I take my hat off to anyone who starts a renovation project in their home themselves. It is not a simple job and it is challenging. If you have not done it before there are often some hidden gems that you don’t always see on those fast simple home make over shows.
I am going to highlight some lessons learnt to hopefully help a few other people in my position.
- I mapped out to Remove my kitchen cupboards and paint them white and then place new hinges on and reverse the doors. IT looks a lot better now and at the same time I decided to remove some items we did not like. That was actually the simple part, but I did not think about how to fill in the gaps once those cupboards were out the wall.
- Painting sounds simple enough but I had to really work on some suborn hinges that got stripped and stuck in the wood as I was removing them.
- Okay, first coat of paint was okay, but I quickly realized that a sponge roller is your best friend for the finish I wanted (okay it was my wife’s idea not mine). The first paint was okay but it needed work and a second coats was clearly needed on all the doors. Fortunately I shopped around a bit and found top quality brand named paint in a generic labeled tin which was almost half the price but the same quality. So don’t just settle for what the store salesman tells you, shop around and learn what goes into a quality paint, you could save yourself a heap of cash.
- I had to remove all the tiles on our backsplash behind the sinc, and tiling was going to cost quite a bit and I did not have the tools, but I did find a single piece of galvanized metal that fitted on the wall in one go and it only cost me 1 tenth of the cost of tiling. So, look for alternatives and don’t always just accept the norm.
- There is a MASSIVE opportunity in any renovation project and that is to declutter as you renno. I removed all the cupboard contents and found some glasses and cups or things that have not been used since we moved into our house about 15 years ago. CHUCK IT OUT or SELL IT! You don’t need that stuff and you will find that you can create a simpler cleaner look when you don’t have to set up bunches of cupboards to house all the extra junk that you are never going to use.
- Make sure you check what you are sanding first. The cupboards over or near the stove had this sticky oily substance coated on them and when I used an electric sander it just clumped up and turned to rubber on the sander and just messed up the rest of the door as I was sanding. Leave these doors or cupboard to last and get some extra sand paper to deal with all that goo.
- Add in some extra time for unforeseen issues and make sure you add in a few days not just hours. I bought the hinges in batches and the second batch only arrived 3 weeks later because the hardware stores supplier changed in mid order. I was prepared to wait because they did save me quite a bit based on the same hinges at other stores, so be prepared for those unforeseen issues.
- Make sure that the area is still functional as far as possible, or you will have a very difficult time. If you cannot then plan to stay out of house for that time, it can be too much on a relationship or on kids. If however it is functional they are very forgiving and are willing stick with you because you have not compromised their environment too much.
- Before you just start going, always stop and think twice before you accidentally screw your hinges into the front of the cupboard doors instead of the back. It may force you to start all over again. Fortunately for me this was only two doors and some wood filler saved my bacon.
- Keep your colours to more neutral and simple colours that open the space up. Think as if you were renovating the home to resell it. This adds huge value to your home when you do eventually sell it and it keeps your options to deco very simple and focused on the items instead of on the walls or floors.
As I mentioned, I am no expert and these pointer are purely some things I learnt and hope they help you. When you start out make sure you know your plan and you have the full agreement with the family. This helps them to be patient with you a lot more than usual.
I hope you enjoy the before and after photos and am quite interested to hear your thoughts on the changes so please do drop me a message on my blog or even on my various social media and tell me about your thoughts or maybe even share your renno project before and after pictures.