1. Living with the bare essentials, whether you are holed up in your bedroom washing dishes in your bathtub or living the dorm life in your back studio, makes you realize how little you really need which is cruelly ironic when you are expanding your space and upgrading to include unnecessary luxury items.
2. Construction workers are an interesting and lovable bunch. Living amidst a bunch of dudes on a daily basis you learn a lot like, the reason they walk so funny is because their tool belts are so damn heavy.
3. Sometimes the recession/housing crisis can have a silver lining. If you are forced to stay put because you’ll never live to see a profit in your real estate holdings and you refuse to just walk away, think outside of the box. Make your place exactly how you want-without a thought on resale potential which is crazy anyway. When did we become a nation of flippers? Just go for your own style even if it involves installing bright orange kitchen cabinets.
4. Never pay retail for anything. Just by asking around, checking periodically in at places like Construction Lots and the Marketplace Forum at the Modern Phoenix website you can find crazy good deals. Case in point: An Italian-swiss made kitchen (once part of a high-end model loft) sold to us for $1,000.00 cash by a marketing consultant who took the kitchen in trade when the company selling the lofts went under and had no money to pay her for her services.
5. It is wise to ignore good intentioned people who shake their heads and moan when you tell them you are planning to start a remodel. They will tell you to prepare for it to take 50% longer than you expect and cost 100% more than you budgeted for. Just give them a smug smile, nod your head in agreement and move forward in “ignorance is bliss” mode and once you are in it you just don’t care anymore and basically lose track of days, then weeks, then this thing called money becomes an abstract vehicle that allows you to move forward and end this living hell.