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  • Things to Consider Before Starting a Home Renovation Project

  • Renovating Your HomeThe decision to remodel your house is not a simple one. Your house is not simply a building. It's where you keep and protect your family and build your future. It's more than a house; it holds your dreams. With that understanding in mind, let's talk about the pitfalls and challenges on the road to making this decision.

    If you're like most people, you've spent hours and hours thinking about your project. You have talked it over at dinner with your spouse or partner or you have discussed it with people at work. You've worked through many of the details and you know what you want.
    Here's the problem.

    Unless you are a designer, architect or contractor, this is one of the only, or one of the few projects you've experienced. What you think you can do with your house has been considered in the light of what you know about remodeling. Yet, unless you fall into one of the categories above, what you know, or think you know, is only the tip of the iceberg of all there is to know about designing a project.

    When you start to work with a designer, they will ask you a ton of questions. Some may include:

    • "What are you looking for?"
    • "What's driving your remodeling decision?"
    • "How do you spend your time when you're in the house?
    • "How many times a week do you cook?
    • "How many times a week do you eat at a restaurant?"
    • "How long do you plan to live in your home?"

    These questions are all designed to help the designer learn more about your project so he or she can start thinking about the design. The designer may also ask you to bring pictures of projects that you like or dislike and/or show you pictures in order to get a feel for your style.

    One Thing at a Time

    One of the biggest challenges with the design of any project, whether it's a whole house or a bathroom remodel is dealing with the number of design choices. There are an almost infinite number of home renovation ideas you could apply to your house. From layout to paint colors, you have a vast number of choices to make before you start construction. Finding a way to make those choices in an efficient way is crucial. If you don't, you can get gridlocked and frustrated before you even get started.

    The first step is working through the overall concept of your project. Think of this as the big picture. Where are the walls going to go? Are they going to move? Where are the fixtures going to go? Doors? Windows? At this point, the goal is to get your project to a place where the walls stop moving. This gives you the outline of your project that you will then be able to fill in. If you're doing a smaller project, like a bathroom or small kitchen, you can skip this step.
    Now the outline will be influenced by the limits of your project. You may be doing a kitchen that can't be expanded. You may be remodeling a master bathroom and have to decide if you're going to expand into the adjacent bedroom. Whatever your particular constraints are, make sure you talk to the designer and let him or her know.

    Details, Details, Details

    Once the overall design concept has been locked down, it's time to start working through the details. The best way to work through this is to follow your designer's suggestions and make decisions on home renovation ideas in a logical order.
    If we use a kitchen as an example, it makes sense to focus on cabinets, countertops, and appliances first. This is similar to what you did with your design concept. You worked with the bigger picture until the walls stopped moving. In the same way, you want to work through the larger items in the project before moving onto the smaller details. Once those decisions are made, you can move onto flooring and plumbing fixtures. After that, you can finalize any remaining details, including wall coverings and cabinet pulls.
    If you don't take that approach, you run the risk of getting stuck in an endless loop of decision making. Sometimes people don't make any final decisions. Everything is always changed and nothing gets locked down. This is a sure path to insanity. You need to finalize decisions and move on to the next. Don't go back and revisit those decisions unless something significant changes with your project and you need to start the design process over again from the beginning.

    Being Smart About Money

    So far, we haven't talked much about what is most likely your most important design constraint—your budget. As was said earlier, unless you are one of the very few for whom budget isn't a consideration, you have a limit to what you can and are willing to spend on your project. You need to work with your budget during the design process without letting it paralyze you.

    To avoid these problems and have the most successful design process you can have, you need to have a balance. This means designing with your budget in mind, but not letting that dictate the design process. To do this, you'll need the help of a designer or design-build remodeling company.
    We hope that this remodeling advice has helped to give you a few more details on the inside story on home remodeling. Whatever is the scope of your project, we can make sure that you enjoy a good remodeling experience and get a satisfying result.