Looking for small ways to change up your home? It’s amazing how switching the floor and painting the walls can change its entire look and feel. We recently updated both due to damage caused by a water leak, and my kids stated very emphatically that our house feels “more modern” now. I guess our colors from 15 years ago were a bit more outdated in their eyes than I thought.
Once we realized we needed to change everything, we embraced the idea and went for something completely different. Now as we unpack the last of the boxes, I’m trying really hard not to just hang pictures back where they were and instead consider different options. It’s amazing how removing everything from a room expands your point of view so you can see that room in a whole different light.
What are some small renovation ideas for your home?
Cabinets: Reface the cabinets in the kitchen or bathrooms, or sand them down and paint or stain them a different color. A while ago, we purchased a standalone cabinet with a sink and removed the built-ins from one of our bathrooms that came with the house. It completely changed the look.
Windows: Change the windows or blinds, or add molding around the windows to give them a distinctive look.
Hardware: Update faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms, the doorknobs on both interior and exterior doors, and the knobs on your cabinets, and change out wall plugs. When we remodeled our kitchen ten years ago, we changed all the plugs to a stainless-steel base rather than white. At the time I had never seen it before, but I really liked the effect.
Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind there are actions you can take to make your home renovation project run as smoothly as possible.
1. Do your homework. Be open to new ideas; Pinterest is a great place to find some. If you see something you like, take a picture and work off of it – there’s no need to recreate the wheel. We found a paint brochure with colors we liked, and we used it to choose paint shades. Also, if you’re using a contractor, try to obtain at least two quotes before starting any major renovation project in your home.
2. Be prepared. If installers are arriving on Monday morning, don’t wait till Sunday night to pack up your house/room. It takes time and lots of boxes to pack things up safely. You may want to consider renting a pod to store your possessions while the work is being done. The installers or contractors may need to use your garage to stow their tools if it’s a multi-day job for them. Also, think about your pets and where it would be best to house them.
3. Allow extra time each day. You’ll need to walk through everything at the end of the day to discuss with your contractor what still needs to be done and if anything doesn’t meet your approval. Making yourself available for questions while changes can still be implemented is much easier than having to tear something out at the end because it wasn’t caught in time. With our new flooring, the newly purchased and painted baseboards didn’t fit anymore. We had to be at the lumber store when it opened at 6:00 AM the next day to get taller ones and paint them quickly so they could be installed.
4. Think through your project so you don’t miss opportunities. We realized after the fact that we should’ve had our exterminator come in and spray when all the flooring was removed, before they began installing the new floor. We could’ve easily coordinated that but didn’t think it through ahead of time. I was able to take advantage of our washer and dryer being moved out of the laundry room to paint the walls before they finished the floor.
5. Don’t plan an installation on a heavily-scheduled week for your family. You might have to stay in the morning or come home early to talk with the contractors and have the time to walk through everything. You may have to make arrangements to eat out because your home is in disarray.
6. Buffer your budget. Whatever you decide to do, be prepared for a cascading effect. It’s amazing how changing one thing leads to the need to change another, and then another, and so on. We made several unexpected trips to the hardware store for different things. In the kids’ bathroom for example, once we had removed everything from the walls, the fresh paint highlighted how old and rusted the light kit was.
These are just a few tips and ideas for renovating your home. Don’t hesitate, as with a little preparation and vision and a good contractor, it’s a great time to take on your next home project.
Denise M. Colby is a freelance writer who engages her readers through her articles, blogs, and marketing content. Find out more at www.denisecolby.com.