Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Top 5 Renovation Tools

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Hi, this is Debbi from Tattered Butterfly.  I have found some useful tools to help us through our renovation of home due to water damage.  Every room needs to be redone.  Two bathrooms and one kitchen need complete renovations while most of the other rooms need paint, flooring, and base boards redone.

It's overwhelming to think about the whole picture.  So much to do and so many decisions to make.  My husband has always had the motto "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.".  I am using this on a daily basis!  Some days I feel like I'm losing my marbles one marble at time! Below are tools to that have helped me.

Tip #1  Use your cell phone.

Take pictures of the area you are renovating.  Take pictures of colors, fabrics, faucets, tile, flooring, etc.  This way you can keep track of what you like and what store you found it in.  Another thing is you can later search on-line to see if you can buy it for less.  Texting pictures to my husband pictures has been so helpful.  It keeps him in the loop and relieves stress for both of us! 

Tip #2 Use On-line Tools.
Example:  Lowe's has a "My Lowe's Account".  Sign up is free.  You can search for an item let's say bathtubs.  You can put in the size and all the ones in that size.  We had an unusual dimension for our tub so this really helped.  Then I would add the ones I liked to my lists so all I had to do was go to my list for the one I chose.   The other thing with My Lowe's account is when ever you make a purchase it is scanned and then sent to your account.  If you chosen a paint color say Azure Blue you can find that in your on-line account or they can search for it on-line in the store.   

Tip #3  Get Samples of Items.

Get samples of tile, flooring, and paint colors.  You can purchase a few pieces of tile, a box of laminate flooring, and paint.  We loved a flooring at Lowe's we got a 3x3 square of flooring and took it home and thought it was perfect.  I had the thought to buy one box of flooring and take it home and put it together.  Boy, I'm glad we did this!  Tim put it together and it was not what we wanted.  It was blah and it was cheap flooring.  It was only 8mm and you could tell after putting it together.  We saved huge amount of money, time, and heartache!  Make sure you bring all the pieces back to the store.  If you don't you will not be able to return it. 

Get paint samples not the ones on cards but actual small paint containers.  I bought over 6 paint colors and tried them on the walls.  I did big patches and applied them to different areas of the room.  You need to do this because light bounces off walls differently which in turn can have slightly different color on the walls. Also be wise in choosing what sheen your going to use.  I've chosen a semi-gloss because it is washable and it bounces light around the room.  I've also chosen light colors which having a 11 year son who leaves fingerprints every where so I choose semi-gloss paint.  I've used satin and eggshell and they are awful to clean and very dull looking.  

Tip #4  Go to the source of expertise.

Last week I went to Standard Plumbing Supply.  Recommended by our contractor (Red Leaf Design).  I walked in and there were women customer service reps.  The construction field is still a mans world.  It was so refreshing to talk to a woman.  Elaine understood my concerns and resolved them quickly.  She was educated about the exact size tub I needed.  She recommend some optional items.  We have a very limited space to work with.  She told me about under mounting the tile on the drop in bath tub which will save space.  She then recommend a tile flange around the tub which will help in with any potential water damage and will help the water to flow in to the tub when using the shower.  I was able to sit in the tub I bought which made me know I was making the right choice. Sometimes you need to see it in person to touch, feel, and sit in.  On-line could have not answered these concerns.  Standard Plumbing had the tub in stock.  Other places in town and on-line would take 4-6 weeks because it was special order.  I saved time and money by buying locally. By having great customer service I want to go back and pick out other finishes I will need in the future.  Elaine was friendly, funny, and helpful.

Tip #5  Use On-Line Reviews.

I've used Lowe's,and Build Direct to help me make decisions especially on large purchases like flooring. Lowe's didn't have a great reviews on the Antique Hickory flooring.

I came across Build Direct through an on-line search.  I reviewed what people said about the company.  Mostly positive.  I then ordered free laminate flooring samples which they over nighted to me.  These samples were large.  Unlike the ones I got at a local hardware store.  I was able to choose my flooring a 12 mm thickness instead of 8 mm because that was in my budget.  It has a much richer look.  By other people review products and services helped not what to buy.


 Lowe's Antique Hickory Flooring 8 mm, $1.79 per square foot

 Provence French Grey 12 mm, $1.79 per square foot.  Regularly $12 a square foot.

I ordered it on Wednesday and it will be here by Tuesday.  Sometimes taking the time to search on-line can save you a lot of money.  The 12 mm flooring at Lowe's started at $3.49 a square foot which was way over budget for us. I'm head over heals in love with French flooring.  Our contract really liked the quality we were getting. There are deals to be had on-line but buy beware.  Can you return the item?  Do they pay for the return shipping?  What are the restrictions?

You may never be renovating an entire home but even if your renovating one room these tools can help you get things done in a timely manner with the plus of saving time and money buy using these tools.

Renovating comes with it own headaches but it has been a fun process to pick and choose the feel of our new home.  I'm trying to create an airy, calming, atmosphere in our home.  I'm calling it my French, Farm, and Beach inspired home.  Let me break it down.  French because I love the warm tones and curvy details.  The Farm because I love white and memories of my grandparents home as a child.  The Beach I grew up going to the Oregon coast often while growing up in Portland.  It's were we honeymooned 22 years ago.  I love the wind in my hair, the sound crashing of waves, and the sand under my feet.  I want our home to reflect the things we love.

 Be Your Own Kind  of Beautiful

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