Things I Wish I’d Known, Vol. 2

by Jennifer Malise

Sweeten homeowners share their best reno advice

renovation adviceSophie and Michael’s Brooklyn apartment renovation

No matter how well you prepare, renovating your home can still seem like a daunting task. The unexpected tends to happen when you least expect it, so to take advantage of the hard-won knowledge gleaned by our Sweeten homeowners, we asked them to share their advice for future renovators. Whether you are planning your first project or are an experienced renovator, these tips will help guide you on the path to a successful renovation.

renovation advice

Tracking down real-life examples of paint colors used within rooms enabled Sophie to nail down the palette for her renovation. Seeing paint samples in person and within 3-D renderings was helpful, but “you’re not really sure how it feels until you actually see the space in person,” she said. As a solution, Sophie found photos of rooms online that were painted in the same shades she had selected. “We ended up picking up all the inspiration books and samples we could find at the hardware store; then I’d compare all the colors to pictures on Pinterest, going back and forth on nearly identical shades.”

renovation advice

Planning ahead is crucial, and it’s something that many homeowners post-renovation will emphatically recommend to future renovators. “It’s better to have all your ideas on paper before you begin, from important aspects like flooring and appliances to the small details that are easy to overlook, such as cabinet hardware, paint colors, lighting fixtures, and electrical outlets. Having this mapped out will make your life and your contractor’s life much easier during the renovation,” Heather and Eric said, following their apartment remodel.

renovation advice

After redoing her living room and bringing the dining area into the kitchen, Rachel said she now understands how important it is to see finishes in person before making any decisions. “It’s really difficult to imagine what crown molding, counters, or other elements look like (in real-life) on a computer screen.”

renovation advice

When you’re thinking about the big picture, don’t let the smaller details slip through the cracks. Once Sari renovated her bathroom, she shared a few tips for a successful remodel: “Make note of where your towel bars are and where they should be so that they are at a comfortable height. Also, make sure you know which side of the toilet you want your flusher to be located because you can’t change that.”

renovation advice

While combining her apartment with the one next door, Zoe noted that ironing out the details, like knowing how big the closets and drawers should be, will keep your project moving along smoothly. “Measure everything and live the design in your head. Know how many linear feet of closet you need and where you might store the vacuum cleaner. This is especially helpful for the kitchen design,” she said. She also measured the maximum size of her pots so she could find drawers that were the right height.

Read the first installment in our series on renovation advice straight from Sweeten homeowners here.

Refer your renovating friends to Sweeten and you’ll both receive a $250 Visa gift card when they sign a contract with a Sweeten general contractor. 

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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