Home renovations: we staple for them, pine for them … and make ourselves sick with worrying about all the expensive decisions we might later regret. However, planning for your next project just gets infinitely easier when you know what common pitfalls to look out for. Below, our friends and family share their greatest regrets and lessons from the renovation.
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“We decided to have real hardwood planks instead of laminate floors in our new kitchen and it was honestly the worst decision ever made. The real wood should be able to hold its own against anything, but it will dent and dent and scratch like crazy. The imitation wood floors we installed in the office have now lasted ten years and still look like new! “- Rachel, NY
“I wish I had known dust still goes everywhere, no matter how clean your contractor keeps things. I ruined a pair of suede shoes by leaving them in the work zone. “-Martha, MN
“When it comes to kitchen cabinets, you get the best quality you can afford – plywood boxes and solid wood fronts with high quality closers, castors and fittings. Our cheap stuff wore out on the first day. “–Andie, NY
“When we were redesigning our upstairs bathroom, I let my husband convince me that adding a walk-in shower would make better use of space and money than the antique claw foot tub I had been longing for. Every time I go to this bathroom I wish I had a bathtub. Splurge – and in some cases fight – for your dream pieces. “- Nancy, MA
“Never take on a task without knowing what you are getting yourself into. I decided to remove the grass web from the wall myself and the entire plaster wall underneath fell apart. I had to learn how to plaster and scan … and eventually hire a handyman to finish the job. So much extra time and money for home improvement in the end! “–Katy, CA.
“Looking back, I regret my butcher’s block countertops. They were beautiful and cheap AF, but the sink is really difficult to keep dry (and again, rot and mold free). “–Jill, PA
“I chose classic stainless steel appliances for the kitchen (fridge, oven, etc) and while they all look stunning immediately after cleaning, there are fingerprints visible everywhere if someone touches them. In retrospect, I wish I had chosen a less maintenance material. “- Abby, TX
“We had a shiny new island installed in our kitchen, and while it is useful and beautiful, it gives us so much less space to move around. In the end, it wasn’t worth the compromise – and we’re sticking to it! “- Corley, LA
“Our soapstone worktops are very high quality, but very maintenance-intensive. They need to be oiled / waxed regularly. Without maintenance, they can look very blotchy, old, and discolored. The oil looks oily, the wax looks waxy and feels very cold in winter. I’m a purist, but the fact that it’s synthetic is sometimes the best choice for counters. “-Mallory, NY
“Never make decisions in-store: get samples and take them home to see how they will look with other furniture, surfaces, and lighting in your home. We ordered our flooring in the showroom and had to cancel the order after returning home with the chip in hand: it was all wrong, personally paired with the beams on our ceiling! “- Annie, CA.
“Before you buy a device, check the store’s return policy. We received an oven hood that was only slightly the wrong size and could not be taken back because the store did not return any “large appliances”. “–Stephanie, NY
“Over the years I’ve occasionally regretted going with the cheaper options I chose. In retrospect, it would have been really nice to have sprung for heated floors in the bathroom.” –Marjie, VA
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