Normally when things break in my house they stay that way for awhile. Or it just gets replaced because I hate fixing things. We all have our quirks—those things about us that seem contradictory. Like why do I clip coupons and save quarters and dollars here and there on certain things and yet easily spend extra cash when it comes to say…saving a few minutes of time in a check-out line or not having to return something?

For example, I crazy glue my shoes when they start falling apart, reuse lunch bags and tin foil, and buy generic brands of ice cream and medicine. But when it comes to fixing a hole in my ceiling, I put off fixing it myself because I hate doing maintenance. I will, eventually, but I hate it. Why am I discussing any of this? Because for the past nine months I have been updating my house. I don’t know why, since it’s an enormous amount of work. I’ve remodeled my kitchen, painted almost every wall and ceiling and piece of trim, updated light fixtures, reorganized my basement, cleaned up my yard, and bought a ginormous TV. But that dang hole just keeps getting bigger and I keep ignoring it.

Let me share with you what I’ve learned from all of this in case you get the remodeling bug.

 1.    Painting cabinets is a huge pain in the butt. Get someone to come and install new ones for you. Or paint them for you. If you’re going to do it on your own, definitely sand them really well and figure out a good painting system so you don’t get loads of drip marks all over them. Doing this during a snowpocalypse is a good idea. Lots of time to paint between shoveling.

2.    Don’t go through Home Depot for any project. See previous post. After you read previous post, just know that after they finally delivered my floors, they charged me again for them (and charged me for a whole box I didn’t need). And still it goes on…

3.    If you install nice countertops, get a new under-counter sink to go with it. Totally worth it.

4.    Check on your installers often—before and during the project. Many will most likely not speak English, won’t read the order or the directions before they start, and won’t make decisions on their own. They also (most, not all) don’t give a hoot if they damage your house, lawn, furniture, etc.

5.    Put a bunch of extra money in your remodeling budget. It will end up costing you more than you estimated and you’ll start seeing a lot of things that need to be done that you didn’t see before.

6.    Put a bunch of extra money into your budget for the repairs that will come up unexpectedly. It’s been really fun to spend all this money (that I planned and budgeted for) but not so fun when the A/C blew up, the dog needed an operation, the car hit 60K miles and needed everything fixed, a pipe burst, and the small hole in the ceiling became a big hole.

7.    Don’t put upturned paint can tops on the floor where you will be walking. Just saying.

8.    Don’t let the cats near upturned paint can tops.

9.    Have an extra bottle of wine ready for when your neighbors come over at 8 a.m. on Saturday to give you the “I’m going to kill you look” because the installers woke them up.

10. Call your parents and ask them to come down to help you fix the big hole and paint the final rooms.




Not good.