How to fix up a fixer-upper without losing your mind

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | January 6, 2015 - 12:59PM

If you've bought a place in need of some TLC and are embarking on DIY upgrades, you may find yourself feeling slightly overwhelmed by all there is to do . Over at DesignSponge, a recent NYC transplant to upstate New York offers tips for revamping an old home that are just as pertinent for city dwellers:

1. Forget Instagram. In our social media-heavy world, there's pressure to make everything magazine-worthy, do it all quickly and document every step along the way. Forget about it. Don't set yourself up for disappointment: there's no deadline and there's no need to be perfect.

2. Stand your ground. If you hire someone to do the work and it's not up to snuff, demand that they fix it. Don't be ashamed to be tough when your money and apartment are at stake.

3. Don't always DIY. It's acceptable to hire a professional if you feel the project is too much to take on. There's no shame in getting outside help from the experts.

4. Allow for imperfection. If you get paint on the floors while you're painting the walls, no biggie. Just scrape it off. And if it's not coming off, well, that's what rugs are for.  

5. Trust your instincts. This advice applies every step of the way, from hunting for an apartment to doing the reno.  If you've hired someone to help with your repairs and something seems off, try to cut ties as soon as possible. In the same vein,  be sure you meet anyone who's likely to be working for you and stay in constant contact with them. Just because someone comes highly recommended doesn't mean they're the right man (or woman) for you.


9 things I learned from my two-year DIY renovation

NYC Renovation Chronicles: 3 DIY projects worth trying yourself

NYC Renovation Chronicles: When the project is DIY, it helps to have the right tools, a good rapport with the super and a lot of plastic sheeting

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