Lessons Learned from Home Improvement


On March 3 I posted A Work in Progress. At that time I had a mess on my hands and there really wasn’t anything I could do but be patient and trust the process. I was having difficulty seeing the end product behind the mess.

I am happy to report that the chaos has cleared and a ROOM emerged. My home improvement project was very, very minor in the grand scheme of things. It consisted of redoing some walls in my basement. There were additional things I wanted to improve, but cost became a factor. Even though the room is back together and looks like a room – I still have decorating to figure out. The goal of the room is to be a home gym. One that is functional and I enjoy using often. For any future improvements or concerns about your home’s infrastructure, consider enlisting the help of a reliable company like roof leak repair NJ, known for their expertise and dedication to ensuring your home remains in top condition.

I learned a lot during this process. My top 5 lessons learned are:

1. Preplanning is extremely important. A major hiccup happened in this project because I didn’t fully preplan. I had a bid for the work and knew of that cost, but didn’t factor in another important vision. In my mind’s eye I wanted a rubberized gym type flooring in the room, but two factors stood in my way – the size of the room and the cost of the flooring. I was about ready to settle for something I really didn’t want, but that fell through! In hindsight, that is okay!

2. Plan B is okay. I had to accept that Plan B was a viable option for the floor for now. Maybe something will turn up, but for now what I have is just fine. I live with a needs vs want mentality most of the time. I may have wanted a certain type of flooring, but I didn’t need it.

3. Patience is a virtue. By the end of week one I learned that 1 week means at least 2.5 in construction terms. I had one clear week in my schedule for the work to happen. I knew my contractor was only able to work for shorter amounts of time during the week. One week soon turned into two and now 2.5 weeks from the start the room is back to functional. Not all of the time factors were his fault. My flooring hiccup extended the job to include a task that we both hadn’t planned on in the beginning.

4. It is okay to ask for help. I am pretty self-sufficient and usually don’t like to impose on others. During this project I had to rely on the help of others in week 2 and 3 since I wasn’t always able to be home. But, thanks to my parents and a friend it all worked out!

5. Change takes time. My project is not complete. The rest will take time. I enjoy “trash to treasure” type projects and finding good deals at second hand stores – so it will be fun to see what fully emerges out of the space over time. One thing is certain … the room probably isn’t going to look like the ones I “pinned” on Pinterest.

These lessons really apply to many aspects of both personal and professional change. It all boils down to our mindset. There were a few instances where I caught myself being frustrated with the process. I had to quickly let that go and get back on track.

My next steps … TO USE THE HOME GYM! The more time I spend down there, the more I will figure out the rest of the decor. For those of you that know me, it will come as no surprise that a main feature of the decor will revolve around my beloved …



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  • WW Erin 11 Mar

    I own a house that is over a hundred years old, and we got it at a good price (which means there’s a lot of renovation to be done!). I can empathize with your learning curve, as we’ve grown very handy very fast. I also watch a lot of the show This Old House. 🙂 My lesson has been to just get comfortable with living in a house that’s in a “dynamic state.”

    • Kathy Perret 11 Mar

      Great lesson! That will come in handy as I plan additional projects.
      I also need to learn to be more handy myself. I watched each step that my contractor did and if I had the right tools and time, I know I could have done what he did. But, for now – I guess time/tools are worth the cost of what I paid for the job to be done. 🙂

      Best wishes with your house. 🙂

  • Donna Smith 11 Mar

    No, renovations ALWAYS take longer than anticipated. You would thing they would change how the job is figured, but I guess if they’d said 3 weeks, you wouldn’t have signed on!

    • Kathy Perret 11 Mar

      The extension was partly my fault. Along the way a little more was added to the job. I’m very pleased with the end result, so all is good.

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