate (plus 3 hours of travel time alone), partaking in the weddings of my sister and my best friend Emma, going to family and friend events (this is what happens when two people with massive families join together – there are parties, showers or celebrations of some sort every weekend!), attempting to study to get my realtor’s license (key word here is attempting), keeping up with every-day duties, personal budgeting (did I tell you I’m not good with numbers?), staying healthy and spending well-needed quality time with my partner. Not to mention this renovation which is to be completed by end of August and planning for the condo we purchased earlier this year which closes in November.

There’s setting up utility accounts, creating financial spreadsheets, guestimating expenses for a major project, figuring out practical floor plans, beginning to select finishes, and blogging the whole experience while we’re at it! Yeap, it’s been a busy one and I don’t see things slowing down any time soon!

One of the things I enjoy most about this process is that I have a boyfriend that shares in the experience with me. We bounce ideas off each other, go selection shopping together and most of all, he’s always there give me a hug and knock me down a notch when I get overwhelmed and stressed with our busy schedules. It most definitely IS overwhelming. My brain is on constant overdrive thinking of what needs to get done and how I’m going to do it, whether it’s work or all of the projects that I’ve taken on over the last little while.

Here’s a few tips that Aaron’s taught me about life while renovating:

  • Learn to balance your time. I like to think I’m superwoman, but I’ve learnt that you can’t do everything all at once, or on your own. Create a to-do list and give yourself reasonable deadlines to get things done. We both have iPhones and are able to sync our calendars and memos which we’ve found to be extremely helpful!
  • Create a budget. Always give yourself a maximum number of spending that is under what you expect your renovation to actually cost. Plan for the surprises that may happen along the way, and don’t break your bank when they unpleasantly come banging on your door.
  • Start thinking about and selecting your finishes before even beginning renovations. Consider what style of home you’d like, what colours would look good together and how those selections fit into your budget.
  • Create a spreadsheet of all items that need to be ordered, down to simple items such as light switches and socket covers (see our resources page). Choose what items you will purchase yourself and what items your contractor will be responsible for supplying themselves.
  • If you are selecting the finishes yourself, ask your contractor for floor plans and measurements for the finishes you’ll have to begin ordering. This will help you with your budgeting. See how many dollars you can allocate towards flooring or tiling or kitchen design, and then begin to look for selections that fit within those numbers.
  • Don’t go crazy if you plan on selling soon – there’s a balance between renovating a home that is both beautiful and financially plausible.
  • Research ideas that would look good in your home and don’t always rely on how outlines look on a floor plan. Some things you think may look good in your mind or on the drawings won’t necessarily look as favorable in person.

And most of all, enjoy the process! This is supposed to be rewarding and fun! Let your creative juices flow, and don’t become overly stressed – it won’t speed things up (if it did, my renovation would have been completed by now!)

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