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top ten things i learned from a remodel

by practicewithdanielle

I’ve written about running toward the things that make you uncomfortable. Spend time meditating, connecting with your intuition, journaling, finding ways to tiptoe towards that newness….

That’s important and all but most of the time we just get pushed into icky situations and we gotta deal with it.

It seems like every day now, I’m facing something that makes me hella uncomfortable.
In case we don’t know each other, I’m from the midwest. We’re real friendly and we don’t like confrontation. We’re called Midwest Nice for a reason. Except of course when it comes to talking sh*t to Bears fans. Sorry not sorry Bears.

When we chose to remodel our house, I had no idea how many different types of people I’d be dealing with. People who try to take advantage of you, people who lie to you, people who are rude and offensive, and people who are just plain lazy.

I’ve had to confront all of them and it makes me squirm just thinking about it.

But just because I’m Midwest Nice doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

I posted a picture of my beautiful new fridge yesterday. This morning, as we were sitting on the floor inspecting the baseboards, I notice a tiny puddle of water by our cabinets. A simple tug on the fridge revealed a small lake behind the cabinets.

A couple months ago I would have dreaded the call to Lowes to demand a solution and money back. But now, I don’t even know what Midwest Nice looks like anymore.

Call me The Enforcer, because I’ll shake down whoever I need to get my money back.

As our remodel is wrapping up (any day now…) I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far:

  1. It’s easier to spend money than not to spend money. Pick a handful of things you care about a lot and spend money there. For me, this was the floors, appliances and kitchen hardware.

  2. If you can do it yourself, maybe you should.

  3. But if it’s going to take a year off your life, then pay someone else to do it. This time, the patio won. But we will get you next time.

  4. Add four weeks to the schedule. Maybe six.

  5. You will go over budget.

  6. You.will.go.over.budget. Remind yourself of this early and often because that last invoice will freak you out.

  7. Learn how to do everything, just a little. You’ll need to check work and ask intelligent questions.

  8. Just because it costs more, doesn’t mean it’s better. See: Home Depot cabinets.

  9. Get a second, third and fourth opinion before tearing down walls.

  10. Nobody will care as much as you do. Care the most.

Of course, I realized that as with most lessons, you can apply them to other situations.Sneaky.

If you’ve taken on a massive project like this (remodel or not), send me your lessons learned.

And if you need help from The Enforcer…holler.


PS. I CAN’T WAIT TO START COOKING AGAIN FOREAL. I’ve set myself up to bake something this week. Fingers crossed this insane cake turns out.

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