“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” says NARI National President Art Donnelly
I might add they are also the most time consuming. But proper planning and preparation can save a lot of headaches and remodeling dollars.
A major home remodel can be a daunting task. Many homeowners don’t realize how much work is actually involved on their end. And when trying to balance family, work, and all of life’s other demands, trying to prepare for your remodel can be overwhelming.
With such a huge investment at stake, the last thing you want is a disappointing finished product. That’s why hiring a seasoned Design Professional can be a worthwhile investment.
When you’re ready to invest the kind of money it takes to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, you’ve no doubt waited a long time & you want to do it right. How can you afford not to hire a design pro who has been putting together successful projects for years?
Preparation is the key to a successful project. A good designer can help you prepare by helping you to understand how the process works.
It’s not uncommon for poorly prepared remodelers to wait until the last minute to make that appliance or kitchen sink selection and then find out it’s an 8 week order. Nor is it unusual to change selections midway after all of the cabinet specs have been produced, and now that cooktop you wanted won’t fit.
The biggest mistake you can make when remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is not taking it serious enough. They are tricky & require an investment of your time. Hiring a designer will help to make sure you understand what you’re doing & what you want. Each project is unique and having someone who understands your needs and knows how to fulfill them is important.
What’s more expensive? Hiring a designer, getting professional direction & having someone you can bounce ideas off of. Or crossing your fingers, paying for change orders & not knowing if you’re going to be happy until its done & then it’s too late!!!
A successful project starts & ends with the homework. A good designer will understand your vision and help you to communicate that with your prospective Contractor by creating a definitive plan and coordinating material selections.
Proper preparation can simplify the process and make it fun from beginning to end.
Isn’t that the way it should be?
Things to think about
- Remodeling can be a huge investment and when it’s done it’s done. You can’t afford to make mistakes.
- There’s nothing worse than being disappointed with the finished product because you have to live in it for years to come.
- If all the homework is done, and done right, your remodel project will flow smoothly, remain on schedule, and on budget.
- Start preparing before you meet with your prospective designer. The more you are able to communicate your ideas and tastes the more likely your designer can understand and articulate your needs to the project team.
If you do plan to endeavor the preparation and selections yourself, here are some important things to consider-
1. Having comprehensive finished drawings is a must-
You’ve been accumulating thoughts and ideas for months. Maybe even years. Being able to communicate all of these ideas to multiple project team members is crucial. Everyone needs to be on the same page and have the same end result in mind. The only way to achieve this is by having good plans professionally prepared and scrutinizing them thoroughly before the bidding process begins.
2. Your material selections should be complimentary-
Being totally sold on 4 or 5 different materials doesn’t guarantee they will go well together. This is the most common problem I see. When the husband and wife are compromising on each others selections and when it’s all done you have a hodge podge of mixed materials that don’t go well together.
3. Make material selections early-
The more selections you can make prior to the bidding stages the better the chance that your project will go smoothly and stay within budget. This will also assure getting apples to apples bids if multiple bidders are involved.
4. Remember what motivated you to do the project in the first place-
Whether it was the need for more space, functionality, or just updating that outdated kitchen, keep design in mind.
5. Stay focused-
If you stray from your original intent it becomes easy to lose focus on why you’re doing this in the first place. And when the job is done you realize that you didn’t really get what you were after.
6. Make sure your budget allows for contingencies-
It’s often less expensive to add those forgotten amenities when walls are opened up and exposed. It would be a shame if you decided you wanted to add a few more recessed cans or a larger window in front of the sink but it just wasn’t in the budget.
Here are some great sources for gathering photos of what you like. Websites like Houzz.com and Pinterest have hundreds of thousands of photos for you to browse and collect. Start you own ideabook on houzz.com and add pictures of features you like.
Here are some more useful links for information on remodel preparation-
Contributors to this post include-
Steve Frkovich Casci
Owner of Casci DesignWorks http://www.designworks4home.com/