Hey, you guys! Today’s topic is how soon is too soon for renovation?
Let me bring you guys up to speed. I closed at the end of February; three days later, I started my home renovations. Before I forget to mention, this is on a new build. From a designer’s point of view, this is pretty normal, but I can see how you would probably think I am out of my mind.
- Make a list of renovation needs and priorities. This will help you to not get side-tracked and stay within budget. It can be hard if you’re documenting your journey publicly and supporters want to know plans for areas that are not on the radar, so this list definitely helped me to stay on track.
- Cost vs. Value
There are two types of mindsets that come into play when renovating. One is to sell in the future and the other is to live comfortably. Regardless of which one, keep “return on investment” at the forefront of your decision making.
- Contractors & Bids
Now that you have your list and your budget, you want to make sure that you hire someone who allows you to voice your opinion freely; someone to bring your vision to life. This relationship is most important because you are going to be spending a lot of time with this person in your home. Second, be comfortable with the idea of getting quotes/bids for the job and put a focus on who you vibe with over who’s the cheapest. If you’re looking for the lowest cost then nine times out of ten, you’re not ready for a reno. Sometimes, but not all of the time, the cheapest guy ends up costing you more. Lastly, research prices in your city and/or state. What I pay in Savannah can easily be double in Atlanta, so know your area.
- Cut Costs
Before compromising on quality materials or finishes research prices, find sales, check out local rehabs, and you may be able to refurbish somethings in your home. There’s no point in investing in a renovation project that you’re still going to be unhappy about it. Do your research first!
Crown molding/molding is for aesthetics only and won’t increase value. With that being said, I love my molding lol!! As I stated before, there’re two types of upgrades… one is to sell and the other is to live comfortably. The overall aesthetics in my home are everything to me, and this was a creative way to enhance my builder-grade home. Although this may not add value to my home, I do believe it sets my home apart from the other exact 12 models in my neighborhood. If by chance my home and the same model are listed at the same time, I’m confident my home would sell first.
Upgraded base trim & crown molding all over the house. I added the picture box frame in the Owner’s Suite, along with some detailed millwork to the ceiling. I must admit what I thought was going to be very small changes turned into a pretty big semi-gut out, and my $3,000 renovation budget slowly crept up to a little over $10,000.
I had the bright idea to tear down the wall under my stairs, and I also removed a wall in one of the bedrooms in an effort to maximize every inch of my home. I estimated about one to two days for this project and it turned into a two-week project. The benefits of making such a drastic change were that it made it possible to add a 70 x 34-inch extension and widen the size of my closet. For the area under the stairs an outlet for electronics, and a niche wall that will serve as shelving for my boys’ toys/ tablet. I can definitely see a little late-night movie via iPad happening in this space. This was about nine hundred dollars.
I removed the builder grade lighting over the island, converted the two vanity lights in the bathrooms to recess lighting, added 5 dimmers throughout the house, and replaced approximately 23 outlet covers, and added 3 extra plugs. This project was twelve hundred dollars, which includes labor and light fixtures. See mode board here (BUILDER’S GRADE BLOG)
The board and batten wall, which starts at the front entrance and carries into the loft upstairs, fireplace reface, crown molding, coffered ceiling in the loft, and trim in my laundry room was six thousand three hundred and seventy-eight dollars. The price includes material and labor. Materials included 1×4 primed boards ($13 per 8 ft), 1×6 primed board ($20 per 12 ft), cove, plywood, and 3 5/8 crown molding.
Flooring, this project here was a blessing because it was gifted. Although the flooring was gifted, I was still very much responsible for hiring someone to complete the installation. The flooring installation was four thousand five hundred dollars. I went from luxury vinyl to hardwood. Not having to cover material for both the flooring and windows treatments gave me the flexibility to add a little bit more charm and interest into my home. See more about this upgrade here (FLOORING BLOG)
Fireplace, best addition in my bedroom. I needed something that was going to grab the eye and the floor to ceiling fireplace addition… DID THAT! Totaling out this was twelve hundred dollars; this doesn’t include the tv/electric hardware.
Kitchen, I wanted this space to have a custom high-end feel so I added the soffit above to elongate the look of the cabinets and finished it off with crown molding. This was done to the kitchen and the living room bookcase. This project was six hundred dollars.
THAT WAS ALOT!!!!
The question now is, was it all worth it?
Yes, it was! lol. If quarantined taught us anything I hope it was, get reacquainted with your four walls. Not being able to leave the house means your beautiful handbags don’t get seen; Christian Louboutin’s are on rest as well, and most importantly traveling to another country where you get to experience the life of luxury is not an option. So much emphasis is placed on being seen and how we’re seen by others that living has taken a back seat. These reno projects, although they all may not add value, they feed my soul. My home has always been my happy place. If the kitchen is the heart, the house is the body and it’s just as valuable as its main vital organ so we should care for every each of our space.
Four months before closing, I carefully started to plan out how I envisioned my house and now eight months later I have surpassed that vision. I created my own haven within these four walls and these walls energize and motivate me. What may seem light a waste was a mere investment into my mental health, and that could never be a waste.I used to call my house the bachelorette pad, but I know how it’s a massive prayer room. Most of my mornings start with me sweeping than a light vacuuming, it’s not always tidy but the girl tries. My night routine on the other hand is a bit different; I turn on my Pandora slow jams, bring the upgraded dimmer down, light my luxury size Joe Malone candle, and climb into my garden tub, which is filled with LUSH bath bomb… and enjoy a 15/20-minute soak. These are just small things that make me happy. Happiness in my eyes will always be my reason for my answer to be YES!!!
I say all this to say budget, take your time, and do what makes you TF happy, and lastly take care of yourself!!!! Stop waiting on people to tell you how to live, those people are stuck in the house mad as I don’t know what right now waiting on the opportunity to leave their home. Being in design, my home will always represent me well.
Thank you for your time until next time.
5 thoughts on “RENOVATION RECAP 2021”
Thank you Nadia! This post was well needed it has given me an idea of where to start and around how much I could possibly be working with give or take a few dollars. Not to mention the confidence to do me in my home lol
As always inspiration at its best. Thank you for sharing your vision and knowledge with us
Always a pleasure, lessons, and something to strive for. My kids know not to interrupt me when I am watching your channel or reading your columns. Keep up the great work, don’t ever mind the naysayers. All the best on your future endeavors. Be blessed!
Loved the renovation journey was there for all of it. My favorite is the grown and sexy bedroom. The fireplace bought the room together.
Nadia I’m so happy that I discovered you on YouTube you have been a true inspiration to me for my future home and so much more thank you for sharing your journey with us. I Will be saving my money so I can have a beautiful home like yours that brings me joy.