There are many elements that contribute to a happy remodel. If you put some effort into these five key areas I promise it will take you a long way toward an enjoyable and satisfying experience.
1. Look at the big picture
You may be frustrated by a horrible kitchen layout or worried about a rotting deck stairway. But before you dive in to fix that one buggy area it’s best to step back a minute. Take a survey of the whole house. See if there are other areas that you might want redesigned. The time spent looking at the big picture could save having workers inside your home two or three times instead of one.
2. Collect your ideas
Knowing what the possibilities are, and knowing what you like, will greatly improve your chances of being really happy with a home remodel project. So start collecting ideas. Look at home magazines, books, websites. Collect pictures of different items you like. When you show your folder of favorite photos to your architect it will guide them in creating a design you will love.
3. Do some homework
Now, I know nobody likes the word “homework”. Just think of it as becoming savvy. You will be way ahead if you do two things. Talk to your local planning department about what regulations are relevant to your address and your intended project. And start a checklist of all the costs involved in a project. More on this in a future post.
4. Get a good architect
What to look for in an architect? Check their references to see how timely and responsive they are, and how happy the clients are with the results. Most importantly, I’d suggest looking for signs that they will respect your priorities and preferences. You want someone who will build their creative ideas on a foundation of your wishes.
5. Get a good builder
While architects are all professionals some contractors fall a bit short of that description. I suggest asking them a few key questions to ferret out the good ones. Ask them how they control dust, mud, and other messy stuff, and how they plan to protect your plants and pets. Then ask for a few customer references. Talk to these folks about how it was working with the contractor and how their workmanship was on the project.
Have you done a remodel on your house? Tell us what you would change or add to these five keys to a great remodel.