Book Review: “For the Love of Renovating”

That’s it. You’re not going one more month with this room like it is. You can’t stand the wall color at all anymore. The sofa is frayed, the chairs need love and if someone would tell you where to get an inexpensive table, they’ll be your new BFF. And when you’re done with this room, you’ll start in another room. First, though, you need help and “For the Love of Renovating” by Barry Bordelon & Jordan Slocum is where you’ll find it.

Your humble abode is much more than a big box to put your things in. Say Bordelon & Slocum, in fact, “you deserve to create a truly special place to call home.”

They know what they’re talking about: Together, they bought and remodeled a beautiful old Brooklyn brownstone years ago and when it came to renovations, they noticed a definite lack of direction for doing it right. Blogs helped, as did magazines.

For you, so will this book. Their first advice: Spend some time figuring out what you want. Would a fixer make you happy, or is move-in-ready mandatory? There are pros and cons to both.

Next, “really start thinking about the B-word.” Budgeting is essential and should be top-of-list for anyone who’s thinking about renovating. Educate yourself on financial terminology and know ahead how you’re going to pay for any project, no matter the size. Build a “team” to do the job right — and don’t even think about skimping on your workers.

Dare to dream of design at this point. Think about how you cook, if you’re renovating your kitchen, and learn about the kinds of cabinets and counters. If the bathroom’s first, determine how much space you’ll have and what fixtures you require. And if you’re thinking about a reno that doesn’t involve tear-downs, you might be in luck: Furniture you already have may be able to be refurbished. New window treatments can be inexpensive. Do-It-Yourself tips here can help you save money, and spend it instead on nicer floors, upgraded windows, even new doors.

When you tour a new home to buy or rent, you naturally dream about a reading nook, a cozy fireplace, holiday dinners and movie night with the family. So how do you make those dreams into a home? How do you get motivated to tackle a reno job?

You start with “For the Love of Renovating.”

For sure, it’s going to be work, and authors Barry Bordelon and Jordan Slocum don’t hide that fact here. Instead, they instruct readers how to make a reno a little less painful, with how-to tips and advice on nearly every homeowning aspect, from finding financing to determining what the outside of your home should look like. Readers will like being forearmed with no-nonsense, no-frills hints. You’ll also relish the many, many full-color photos that drip with inspiration.

This is a book you’ll page through often, whether you just did a reno or are planning another. “For the Love of Renovating” is a book most homeowners will want to make room for.

— The Bookworm Sez