I've never done any sort of remodeling before this, since I always rented until I bought this place. I can't say that it's been terribly stressful or inconvenient, but it has been enlightening. There are things I wish I would've thought through more or done differently, though. So, here are some things I learned:
1. When you are doing a bathroom and want to put your toilet paper roll holder on the side of the vanity, measure to make sure you are going to have the clearance for it. This did not even occur to me. My old vanity had an inset toilet paper holder roll, which I could've gotten...except I wanted the vanity with the drawers on one side. This means you can't have the inset. Which means the two toilet paper roll holders I bought for the sides of my upstairs bathrooms vanities are useless to me. I had to buy the standing ones to put in the corner, which isn't a big deal, and I think I like having the drawers better than the toilet paper holder, but still, wasn't something that even occurred to me.
2. If you have moldings around your stairs, and you plan to recarpet them, carpet before you paint the moldings. I learned this one today. The pad and the way I wanted them to lay the carpet on the basement stairs differed from what was there before, and left a gap in places of brown wood along the sides. My moldings are white. This will need to be touched up.
3. You will always run into some problem that will cost you more money. For me, it was only one. My master bathroom bathtub was built over a joist. The previous bathtub apparently had a false bottom in it to lift it up to deal with the joist. We didn't realize this until the old tub was torn out and they went to put the new tub in, and had to build it up about two inches. It wasn't a big deal, but cost me an extra day of work. The bonus, though, is that my tub in there almost looks like a big, deep soaker tub when it is not.
4. The guys who paint and the guys who install carpet do not speak English. Usually they will have one guy (the "boss") who speaks decent English. This is really frustrating at times, because you tell them something and they have no idea what you are saying. This is also how I ended up with the wrong color wall in the basement. I had no such problems with the electrician, plumber, or tiler. Although, I guess it probably depends who you hire.
5. It costs a lot more to install stone tile, because not only do they have to lay it out and pattern it out (because each stone is different), but they have to seal it. You also have to seal it once a year.
6. Test paint colors on more than one wall, because the light hits differently everywhere. My paint looked dark enough on one wall, but on another wall it looks nearly white. I should've tested it on that wall. Also take into account how light the paint you are comparing it against is. My walls were stark, stark white, so my light gray looked very dark compared to it. However, now that the light gray is up, it is very pale. Yet, when I look in the hall closet and compare it (yes, I skimped and did not paint the inside of that closet), it looks dark compared to what was there. I didn't realize how truly white my walls were. Anything and everything would've looked dark against that shade.
7. I should've shopped around more for prices on carpet. I am just too tired of it all at this point and wanted it installed as soon as possible.
All in all, I'm happy with how it went, even though it has gone on forever. The carpet was installed today and it looks great. I'm particularly happy with my upstairs bedrooms choice. (I went with berber upstairs and in the basement. I like berber.) My basement bathroom is supposed to be done on Monday. (All that is left is to put in the sink, faucet, and shower head/faucet.) It looks AMAZING! The slate looks so good. It might be my favorite. I'll post pictures once it's done, and I'll post pictures once I get my furniture in. I'm getting my bedroom set, entertainment unit and desk unit for the basement on Thursday from Pottery Barn. I'm still waiting for my Ethan Allen chairs and couch for the main floor, and waiting for my Pottery Barn couch for the basement. I also just ordered a chaise from Crate and Barrel for the basement, and a media stand thingamajig for my bedroom, which is all in stock, and should be here over the next two weeks. Now, on to rugs. The problem with rugs is that online it's hard to judge the color, and I really care about the color. I'm going to hit a showroom this week or next weekend, because I need my rugs for the main floor, which is all hardwood.
Also, I'm likely going to spend most of next Saturday on my hands and knees cleaning the wood floor on my main floor. I've let it go due to the dust from the construction, and it looks terrible. I could hire someone, but I think I'll just do it myself.