Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

How to Survive Home Improvement Projects

A few years ago I would not have been able to write this post because Hubby and I would start a project and mostly knock it right out. However, a few years ago we were way less committed to the outside world. I did not have my small business, Jon was not leading worship near as much, and our kiddos were not involved in extra-curricular activities. But now that life is in full swing, our DIY-loving selves have had to take a chill pill! But we haven’t totally quit either…. So, here’s my advice for surviving home improvement projects!

Lower your expectations!

If you think the project will take a week… double it at least. 🙂 We have yet to start and finish a project that has not had unexpected road bumps along the way.

Research and be resourceful.

The reason we have been able to do so much of our home improvement on our own is because of Jon’s willingness to research the heck out of everything! He is also humble enough to ask for help. We are blessed with family and friends who are a phone call away if we get in a bind! We also rarely have to buy tools (thanks to those same friends and family members) to do the projects… a huge cost savings and blessing!

How to Survive Home Improvement Projects

The previous homeowners’ dining room transformed into a mud room (much more usable for us)!

Prepare to eat out.

We have been without a kitchen for a good week for our most recent project! So, add room in your budget for meals out! I love to eat out so this is a WIN for me!

Prepare for some marital tension!

LOL! But really. The chances you will agree on everything is very slim. Jon dislikes change while I am always looking for ways to change things. The first closet we tore out in our home was torn out due to an argument. He finally got sick of hearing me talk… took the sludge hammer and mutilated the closet wall. No joke. He missed that closet for a good week but loved the end result! I think he is learning to trust me as the visionary! I totally trust him as the executer!

How to Survive Home Improvement Projects

Here’s that closet that caused some tension! Horrible photos… before I became a photographer! 🙂

Budget with generosity.

Seriously. We have never had a project come in under budget. Remember those road bumps? Those usually come with a price tag!

Consider a professional.

As life gets busier and if your budget allows, hire a contractor. We did this for a wall removal this year and it was FANTASTIC! We used Nissen Construction and it was a great experience start to finish!

How to Survive Home Improvement Projects

This space isn’t complete yet. We are almost done installing hardwood floors and hoping to do our kitchen in the next year or so!

Get the kids involved.

It seems natural to kick the kids out in a construction zone, but let them be involved in the process. My kids love hammering in nails (even if it’s not on the actual project), sweeping saw dust, and holding things!

MOMS get involved!

I definitely do way less work than Jon on our house, but I have done my share of cuts for our hardwood floor, painting, and definitely designing. Mom friends… we are definitely capable of doing construction — it is not just a man’s job! So get yourself a little dirty and embrace power tools! 🙂

Do you have experience with home improvement projects? What survival tips have you learned along the way?

, , , ,

2 Responses to How to Survive Home Improvement Projects

  1. Kara K June 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Dining room benches were totally made to be used in place of ladders, right? Safety first 🙂

  2. Lauren June 25, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

    Home improvement projects can sometimes be stressful, so these tips are wonderful to read through! I definitely agree on “lowering your expectations” – it is okay if your project doesn’t get done right on time! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply