My Top 10 Home Renovation Tips

My top 10 Home Renovation Tips

My husband and I just completed our entire home renovation and addition. We loved the process of designing and creating our dream home, but boy are we thrilled to be done and moved in! It took a total of 11 months and, as with any renovation project, we had a few hiccups. We were fortunate enough to have an outstanding and honest contractor who was extremely patient with our (my) indecisiveness, thanks Sako! We could have never imagined how many intricate details and time-sensitive decisions were involved. It was an enlightening experience and there are endless takeaways, but for your sake, here are my top 10 renovation tips…

  1. Choose the right Contractor – I recommend interviewing and receiving quotes from at least 5 different contractors for your renovation project. Be sure to get detailed bids that line up so that you are comparing like to like. In speaking to them be as specific as possible with your vision and ask what is excluded from their bid (for example, cabinetry that will come for a separate subcontractor). In the end we didn’t go with the lowest bid. Our choice was based on honesty and quality of work. Another tip pertaining to this is to get any agreement in writing so that you have a reference which cannot be disputed.

    Choose the right Contractor For Home Renovation


  2. Manage your Expectations – You’re going to be given a cost estimate and timeframe. Double both. Just kidding, but seriously you should know going into it that those are simply estimates and to expect delays and added expenditures for a variety of reasons. In our experience, working with the architect and permit approvals impacted our renovation timeline the most.

  3. Do it Right the First Time – As my dad has always said “it only takes a little bit more to go first class”. That has never rang more true than during this process. We knew that this would be our home for the foreseeable future and wanted to choose quality materials. We also considered that if we cut corners we would probably pay for it down the line. That being said, when we had the chance to save without compromising quality we took it.

    Home Renovation 2      Home Renovation 1


  4. Create a Dedicated Pinterest Board – This is something that helped us a ton. We had so many different ideas starting out and changed our minds many times along the way. Having an inspo board for the renovation really helped us narrow our focus in order to arrive at our end result. We also found it helpful to create a document that was somewhat of a mood board for each individual room.

  5. Think Long Term – In the beginning of our renovation project I was overwhelmed with ideas and liked so many different architectural styles and finishes. What really helped me was when I began considering the long term effects. In many spaces we would have taken more risks but opted for clean and simple colors and lines to avoid getting tired of the space. It is also important to consider that you can always add so much with décor down the line.

    Home Renovation Erin Lately

    Home Renovation 3     Home Renovation Erin Lately 2


  6. Be Present – This was major for us. Andrew and I both worked full time during the renovation project and tried our best to oversee as much as possible. We were lucky enough to have family nearby to support us and be our eyes and ears when we couldn’t be there. If you’re not living on site, I think it is so important to check in at least once a day. This can help to avoid any misunderstandings and mistakes. Stay on top of it and don’t feel bad for being hyper-involved.

  7. Keep Storage and Functionality in Mind – You can never have enough storage!  Although we loved the look of a minimalist design, we knew mixing in some practical storage space was a must and worked it into our design wherever we could. We opted for large built-ins in our living space, cabinetry in the hallway, and custom vanities to maximize our available space.

    This was a hard one for me, but every once in a while you will inevitably have to sacrifice style for functionality. After all, you do need outlets to plug your Nespresso into, even if it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing. Another example of this was choosing closed cabinetry instead of floating shelves all around our kitchen. I loved the idea of open shelving but Andrew felt it was preferable to have traditional cabinets to hide all of our mess… In the end, he was probably right and I’m happy with the compromise of a couple floating shelves incorporated.

    Home Renovation 4    Home Renovation 5


  8. Samples, Samples, and more Samples! –  When you’re choosing flooring, tile, grout, paint, and all other materials, make sure to get as many samples as possible! This helped us a ton in making sure that all of our selections meshed cohesively and “spoke to one another”. Also, don’t forget to bring them with you when looking for other materials (rookie move that we admittedly made a couple times)!

  9. Create an Illusion – When we purchased our fixer, it was 910 square feet. We took it down to the studs and added 1,100 square feet. Something that was important to me was creating the illusion of a larger and more open space. We did this by expanding the width of the hallways while also putting in vaulted ceilings in two major spaces (living space and master bedroom). Additionally, we chose an open concept design for our living room and kitchen. Our large windows and glass French doors also lend to opening up the space.

    Home Renovation



  10. Keep Calm – This can be said for just about anything, but for me it was a huge lesson learned throughout our renovation. In the end, it is extremely important to remember that most things in construction can be adjusted as needed and that very few things are engraved in stone. Remember it’s not life or death and that you will most likely be the one who notices all of the tiny details. That being said, if something is not done to your satisfaction I recommend that you have the conversation with the contractor or subcontractor to rectify the issue.

I hope these ren

Home Renovation 8

ovation tips were helpful! I can’t wait to share some more posts about our remodel journey and home decor. Leave any questions below and I would be happy to offer my advice and recommendations. Stay tuned for a before & after, and check out my instagram for more updates!

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