by Larry Hehn on May 23, 2013

renovationRENOVA’TION, n.  [L. renovatio.]

1.  The act of renewing; a making new after decay, destruction or depravation; renewal; as the renovation of the heart by grace.

2.  A state of being renewed.

Over the last few days, we’ve been renovating our 40-year-old bathroom. Gone are the old bathtub, toilet, sink, vanity, flooring, light fixture, and even the drywall. Rather than put lipstick on the proverbial pig, we gutted the room and started from scratch.

It hasn’t been easy or comfortable. Frankly, it’s been quite costly and inconvenient. But the end results will be well worth the sacrifice.

Whether it’s a room in your house or a facet of your personal life, here are some things you can expect from a renovation:

  1. It will cost more than you thought. Even though we carefully researched materials and assembled a budget for the project, some expenses popped up that we hadn’t anticipated. Expect personal renovation to cost more than you planned.
  2. It will take more time than you hoped. The further we got into the project, the more items we found that needed attention – some plumbing fixes, electrical work, walls and ceilings that needed to be straightened out, etc. Some things just take time, and can’t be crammed into a shorter period. Be patient and give them the time and attention they deserve.
  3. Things will get “worse” before they get better. Through the demolition and construction, our house has been a cluttered, noisy, dusty mess. Plus we’ve been without a bathtub or shower. In the middle of the renovation, it’s easy to look around and complain that things were better before the whole process started. But again, be patient and persist. The end results will be worth it.
  4. At times it will appear like no progress is being made. When the mud, paint, adhesives and grout are drying, it’s as tedious as…well…watching paint dry. As much as you’d like to rush on to the next step, you must take the time for things to settle and cure. Otherwise you risk undoing some of the work that’s already been done.
  5. It will reveal other areas that need work. Even before our bathroom renovation is done, the rest of our house is looking shabby in comparison. When one facet of your life gets cleaned up, other areas begin to show their rough edges.
  6. Cosmetic changes won’t cut it. Slapping a fresh coat of paint on something that’s falling apart is a waste of time and effort. If you do your best to look good and smell good without fixing the problem, it will come back to bite you. As Canadian contracting guru Mike Holmes says, you need to “Make it right”.
  7. It’s a continuous process. Once the bathroom is done, the next step will be replacing the main floor ceiling that was damaged by a leak. Then carpeting through the entire upstairs. Then replacing all the bedroom doors. Then remodeling the kitchen. There will always be work to do, whether it’s your home or personal life. There’s always room for renovation.

What’s on your renovation list?

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. – Ephesians 4:21-24

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Juan Cruz Jr May 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

Larry, it can also be added to the list that mistakes will be made in the renovation journey. When I finished my basement last year, I made mistakes that I had to back and fix. It’s OK to fail as we are going through the renovation process, learn from it and continue to move ahead. What create post and analogy. Blessings.
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Larry Hehn May 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

Excellent point, Juan. Thank you for adding that!


Kevin Martineau May 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

Great analogy Larry! Very applicable.
Kevin Martineau recently posted..Direction determines destinationMy Profile


Larry Hehn May 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Thank you very much, Kevin!


bonooobong May 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Nice explanation, as an architect and fanatic maker, I am a huge fan of renovation. I like old furniture, old decoration objects or sculptures. My latest hobby is to 3D scan artistic sculptures and 3D print them as a smaller replica. It is some kind of renovation as well, or maybe a remix.
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Larry Hehn May 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Wow, those are some amazing designs. Things have come a long way since I first heard of stereolithography in the late 80’s!


Kristin May 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

I love the connection you made with renovating your bathroom and renovating a part of your life. I have been in counseling off and on since third grade, and the last few years I have been going consistently. I’ve been writing and reading and failing and picking myself back up. It’s been SO difficult, but nothing compared to what I experienced in my “former life”. I’m putting in the dreadfully painful work to improve myself whereas before I was giving so much time and effort to things that were eating away my self-esteem and relationships and wasting my life away.

Your seven points are spot-on! I really enjoyed this post.
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Larry Hehn May 30, 2013 at 10:27 am

I appreciate your kind words, Kristin. I’m glad this post resonated with you. I’ll be praying for you. Thank you so much!


David Rupert June 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm

This is really rich, being a home-improvement kind of guy myself. It does always cost more than I planned — in time, energy, and money.

And so it is with my life after I’ve fallen into disrepair. I think I can shake it off, say some prayers, and all will be better.

Not. So. Fast.


Larry Hehn June 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Exactly, David. I find that I’m appreciating that more each year.


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