Here I am, at last, with a final Living & Dining Room Makeover post that wraps up the whole project. Now that it’s all finished, I can honestly say that there is nothing I would do differently. Design and decor decisions can be hard, especially when there is a budget to follow. The sky is definitely NOT the limit so compromises have to be made at some point along the way. I made some compromises, but in the end, I have rooms that reflect my family and that fit with our lives. I’ll start with before & after pictures, followed by a cost breakdown and some final thoughts.
Before & After
For more before pictures see my Home Tour Category.
I’ve learned many things in the past five months. My makeover may seem small to those of you who have renovated an entire house, but for me it was a big deal. I had people in my house every day for six weeks. That was a challenge for someone who works from home. I learned how to work around them and still be somewhat productive. No one is a mind reader. I learned that if I wanted something done differently, or wanted something changed, I had to ask. Asking nicely always helped. There were several times when I wasn’t sure what came next. I learned to be patient and at the appropriate time, everything fell into place.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. The only time I truly thought I was crazy was the day the workers began to jack hammer the floor in the powder room!
This is hard for me because I was always taught that people’s finances should be private. Sort of old school but it’s true! I talked it over with my husband and we decided to share a cost breakdown. There are many gray areas where home renovation is concerned and cost is one of them. Maybe this will help some of you figure out your own budget.
As I see it, there are three ways to pay for a home renovation.
- Home improvement loans, refinancing or some sort of credit.
- Inheritance or some other type of financial windfall.
We chose option #3. I had been saving my blog money for about two years so I already had a good amount put aside for this particular project. We added to that with other savings and were able to complete the entire project without going into debt. This option takes planning and strictly sticking to a set budget. When the money is gone…it’s gone! I got the estimate for the flooring (which had to be done) and then decided what else I could do. The board and batten was definitely a splurge, but I really wanted it and was determined to make it happen.
Hardwood Flooring: The estimate we received for the hardwood floors in the entry, powder room, kitchen, living room, and dining room was just over $9,000.00. That included:
- tear-out of carpet
- removal of tile in powder room
- new subfloor
- installation of hardwood
- all materials including the flooring
Since we were working with an insurance claim, we were able to get that figure down to about $6,000.00. For details on what happened to prompt the whole renovation, click HERE.
Dining Room: When I got the estimate for the carpentry work, it was not broken down by each specific job. The dining room project included:
- labor to remove wallpaper and chair rail
- all the wood for the wainscoting plus labor to install
- priming and painting the entire room plus labor
After looking at the final bill, my best guess is that the dining room came to around $2,000.00. Unfortunately, I can’t break down what part of that was labor and what part was materials. It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway, that if you can do a project like this yourself, you can save a lot of money. I cannot, so paying for labor is just part of the process.
Here is the final breakdown:
New baseboards, painting &
all work in dining room 4,000.00
Window treatments 800.00
New lights 650.00
One more thought…I used to think that because I wasn’t a “power tool girl,” there were things beyond my reach in regards to home improvement. I don’t believe that anymore. If I can’t do something myself, then I need to carefully budget for labor. It’s just part of my life and accepting it was actually a very good feeling. If that means I need to take more time to save money, then so be it.
No one knows better than me that $12,000 is a lot of money. Other than replacing our roof several years ago, we have never spent that much money at once on any home improvement project. When I was faced with the decision on how to replace the damaged floor, I knew I had to take a leap of faith. If I didn’t go for it, and put hardwoods through-out, I knew I would never do it. So I took that leap and am so happy that I did.
This post was much harder to write than I had expected. I tried to include all the important details, but if I left anything out, please leave a comment or send an email. I will do my best to answer all questions but I am far from a home renovation expert. I’ve had a few requests for actual floor plans of my house…especially my kitchen. Honestly, I have no idea how to do that. I am planning a more detailed post focusing on small kitchens which I hope will help answer some questions about that. Thank you for making it to the end…see you soon!
Here are links to the previous makeover posts:
- Living & Dining Room Makeover | What Stays & What Goes
- Living & Dining Room Makeover | Hardwood Floors are Finished!
- Board and Batten | Classic & Refined Wainscoting