Since, in my mind at least, I have some expertise on renovating old homes, I am going to impart a few words of wisdom for those of you who think this is something you would like to do. And so...
1. You're wrong. This is something you think you want to do, but you are sadly mistaken.
2. There is no such thing as a "small project". A project you think will only take a day - or weekend - will spiral into some great time and money consuming endeavor. You think you want to paint the bedroom? Well be prepared to dig up the septic system. Planning on installing a gas insert in the fireplace? You better buy about 30 squares of shingles. You think you want to put a GFI in the bathroom? Sorry, you will have to move the garage first. What you will find is that every single item in your old home is inextricably tied to every single other item. That roofing nail in the uppermost corner of your peak is directly in contact with the foundation walls. You want to replace one, you better be prepared to replace both.
3. Before you start your project, go to the local bars and find the oldest home builder/contractor you can find. See what beer he/she is drinking. This will now be your beer. If you think a case of your favortie micro brew will be enough to see you through to the end of the project, you are a namby pamby beginner and you will be broke in no time. Your project is going to take so long that, by the time it is completed, you will have spent enough money on beer to purchase that micro brewery. You had best adjust your taste buds now and find something cheap that you can stomach. If you are lucky, you will have a good, cheap local brew (such as Yuengling) and you won't have to resort to Pabst.
4 Whatever you think your project is going to cost - in time as well as money - multiply that by 5 or 6 or 12 and you will start to be in the ballpark. If you are trying to specifically figure cost, make sure to multiply that figure by 1.054. This number is known as the Beer Factor. For every $250 dollars spent on home improvements, you will spend approximately $13.50 on a case of beer (if you followed Rule #3). This is the only mathematical rule I've ever invented but it's pretty darn good and I'm figuring it will win me a Nobel Peace Prize somewhere down the line.
5. Remember carbide. Suppose you are aimlessly wandering through the ailses of your favorite hardware store and you happen upon, oh, let's say a paint scraper. If it doesn't have a carbide blade, you are to immediately cast it to the ground and sing praise that the Lord has delivered you from buying a cheap but ineffective tool. Don't waste your money on crap. Your mother told you that years ago.
6. You will have lead poisoning before you are done. Get used to the idea now because you probably won't be able to understand it later.
So there it is my fellow renovators. Good luck and good luck.