What Rehab Addict, Nicole Curtis, Taught Me About Remodeling

by Joanna Stewart

Mon, Oct 29, 2018

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If you’ve ever watched Rehab Addict on the DIY Network hosted by Nicole Curtis, you’ll know she’s full of remodeling wisdom. Over the past few years she has made a name for herself by restoring old homes to their former glory.

While there is only a small community of homeowners that enjoy fixing up historic homes, the lessons learned from the show can be applied to almost every remodeling project. Whether you are a remodeling pro or just thinking about starting your first project, I guarantee you’ll learn something new.

Below are my top home remodeling tips from Rehab Addict, Nicole Curtis. Don’t forget to Tweet your favorite quotes using the links below.

Celebrate Small Successes

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Taking on a major home renovation can be an overwhelming and even stressful process. You’d think a pro like Nicole would only get excited about finishing big projects now that she has so much experience under her belt, but that’s not the case. Her advice to DIY homeowners is to celebrate their progress each step of the way.

**"I tell people to celebrate their small successes. Every time you get something done, celebrate it."** -Nicole Curtis ([Click here to tweet this](http://ctt.ec/eP8Uu))

I love this tip because it applies to both novice and expert home remodelers. Even as you gain more experience and increase your remodeling confidence, you’ll still run into obstacles along the way. Whether you’re a pro or not, these problems can easily lead to remodeling burnout if you don’t take the time to celebrate your progress along the way.

Sometimes it can feel like a project will never end. So, instead of taking shortcuts to finish your remodel quickly, take pride in the progress you’ve made so far.

Energy Efficiency is Overrated

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It is no secret that we are living in one of the most energy conscious periods of our lifetimes. While this new enthusiasm for efficiency is great for our future, it’s created a new set of problems. More specifically, its created huge opportunities for new businesses to sell you replacement windows, low-flow faucets and energy efficient appliances.

However, Nicole Curtis has a different perspective on conserving energy. In a recent interview she said:

**"This is what I think about energy efficiency: take it and toss it out the window."** -Nicole Curtis ([Click here to tweet this](http://ctt.ec/6456y))

She went on to say that older homes built around the turn of the century were constructed with natural materials that were designed to last a lifetime. Today, most energy efficient materials are loaded with chemicals and manufactured from mostly plastic.

Instead, she suggests giving the windows in your home a little TLC to bring them back to their former glory. Sometimes all it takes is a small tube of caulk to fix any significant energy inefficiencies.

Honor the Original Home

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Unlike other home improvement shows on TV, Nicole Curtis focuses exclusively on old homes. It has become her mission to save these historical landmarks that would otherwise be torn down to build cheap McMansions.

While many designers like to put their unique signature on each home they work on, Nicole does the opposite. She looks for the answers to her design problems in the original house plans.

**"Follow the needs of the house and not your own needs."** -Nicole Curtis ([Click here to tweet this](http://ctt.ec/X43xp))

You may have started notice a pattern in Nicole’s remodeling philosophy. When the majority of designers are saying one thing, Nicole does the opposite.

Lately, everyone has been talking about open concept floor plans. She firmly believes open layouts are meant for warehouses. Instead of tearing down walls, she builds them. You’ll notice in her show that she frequently has to remove a previous homeowners remodeling mistakes to put the home back into its original layout.

$100 Can Go a Long Way

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I constantly get emails from my readers asking about the average remodeling costs so they can budget accordingly. Unfortunately, average costs vary greatly and this can scare off many ambitious homeowners from remodeling their home.

Just take a look at the statistics published by Remodeling Magazine each year. $18,527 for a minor kitchen remodel and $53,931 for a major kitchen renovation - are you kidding me?

Nicole believes there are more budget friendly ways to update your home.

**"$100 can go a long way. Replace the fluorescent lights with updated pendant fixtures. Spruce up the kitchen with new black or stainless steel cabinet hardware."** -Nicole Curtis ([Click here to tweet this](http://ctt.ec/rt4Zp))

Being Poor Makes You Very Creative

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While I was in architecture school there was one design philosophy that surfaced in every project I worked on: constraints were what made great design.

Some of the most successful projects I’ve worked on were the ones that had the most obstacles to overcome. Whether it was a small site, a tiny budget or having to reuse old materials, all of these problems helped expand my design skills.

When it comes to designing and remodeling your own home, Nicole believes a small budget is actually a blessing, not a curse.

**"It’s all about your furnishings and design. I’ve always decorated very eclectically, partly because I was poor. Being poor makes you very creative. When you have money, you don’t have to be creative."** -Nicole Curtis ([Click here to tweet this](http://ctt.ec/ShO9u))

If you’re concerned that you don’t have enough money in your budget to build your dream home, don’t worry. There are many inexpensive and creative ways to solve a difficult design challenge. And the best part is that it is usually easier with more constraints you have.

Want More Remodeling Tips?

How can you get more insider tips on remodeling your own home and learn from Nicole’s mistakes?

The good news is that we have the answers. Our experts have put together the best home remodeling and renovation advice to help you conquer your toughest projects while on a budget.

Plus, find out the answers to these important questions and more:

Join our community of homeowners currently working on their own renovation projects. Get exclusive tips and free ebooks delivered directly to your inbox. Then share your successful remodeling stories with our readers.

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