[design]: Our Reno Mistakes


During our renos we've made several choices that we were driven to based on budget, information presented at the time, etc and with most of these I am still comfortable with especially knowing the consideration I gave them at the time. There are, however, a few outright mistakes that I think are best attributed to lack of consideration, planning and/or double and triple checking the details. 

First up is our latest reno of our basement including the bathroom. One would think that we had all these little details in our sleeves by now following couple of renovations that we've already done - but, I guess, mistakes happen.


One mistake that is not very visible on the photos has to do with painting or to be more specific - type of paint. For our ceiling I purchased regular type paint (Aura actually) which I did not realize even as it is called 'flat' it still has a bit of sheen to it. We decided to do painting ourselves to save some money, which, in retrospect, was a mistake in itself as I think we would have avoided a world of headaches with our paint job. 

Basically paint type coupled with 'wrong' type of roller (apparently we should have selected coarser one as it hides imperfections better). What it amounted to 'not bad' but could be better ceiling which we tried to fix a couple of times with proper ceiling flat paint but it was too late. It is almost required to scrape it all, prime and paint again - something we were not ready to do so we are living with this for now.  I am probably making this sound worse than it is, but for a perfectionist like me, it is noticeable.

Our other paint fiasco in basement had to do with paint type for our black walls - Black Horizon by BM. I selected eggshell finish to ensure that I can clean/wipe as I've made a mistake before of going with flat paint with kids. Apparently, wall must be perfect otherwise you can see all the little imperfections. It also did not help that our cut was put on really thick and it is showing. Again, after trying to fix it - and failed, decided to live with it and draw attention to other decor.

Both mistakes were really as I've relied on what I thought I knew plus advice from store instead of perhaps researching a bit more before we made selections. We've painted rooms and houses before so we thought we knew what we were doing. Apparently not!


My first 'electrical' mistake was made during second floor bathroom reno (in one of the photos below), some 18 months ago and, back then, I wowed to pay more attention placement of electrical plugs/outlets. Well, I partly failed during our latest reno. While I paid special attention to switches, did some day-in-a-life scenario playing to ensure my decisions were sound (and I feel that they were), I completely missed couple of outlets.

First one is the one that bothers me the most especially as I gave it no mind at all as it was being put in. When we were putting the backsplash in, I felt it was unfortunate that it was there - but again, did not clue in just how big of a mistake it was until we moved our cappuccino machine do this area. 

Only then did I realize that I cannot keep the machine all the way to the left (under the top cabinet) as I cannot have cables on the counter, but, moreover, with just a bit of critical thinking I should have realized that having the outlet all the way on the left hand side (on the wall to the left of the one where the outlet is on now) would have been much better solution.

In this photo, while I am not crazy about placement of these outlets - there was partly a reason for them as I did not have all the cabinetry figured out yet and wanted to avoid having cabinets that would end up covering outlets. Perhaps I could have spent more time on it all especially as white plugs/outlets really stand out against black walls.

As mentioned, first electrical plug mistake happened during second floor bath reno. There were two mistakes really, first one not planning/measuring properly prior to plug being put in. In my defense, wall height in this bathroom is lower which attributed to everything being pushed down a bit (sconces, mirror, etc). Now, as this is kids bath I did not want mirrors to be too high up but I could have placed sconces differently. 

Second mistake was really not insisting with contractors to turn the outlet on its side which could have fixed the problem. 


When it came the time to put accessories up on the walls - I felt a bit rushed. I've purchased couple of options in order to make a decision once everything came together - but at the time of decision making - especially being considerate of contractor's time, I've rushed it.  I felt that I really needed a long rack in order to allow towels to dry better and that this long one in the picture will end up working well once towels were on it. Not the case! I still regret putting it there every time I look at it - but did not muster time or energy to replace it yet.  At least this mistake is fixable.

Next photo is of our basement bathroom. There are actually three mistakes here - but I did not take wide enough photo to showcase the third issue. First mistake is how shower shelf was placed.  I've showed the contractor where I wanted to shelf to go, but did not stick around to make sure he puts it exactly where I told him to. It ended up higher than I wanted it.  Same happened with towel holder (not shown) as it was placed a few inches off from where I wanted it (third mistake).

Second mistake is not visible as it has to do with slope of the shower tiles not being steep enough for water to go towards the drain. Our initial plans were for shower without door. With the slope issue, contractor wanted to redo the floor which meant new glass, etc. We felt that door would be good enough solution that our contractor took on himself.

I am happy to report that there were no 'mistakes' in our master bath reno.

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