My Biggest Home Remodel Regrets

I have shared a lot of my remodel projects on this blog– from putting salvaged vintage hardwood flooring in my living room, to remodeling my kitchen, to building my own bathroom vanity. I always talk about my projects and the things I love about them, but I have never really talked about them afterwards. I’ve been reflecting on a few of the things that I wish I would have done differently, and thought I would share for you to learn from my mistakes!

Start with the Ceiling: I was offered hardwood flooring from a family friend that was going to tear down a house. I had really wanted to add the flooring into my livingroom when I realized that only the bedrooms in my house had it. Once I had the flooring, we started the project of ripping up the carpet and old subflooring and moved on to installing the floor. I was so excited to complete the project and have the floor refinished!

The regret that I have about the project is that I didn’t take the time to remove the popcorn texture from the ceiling in my livingroom before installing the new floor. I’ve removed it from all of the other rooms in my house, and the ceilings look so much better without it. Its not a fun project, so it wasn’t really top of mind when I was in the middle of the flooring project. But, its so messy with water and popcorn sludge, that it would have been better to do this messy project before putting in hardwood floors. They always say to start from the ceiling and work down, and its a good rule of thumb to follow.

My Biggest Home Remodel Regrets | Style & the Suburbs

White Grout Gets Dirty: I love my new shiny white bathroom floor, but have a few regrets over the white grout that I used. I had no idea that it would get so dirty all the time. I have to scrub it with bleach spray at least once a week to keep it white! I couldn’t imagine how bad it would look with more foot traffic or if I didn’t take the time each week to clean it.

If you’re thinking of doing a floor with white grout, consider how much wear and tear it will get, and how committed you are to keeping it clean. I’m not sure that I would’ve been as happy with a gray or tan grout color, but it would have been much less of a headache in the long run!

Take the Time to Do What You Want: I have a couple of regrets from my kitchen remodel. The first one being the kitchen cabinets. I love my solid birch cabinets and wanted to keep them in original condition. We actually rebuilt a drawer bank where a hole had been cut for a dishwasher, and sanded down the entire lower section of the cabinets to blend it in. This was a huge project in itself, and I was just happy to blend in the new work with the old and move along.

In retrospect, I don’t love the yellowed color of the birch wood, and know it would have been really pretty if I would have sanded all of the old varnish off and then used a clear finish instead. This would have meant sanding down 3 times as much cabinetry as we did, including the backs of the doors, and cabinet boxes. The rest of the trim in the kitchen (pantry doors, window trim, and mouldings) are also all birch, so this would have been a huge undertaking. Maybe one day I will do this project (or hire someone to take on the work), because I still think it would be a beautiful update.

The other regret that I have is the kitchen floor. I really struggled to find flooring that felt like it fit the retro vibe of the kitchen, but still felt updated. I ended up choosing a light beige tile with light tan grout. It is perfectly fine in the kitchen and lightens the room, but I just don’t feel like its great. I’m still not sure what I would have done instead that would have fit with the room and the rest of the house, but I sort of wish I would have spent more time searching for something that I loved.

Most of my regrets stem from not taking extra time to take projects one step further. I’m usually not shy about planning or spending money on quality materials, but its also important to decide if extra work during the project will make you happier in the long run.

Do you have any remodel regrets?

3 thoughts on “My Biggest Home Remodel Regrets

  1. Thanks for sharing – highlighting your regrets is a brave thing to do, and nothing will ever be just as we plan it in our heads!

    I’m redecorating a new place at the moment, and the hardest part is sorting all the boring/expensive bits – electrics, plastering etc. – before getting caught up in the fun parts like painting. It has to get messy before it gets pretty!

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