Renovations: Tip #2 Be realistic about your own abilities

Imagine it, a week before Christmas and a pending family visit my wife and I look at each other one night and I say to her "Wouldn't it be nice if we could get rid of this wall, it would really open the house up and wouldn't your family be impressed".

Imagine it.  Trust me I'll never forget the moment.

You see what happened from here is classic overestimation of abilities.  We get out the hammer and other wrecking tools and start taking the wall down.  Simple.  What we didn't see happening was the entire ceiling coming down with this one little wall.

Fun.  A week before Christmas and now our front entrance no longer has a ceiling.  I should also mention that my wife had just painted the entire entranceway and connecting stairwell about a day before all of this fun started so at this point she's fairly happy.

You see the problem really was the fact that it was a week before Christmas and trying to find a professional to come in and fix the ‘mistake’ was next to impossible.  My marriage was put to the test as we embarked on the journey of trying to make the fixes on our own. Off to Home Depot we went, we bought the drywall, drywall screws and the first of many pails of drywall cement and returned home to start.  Imagine the two of us, five sheets of 4 x 12 drywall, one ladder and a drill.  Not pretty.  With my wife holding up the drywall and near to tears we managed to secure the sheets and over the next 3 days I sanded and mudded until perfection (or at least my ever changing sense of it) was achieved.

So here is the moral of this story; be realistic about your own abilities and take the time to make a plan.   It may be tempting to try your hand at renovations.  Indeed for some of you out there you may actually be more than capable and certainly there are benefits to completing the work on your own.  It can save you some serious money and really who else can you trust completely to make sure that your house gets the love and attention it deserves!

Before embarking on this journey ask yourself if you can successfully finish the project based on the skills you possess.  If the answer is “I think so" or “Maybe” or “I’ve seen it done before” perhaps you should consider calling in a professional.  Fixing mistakes or running into unexpected problems (like drywall falling from a ceiling) can end up costing you more, in terms of dollars and time, in the long run.

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