Some people cringe at the thought of a remodel and others get super excited. At least they start that way. The truth is that there is a lot of room for error and minimizing that is key. Remodels usually take longer and cost more than anticipated but that is not necessarily a bad thing. In a lot of cases, you discover things that needed to be fixed and in others give birth to opportunities for unexpected design elements. Think of your home as a living organism. Everything is connected in one way or another. Whatever decision you make, and you’ll make many, will affect something else. Our recommendation: plan as much as you can but address any surprises calmly and one at a time. Having the right team is great but knowing what you want first is essential.
Time is money and being organized, regardless of your team, goes a long way. Here are a few tricks to keep the ball rolling, avoid delays and manage expectations.
1. Wishlist: Make a list of all the things you wish to fix or tackle. Then organize them starting with the “Musts”, “would be nice” and “bonus”. Having all parties involved (i.e. Partners, husband, and wife) do its own list is super helpful. See the chart below as an example. This will most definitely start up conversations and discussions in some areas and those are good to have prior to starting. You can eventually give the list to the contractor and/or designer.
2. Prioritize: once the list is done, you can determine what’s most important and what would take what portion of the budget. If there is extra money, you can add the “would be nice” items
3. Selections (sourcing or specification): Select appliances, plumbing, tiles, countertops and so on beforehand. Do all your research. Find out sizes of your sinks, square footage needed for tiles, plumbing finishes, and availability and gather all spec sheets for the contractor. This is a huge time saver for many different reasons. Make sure you know the lead time on products. For example, if your selected tub is back-ordered for months, you may want to choose something else because you need the tub installed before the tile and the tile before the grout and the grout before the primer and so forth…
4. Shopping: If you have a room that you can lock, start purchasing plumbing fixtures and valves and keep them in storage. Label the boxes with the location for install and try not to mark up the boxes in case of returns. The plan is to have as much as possible ready to go before breaking ground. You will need the sinks in place before the counters so you can purchase those and light fixtures as well. If you are doing all new appliances, set up a delivery date for those. You can always push back the delivery date if you need to. With tiles, always order 10 % or 15 % extra because there is nothing worse than losing a week worth of work for 12 pieces of tile. When you buy light fixtures, buy the bulbs as well so they can be tested the day of install and nobody has to go running to home depot’s 30 feet long aisle of bulbs.
5. Install & testing: let things go when they are not working. Again, remodeling the house is a fluid process. Some things won’t work, and you must let them go. The more time that passes while you are dwelling on it, the more expensive it gets.
6. Clean up: don’t skip this part and get a cleaning crew recommended by your contractor, designer and/or friend. You need all the construction dust to be removed from the house because it is much harder when you start using the areas and the dirt settles and gets combined with moist. If all the dust making tasks are done, go for it even if you are not completely done with your remodel.
The attitude you bring at every step of the project will play a big part in the project's success. Know what you want, prioritize, communicate with your team and set a deadline!
Lights on! Enjoy!