Renovation regrets

As Frank says, “Regrets, I’ve had a few.” But when it comes to our renovations, they’re very few.

I think there are a few reasons for this.

One, I’m pretty decisive. I take the time to figure out our spaces and what will work best for us, and once we know what we want we go for it.

Two, I am a pretty visual thinker, so I can picture a space in my head and see what it’s going to look like. This means for the most part I’m not surprised as a project unfolds.

Three, and most importantly in my opinion, I’m not picky. Sure there are spots where the drywall could be a bit smoother or maybe the paint colour isn’t exactly what I pictured. But I can live with them because overall I’m happy with the results of our renos.

However, there’s one spot that I wish we had done differently. So while Frank’s regrets are too few to mention, I’m going to talk about one of mine today.

I wish we had insulated the ceiling of the basement TV area.

Basement TV area

The reason for this is the ceiling of that section of the basement is the floor of Ellie’s room. So every night when Mama and Daddy go off duty and sit down to relax, we’re very conscious of every little sound and how it carries through the floor and upstairs into her room.

Turquoise gender neutral nurseryTurquoise gender neutral nursery

Now I should be clear that Ellie is an excellent sleeper, and we’ve had very few issues. In fact, one night my girlfriend was over with her two rambunctious boys–both younger than 5 years old–and they played noisily downstairs while I successfully put Ellie to bed.

However, sound is something I’m very aware of and I feel like I’d be able to relax a bit more if we had better sound insulation between downstairs and upstairs.

When we renovated the basement, we were not thinking about kids, let alone what room would be the nursery.

Potlights in the open ceiling

As well, interior insulation was not on my radar. For all of the years that I worked in my Dad’s construction company, insulation was usually reserved for exterior walls. It was about temperature, not sound.

Sound separation has become more of a consideration in recent years, I feel. But it’s something I wish I’d thought about six years ago.

What about you? Do you have any sound issues at your house? Have you insulated any interior walls or ceilings? Do you have any reno regrets?


12 thoughts on “Renovation regrets

  1. I can see how you wouldn’t think of that at the time. It’s a good thing she sleeps well!

    At our last home, we renoed the kitchen. It was mostly a huge improvement which allowed us to make much better use of the space, but I regretted our choice of countertop. Not the material, but the pattern. We couldn’t afford granite so we chose this new way of making it look like stone by somehow applying a photograph of granite to the man-made counters. My lovely wife convinced me to go with a dark, almost black one with sort of golden veins, very dramatic. She loved it, but I found it too busy for my taste. It was too bad, because counters are kind of the centerpiece of a kitchen reno!

  2. My plan for any room that is ripped apart is to always include sound proofing insulation in the walls and ceiling. I think for me this has been an issue ever since my husband worked nights. It made me much more aware of the issue of sound traveling from one room to another.

  3. Oddly enough she probably sleeps well BECAUSE of the noise carrying up through the floor. I used to vacuum around the crib when my girls were sleeping when they were tiny babies, so they became used to NOT sleeping in an extremely quiet house. No tiptoeing was allowed 😀

    We always regretted not putting a conservatory onto the back of our cottage when we first moved in 15 years ago when we had the funds to do it, as that would alleviate many of our space issues now. We moved the kitchen out of the very small ‘galley’ room into a much larger room and meant to add the conservatory at that point but we decided not too and now regret it.

  4. We plan to move our laundry room to the center of our house near the bedrooms. When we do we will add soundproofing insulation on all walls.

    As for regrets, our biggest one is the layout of our kitchen. It has a bottleneck that we didn’t predict but correcting it will be a major undertaking.

  5. I would encourage you not to worry about the sound in your daughter’s room. It’s actually good if children don’t sleep with complete silence because it will help them learn how to sleep with some noise and then you don’t have to worry so much about them waking up if you sneeze. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Nicole. It’s so funny to me how used to certain noises Ellie is already–I’m not sure about sneezing, but the dog barking is a big one. She’s heard it since she was in the womb, so she doesn’t seem to notice most of the time!

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