Home Renovation Checklist + A Major Announcement

FOXY OXIE Home Renovation Checklist

So, we bought a house.

I know what you're thinking, "I didn't know you were looking!"

Yes, neither did I.

Long story short, we came across a beautiful investment property and thought, "Well, why not?"

So here we are, with a 1930's bungalow and nearly seven acres of deep, dark woods, which, might I add, are populated by herds of deer.

The place is in need of major loving. Most of the house falls somewhere in the range of "not so nice" and "extremely hideous." Take, for example, the front door, which I have oh-so-lovingly nicknamed the Alice in Wonderland door because it leads down the rabbit hole of all sorts of curiosities.

But sometimes – before everything is replaced with the shiny and the new – sometimes you just have to pause and appreciate how beautiful even a decaying, decrepit door can be when a flowering vine winds its way across the facade.

As terrifying and overwhelming as buying a house can be, I am over-the-roof excited about this particular challenge. I am pinning away ideas like a madwoman, sketching house plans like a pro and already driving my poor, unsuspecting husband insane with my gazillion and one ideas for the space.

But before I get too carried away, it's probably a good idea to establish a plan. You already know my affinity for making checklists, so I figured I'd start with that. My hope is that a home renovation checklist will help me plan the complete scope of the remodel and, fingers crossed, eliminate the possibility of blowing our budget out of proportion. The idea is not to add unnecessary items to the remodeling plan, but rather to consciously rule them out up front, so that I am less likely to spontaneously add them later on in the process.

I realize not all of you are in the process of purchasing or renovating a home and thus will likely find the information below useless. If that is the case, I hope you'll take a minute to share in my joy and excitement, bookmark this page for future reference, and be on your merry way to more exciting adventures. Otherwise, I would love your input, your personal tales of home renovations and anything else you feel like sharing with me today.

So, let's get started!

Home Renovation Checklist

Gather Your Ideas.
A great place to start is my list of 10 Best Home Decor Sites to Bookmark Now. Like any upstanding woman of the world, I’ve been keeping a Pinterest board of design ideas I love long before this house was on the horizon. If you’re lucky like me, you may not be able to afford the majority of ideas that you pin, but you have to start somewhere, right? So why not start with the styles that most appeal to you?
Make a Wish List.
Given my OCD personality, I created a handy-dandy Excel worksheet. In one column, I listed all of our wants and needs, grouped in categories such as Layout Changes, Outdoors, Kitchen, Bathrooms, Living Room, Bedrooms, Storage, etc. I labeled the next column “Needs” and the third “Wants.” If a particular list item qualified as a need, I put a checkmark under “Needs” in the corresponding row. If a particular item is a want, I put a checkmark under “Wants.” In the fourth column, I listed any style preferences for that particular item. My hope is that when we’re faced with tough decisions down the line, we’ll have a clear picture of our priorities. (For example, refinishing the existing hardwood floors is a must; raising the dropped ceiling — not so much.)
Set Your Budget.
Before you meet with a contractor, engineer, architect or interior decorator, you’ll need at least an estimate of what you’re able and willing to spend on the renovation. Right about now is a good time to recognize the fact that some sacrifices will have to be made, and not all of your style preferences will fit the budget. (Insert hysterically crying emoji.)
Establish a Timeline.
Are there any family events, vacations, holidays, looming weather shifts or major life changes that should be taken into consideration? My hope is that establishing a timeline will help prevent the renovation from dragging on forever, as is often possible with construction projects.
Interview and Hire Help.
Ask friends and colleagues if they can recommend any professionals, and look closely at the quality and type of work they have done in the past. While I wait patiently for my husband to iron out these details, I’ve started working up several of my own home plan drafts, so that by the time a professional is brought onboard, I’ll have a concrete list of rooms, their ideal sizes, finishes and number and position of windows and doors.
Find a Safe Space.
You’re about to experience a whole lot of stress – there’s just no way of putting it nicely. In our case, a safe space entails a rental where we can live comfortably during the duration of the renovation. Sure, it’s an added cost, but when you consider the alternatives, it’s a cost I’m willing to pay for a little peace of mind. If you’re remodeling one room at a time, it could mean selecting a room that will remain relatively untouched by the chaos and equipping it with whatever you might need to keep yourself sane.
Maintain Your Sense of Humor.
My extensive research on the topic shows that things will get broken or go missing, sacrifices will have to be made, delays will happen and my carefully planned-out timeline will be a complete train wreck in no time. This is simply the nature of the renovating game. While I’m sure these delays will be incredibly annoying given my type A personality, I have to remind myself that most of the time they aren’t life or death – as long as we’ve built in a little flexibility, like making sure we can pay month-to-month on our rental or having a little extra cash stashed for emergencies or, if worst comes to worst, getting permission from our parents to move back in when the you-know-what hits the fan. (Crossing my fingers on that one.)

Well, wish us luck!

I hope you'll join us on this wild and crazy adventure! Sign up for the FOXY OXIE newsletter to be the first to know about our progress – plus fun DIY tutorials, before & after photos and so much more!




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  8. So I found this post from your post today in Millenial Bloggers and WOW! I’m so intrigued by all of this. Going to read all of these posts from the beginning :)

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    • Hi Siffat, thanks so much for your encouragement! I’m thrilled and intimidated and excited and overwhelmed – basically, I’m a mess! :))

      Hope you’ll follow along our renovation journey! XO

    • Well, in that case: CONGRATULATIONS! It’s such a big and exciting milestone! Are you feeling all sorts of feels right about now, because I sure am! It’s very intimidating yet very exciting, and I can’t wait to get started with this challenge!

      Would love to see glimpses of your home! Thanks so much for stopping by, love! XO

    • Hi Hillary, it most definitely is a huge milestone! I’m feeling all sorts of feels right about now! (Insert monkey-covering-its-face emoji).

      Love the September Issue community! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! XO

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