10 Things I Wish I Had Known 10 Months Ago

This whole house remodeling thing has been really hard on me…I think I would rather have been pregnant and birthed another baby than deal with the ups and downs of remodeling.  I can say for certain- I WILL NEVER UNDERTAKE A PROJECT LIKE THIS AGAIN!  Yet I don’t regret it for a single second.  If these are the pains that “birthed” this house, I’m okay with it…just don’t want to do it again.


My mom told me never to say never because sometimes it will come back and bite you in the butt…but this time, I am as confident as I can be that remodeling on this scale will never happen again in my lifetime for me.

So the other day Kalissa asked me what 10 things do I wish I had known from the beginning of the remodel.  Here’s my list:

1-Things will take longer that I hoped or anticipated so don’t get too anxious.  Few workers put in the long or extra hours that Hubby and I work on a regular basis so things take longer.

2-I would spend LOTS of time doing this…Drawing and redrawing and adjusting.


3-I wish I had better known the cost of things.  Who knew good garage doors cost so much??  I see fliers from the big box stores and thought garage doors only cost $400 each.  It’s true you can get some for that but they aren’t insulated and good quality.

4-I would never have bought a light fixture until about this far into the remodel.  We have taken back so many light fixtures because after we saw the space in real life, we didn’t like what we picked…I say “we” loosely here.  It was all me and all my fault.

5-The wood work in the house will continue to keep me motivated.  Oh I can’t wait to see the house looking at least this good again!


6-There are several things that our architect overlooked and we weren’t smart enough about the building process to catch them.  We’d have asked about them and had a few things changed.

7-I would know the answer to all sorts of dumb questions that I’ve asked Hubby that have made him roll his eyes at me….Things like, can’t we put the sheet rock on the walls first-apparently not.  The ceiling is always done first.  Knowing these little day to day things that carpenters and apparently  my husband knows would have saved his eyes LOTS of un-needed rolling.

8-We won’t be moving in to our finished dream home so I should have lowered my expectations.  I take that back, we will be moving in to our dream home…it just won’t be too dreamy yet.  We’ll still have LOTS of work to do.  I’m okay with that…I just wish I’d have known.

9-I never realized how much advice I would get…wanted or not wanted.  If there are “back seat drivers” and “arm chair quarterbacks” there needs to be a name for people who offer unsolicited advice all the time-like my house is their house.  I think I just need a better filter to tune some of that out.  I have come to realize that everyone uses their home differently so things that are important to me are likely not as important to others.  Also-everyone’s idea of size if completely different.  We’ve had lots of people tell us our house is small…lots of people who have told us our house is huge!


10-Hanging around and waiting for the workers although irritating was TOTALLY WORTH IT!  We have had, for the most part, wonderful workers!  We love the cement guys, the carpenters and the pluming and electrical guys.  They have all done high quality work.  Although I’ve moaned about it, they have been worth the wait.

Those are the top ten things I wish I had known….I’m not in the house yet so I am certain that there will be more to learn before we are through.

11 thoughts on “10 Things I Wish I Had Known 10 Months Ago”

  1. Your list is good Jo. We have been in our house a month and are still working on it. When you start to get discouraged just think how far you have come with it! That helps me a lot to remember that. Also don’t worry about what others say. We have done many things in our home that some would not do, but it is OUR home and we have to make it comfortable for our family. Hang in there girl!

  2. I had a preacher once to preach a sermon on expectations. He said even the journey to the Promised Land wasn’t without its trials and tribulations and disappointments. But, when you get in your new home (the Promised Land), the journey will have been worth it all.

  3. NUMBER 11…you never thought it would look or be this INCREDIBLE!! It’s like a baby…once you have moved in, you will forget about all about the pain, the stress, the labour, the wait!
    You’ll see…be patient…like your babies, this house is going to be AMAZING!!

  4. I’ve added comments where I then had to type in something to show I’m not a spammer. So how about building in a question like, “Is your comment unsolicited advice?” If the person says “yes”, then it goes to a special bucket. Of course, you might have to have a sign like this above your door and maybe wear a large button with this on it, too! Just don’t do it untilI tell you your house looks wonderful and keep doing whatever you’re doing.

  5. Jo, your house is looking incredible! But I definitely know what you mean about the journey. I’ve been going through a kitchen gut and remodel that ended up spilling into most of the first floor, and have been living in boxes upstairs for almost 7 months, with only a microwave to cook with. So many things that I wish I knew before, that I definitely know now. Like how a 2 month project could take 7 months because the various workmen couldn’t coordinate their schedules. Who knew that a kitchen faucet would be $500, or that most double wall ovens are so deep that a woman can’t reach into the top one with the door open? Time management has been especially frustrating. So much “hurry up and wait”, then frantic activity, then nothing again for weeks… And the redoing of stuff that was done wrong the first time, because no one paid attention. Arggghhh…. It’s going to be beautiful, but it’s been draining – physically, mentally, and $$$. Next time I get any brilliant ideas about remodeling, we’re going to move instead!

  6. Love how your house is turning out! Your wish list is so true – but I know there are a few times you have asked for input from us – crazy lady!!! The choices you have made for everything in your house as just right for you, but I would love to know more about #6! I guess that’s why other folks have stated that it took until their third build to get a house perfect for them – you’ve been there, done that and learned the lesson!!

  7. I love you posts about your house and I will miss them when you get everything done. This house remodel might be like having a baby, once it’s all done you may not remember all the work and anguish of getting the job to completion.

  8. Jo, I have to agree 100%. We remodeled our house 12 years ago and NO WAY would I ever do it again. Lots of hurry up and wait! Your house looking fantastic! I’m still keeping my fing e’er s crossed for you to be in by Christmas.

  9. I’ve loved watching your progress with the house! It’s been exciting to see your progress and I’ve been grateful that you’ve been willing to share it with us! My husband’s career has us moving from one place to another. We are now living in our 7th home. But, it’s never been ‘our’ home…a place that we could build our way! I’ve been living vicariously though you! It’s been so neat to see how your plans have changed and how you’ve gotten what you know will work for your family! Thanks again for including us in your journey!

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