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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
I find counters are such a personal preference. There are so many patterns available and it’s definitely a centrepiece.
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.
You don’t notice something like sound until you have a reason to–like a baby or a night-working husband!
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.
The conservatory sounds like it would be a lovely addition. At least you dealt with the kitchen and don’t have double regrets!
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.
Sound proofing a laundry room makes a lot of sense. Bathrooms are another one on my list that benefit from sound proofing.
That’s such a shame about your kitchen. It’s hard to account for some things during a renovation.
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!
As a full time remote employee, I ran into this issue myself. In our first renovation, I didn’t give much initial thought to where my office would be, which actually ended up being ok for a while because it was just my wife and I. But with the addition of a little one, I found myself really needing a dedicated space. Originally, I was stationed upstairs in our cape cod, which didn’t even have a door separating the upstairs from the downstairs. I quickly realized it would be impossible to quarantine myself during a conference call or coordinate video chats with nap time. The only place that ended up making sense in our home for a “real” office was the front entryway. This 8’x10′ foyer already had an exterior door as well as a step up and interior door into the main living room of the house. Even though the space could be closed off, there was still a lot of noise, so we decided to make it a proper office and gut the room. This gave me the opportunity to not only vault the ceiling and install a ceiling fan, but also sound insulate the single shared wall, and install an exterior grade full glass door with internal blinds. The thought around the door was that it would offer even greater soundproofing because of the weather seals. Wow, that along with the mineral wool insulation really paid off!!! It was honestly amazing how drastic of a difference the sound insulation made. My wife could be chasing a screaming baby around the house with the tv or music on, and my co-workers never knew the utter chaos going on in the background. It was absolutely worth the time and money, and I’ll be doing a sound insulated office for our latest project home for sure. Just my little testimony!!
Way to be thoughtful about your needs. When you first said “entryway” I thought, “Oh my!” But it sounds like you made a great space, not just a soundproof one. Good job and thanks for sharing your experience.