Expectations vs Reality: Renovations


We’re currently in the process of renovating our lounge and whilst I was surrounded by paint and dust I got the idea for this post. There are so many blogs, Instagram profiles and YouTube channels dedicated to renovating houses and rooms but so often they skim over all the nitty-gritty. And when it came to making changes in our home I was not prepared for everything that goes into it and there are so many things I wish people would talk about more when it comes to the whole renovation process.


The financial side of doing any sort of renovations is unique to all of us, especially when working with professional traders as their fees will differ a lot. But even the most simple of changes can amount to quite a lot of money. We’ve learned that when it comes to anything whether that be painting or a full-blown renovation like a new bathroom it's best to add 5-10% onto the money that you know it’s going to cost as a just incase buffer. If you’re getting a serious renovations done getting multiple quotes is key, the price for the same job can differ so much from person to person. When we renovated our bathroom last October and our first tradesman fell through we gathered around 5-6 quotes and there was roughly £2000 difference in all the quotes which is a huge amount of money. Getting all the quotes does take a little bit of time but I can't recommend doing it enough.


When it comes to getting ideas for what you can do with living spaces or DIY changes then the online world is full to the brim with ideas. Which is awesome and something we're so incredibly fortunate to have as there is so much you can teach yourself to do. However, I always find that I have to draw a line in just how much interior content I consume as far too often it’s unrealistic (seriously, do these people not have plugs or wires?). And not at all in the realms of what the vast majority of us can do and makes me lust over something that is never going to be possible in my home. Something else that I’ve learnt is that when it comes to this type of content the cost of things is rarely shared. I understand why people are hesitant to divulge as it will never be the same price for everyone but a general guide would be so useful for anyone who is also doing renovations.


Of course, if you’re doing renovations by yourself then this isn’t something that will an issue but when doing them with someone else there is always bound to be a disagreement. Even when you know exactly what you’re doing and you’re both on the same page there will usually be some crosswords exchanged at some point. I always find it’s typically when you’re near the end of completing something and you’ve both had enough of it and just want to go back to a little bit of normality. As much fun as changing your living space can be it can also be stressful and a big strain on a household when you add all your other responsibilities into the mix. For me, as I work from home having my living space in complete disarray is not something that bodes well for me having a productive workday at all so I try my best to keep an area of the house calm and free from any mess that I can so I can still get a good amount of work done.


Whenever I watch or read tales of peoples renovations they usually only show the highlights which exactly what social media is, there isn’t much talk about how long you have to live with the decor you hate or everything that went wrong. Unless you’re insanely lucky to have the funds to make the changes that you want instantly typically there is a lot of waiting and saving when it comes to renovating. Sometimes the timing isn’t right either, for us it didn’t make sense to rip the gross carpet out that covers downstairs, stairs, and hallway when we knew we were going to toilet train a dog at some point. And as much I can’t stand the carpet and how it’s made our house look for so long I am glad we’ve waited to change it. Living somewhere for a little while helps you get to grips with what you want too, because the things that you might have wanted initially may not be right for the space.


When we first started making changes to our home and the things that I thought were of the utmost importance soon became things that I didn’t care about or realised I didn’t want. Usually, the reason why these wants fade into the background is that they’re either too expensive or too time-consuming to do. There are so many things that I wanted to do to our house but ultimately they are things that won’t make a huge difference and when your space isn’t your forever home you do have to be realistic of what adds value to a property and what are vanity renovations. Typically it’s the most boring things that aren’t all that exciting to change (rewiring or new windows for example) are the ones that are the most important and have to become before most things.


what are your expectations vs reality when it comes renovating and redecorating?

Rebecca WarrinerInterior