Homeowners Julie and Paul tackled a daring amount of home renovation projects (part 1). What would take many six months, it took the couple six weeks—but that’s to be expected of a pair who work in the fast-paced film industry. And they weren’t planning on slowing down this fast remodel either.
For an extra challenge, partway into the project, first budgeted at $100,000, they decided there was no good reason for not tackling the baths as well. The master bath was completely remodeled, and the kids’ bath was re-plumbed. They also sprang for upgraded light fixtures and custom built-ins in the family room, living room and bedroom. Final costs came in around $150,000.
But how did they do all that in a month and a half? For one thing, they had worked through stylistic debates and decisions at their previous house while planning a rehab that they ultimately didn’t carry out. For another, “We were crazy,” Paul says. “Before we closed on this house we had the doors and windows and kitchen cabinets ordered. I think a lot of people give themselves too many options. They go to 25 tile stores and come home with 16 to 20 boards of tile. Then they’re confronted with all of these choices and decisions. How do you weed through that? If you narrow your scope a little, everything becomes easier. Stop Shopping!”
“I like that; it’s great. We’ll buy it” became their mantra. “We’d literally have a circus of people here working,” Julie explains. “The drywall guy was working in one place, someone else was painting and the flooring guy was bringing in the bamboo, saying [the planks] had to live in this environment and to not spill anything on them. As things were coming together you saw the contractors’ eyes light up. They told us they’d never seen a remodel happen so fast.”
Paul attributes much of the success to their general contractor, Dan Campbell, a friend who’s the “king of resources,” and to their own pitch-in attitude. “It wasn’t like I was the guy who breezes through at the end of the day. I was there in work boots hauling stuff out, not standing over them in a jacket with a martini in my hand. I was there saying, ‘What do you need? How can I help? I’m going to get you lunch. Let’s get this done together.’”
Fast Remodel, Instant Regret
Julie and Paul have some regrets looking back at the remodeling process—find out what they are in Part 3!