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Diary of a Mad Renovator: The Money Pit

Written by Jaqui Lividini

Now that the house is lifted, it's time to get down to everyone's least favorite part of renovating–the budget! Surprise, surprise (I bet you never would have guessed after reading this saga), we've found ourselves terribly over budget. I spent the weekend looking at every minuscule detail of work being done on the house, trying to reduce costs. I like to think of it as trimming the excess. The problem is you have to make such profound decisions, such as whether or not to move the furnace to the attic in order to make more room in the pantry. Is that worth the expense? Or whether there should be stairs off the back deck, or whether you need an outside shower–can you do those things now or later?  


There are things that have to happen, things that don't have to happen, and then things you can decide to do now or later (possibly procrastinating on an inevitable cost). It's an arduous task, especially when you're slightly obsessed with aesthetic in general: Specific taste is both a blessing and a curse in home renovation! There were so many things on the design front that John and I wanted–a wood stove, for example. It's expensive and not necessarily necessary, but there was such an appeal for us in winter, looking out at the water while cozying up to a wood stove. All in all, you really have to envision yourself living in the house in order to make the right decisions. The budget is always where the dream slips out the door for a moment and reality sets in; finding the balance between the two is key.  

The home's original pylons


The original chimney


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