Editor’s note: Welcome to the 66th installment of Brownstone Boys Reno, a reader renovation diary about renovating a brownstone in Bed Stuy. See the first one here. They also blog at www.thebrownstoneboys.com.
We weren’t planning on writing this post today but the times call for a bit of flexibility in our schedules and lives. At first glance it can seem like we all have a lot of time on our hands at home. But with a little thought it can be a productive time as well.
Whether you have been putting off a major renovation, procrastinating on finishing some projects, or if you just want to give your space a new feel you might just finally have the time to get to it!
Planning a major renovation can be time consuming. It also takes a lot of research and focus to organize your thoughts, plan a budget, get a handle on the process, and begin assembling your team.
The first thing that we did was to find inspiration. We utilized Pinterest, Houzz, and other online platform to organize our thoughts for each space and save things we liked. It is a great first step in understanding what you like and the direction you want to go in your design.
Next get out your measuring tape and start laying it out! How much space are you working with? How can you lay out your new kitchen or bathroom? Are you removing any walls? We used apps like MagicPlan and Key Plan to visualize your new space to scale.
Time to study up! What are some of the priorities you have to renovate or restore? Below are some past posts we think might be helpful in planning:
Do you have woodwork covered in paint you would like to strip?
Do you need to install an AC system?
What is the skim coating thing you’ve heard about?
Are you putting in a deck?
How do you plan out your lighting?
Are you upgrading or expanding your kitchen?
Are you redoing or adding a bathroom?
Read up! There are currently over 60 posts on our blog about planning, organizing, and executing a renovation and plenty of other sources out there too.
Now that you have your thoughts organized and your space visualized it is probably a good idea to get a handle on what your budget looks like. Understand the costs of everything that you want to do. In our experience, and others we have spoken to, things usually cost much more than you might initially think. But don’t worry! No matter what your budget is there is a scope of project that you can dive into, but that scope might change as you understand costs.
Now that you have your proverbial ducks in a row, it’s time to start talking to the professionals or least preparing to. Depending on the scope of your project you will likely need an architect and general contractor. You might also want to look into a project manager or a designer. If you’re doing a lot of structural work you might need a structural engineer. Your architect would likely bring in some options there but the added expense is something you’ll want to consider and may again alter the scope of your project.
Finally, planning the finishing touches can be the fun part. Or maybe you are skipping the major reno and just doing a bit of a design makeover.
That takes us to our plans! We’re working on several projects right now. We saved our backyard as one of the biggest DIY projects we’re doing. We’re removing hardscaping, adding soil, laying new hardscaping, planting, and adding lighting. We are also FINALLY going to fill the niche feature we built at the top of our stairs. And our new mahogany front door has sat bare to the world for the last few weeks; it’s time to varnish or paint it before it gets damaged. We’ll keep you updated on how it all goes.
Let’s face it, we have a few weeks at least of spending more time around the house than we may have ever done. While we hope you and your families are healthy and safe, join us in having some fun with some DIY projects, reno planning, and space beautifying.
[Photos by Brownstone Boys unless noted otherwise]
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