Claybrooke – Our First Whole Home Renovation

Here’s what you can learn from our renovation experience.

Claybrooke was the first home that we purchased and renovated. We bought her in August of 2019 and she was well loved and cared for but needed a refresh in order to really shine. Up until this point, we had done smaller projects but this was the first project of this scale. We didn’t know what to expect but overall, we feel the project went smoothly and there weren’t a lot of huge surprises. (It helps that we have been in real estate for a long time and that we had a thorough inspection before closing too.)

Even so, we learned some valuable lessons


Be certain to have a fully detailed scope of work you want to be completed by the contractor. Clear instructions and a defined timeline are key. You will save a lot of time by having as many materials as possible purchased and ready for the contractors to install before they start the job.

Know the type of product you want to produce and do not cut corners. Our design projects are not a quick way to make money but rather an investment in a space to make it the best it can be. We had a clear vision for this home, to create something that we would love to live ourselves. Therefore invested in high quality cabinets, flooring and every other finish we put into Claybrooke.

Know your budget and be prepared for the unexpected. You should have at least a 15% contingency fund in place.

Speaking of the unexpected, expect reasonable delays, they do happen.

By the time Claybrooke was complete, we were so thrilled with the final result. Our favorite rooms were the kitchen and master bath. Happily, we had lots of showings and she quickly found a new family.

We hope that you find this to be helpful and that it encourages you to take on that renovation project you have been dreaming about. If you need help or have questions, you know where to find us.