Tackling a remodeling project can be a stressful time. Your home is turned upside down along with everything else in your life. We've heard stories about contractors that would make midnight nightmares seem like pleasant day dreams.
But it doesn’t have to be that way if you make a plan to survive it all. Here are four keys to ensure that all goes well, whether it is tearing out a powder bath or something much bigger like adding additional rooms to the house.
• First things first. You can't start too soon. If you want your project to go well, the best thing to do is make every single decision on paper before the work begins. It seems like a lot of work but skipping this step and you could be reaching deeper in your pocket during the course of the project. Keep in mind that a lot of elements interact with one another and by putting them together on paper, you are much more likely to catch any problems before they are created.
Need ideas? Create a clipping folder of all the neat stuff you've seen. Head out to model homes to see what builders and design-stagers are creating. But forget about watching HG-TV. Those are reality-shows, in our humble opinion, and don't truly reflect the real nature of remodeling, architecture and design.
And if you still don’t have a clue what you want or how to get the look you desire, you reall should hire a design professional up front. They can save both time and money and avoid many stressful situations. And it is important to tell them as much as you can so that they can create a master plan that matches your style preferences and budget. With a plan that will help control costs even before the project begins, you will be able to survive the process much easier.
• The second key: Don’t change your mind (too much.) Even though it’s inevitable that you will change your mind on some things once the project gets started, know this: Every change you make - even the minor ones - can create a domino effect on other elements in the space.
Plus changes have a way of quickly getting out of hand due to added costs and time delays - even if it is only the time spent discussing the change. Plot and plan ahead of time. ( See The First Key ! )
• The third key: Don’t over do it. Replacing that tired kitchen with new cabinets and counters may increase the value of your real estate, but only if you plan to live in the home for at least 3 to 5 years. As with any investment, the longer you hold onto it, the lower the risk and the bigger the returns.
• Finally, the fourth key: Watch what you spend. Investigate what homes have recently sold for along your street that may have had similar work recently completed. Then use that data as a guideline on what to budget for your project. It doesn't make dollars and sense if you over-design and over-spend for the neighborhood. Keep in mind that creating great curb appeal may increase your home's perceived value but also give you pride in where you live and how you enjoy your corner of the world.
And that alone is worth any investment in a remodeling project.
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.