“In the industry as a whole, most clients start their projects before they’re ready,” says Dave Peterson, Head of Remodeling at MA Peterson Designbuild, Inc. “Problems such as multiple change orders, major or minor delays in the project and poorly executed design elements are all symptoms of a larger problem within the preplanning phase of a project.”
Preparation is the best way to avoid these pitfalls and many more when remodeling your home. However, a project has so many moving parts, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly where to start.
Here are five simple ways to make sure you are ready when your renovation begins:
Prepare for Routine Disruptions
In the course of your project, there may be times that some of the comforts of home might be temporarily unavailable. In the course of your remodel, planning for these outages will be absolutely essential if your daily routine relies on these items remaining functional.
Depending on the remodeling project, such outages or inconveniences could include water, power, phone and/or cable disconnection, dumpsters in your driveway, walking spaces unavailable to use, loud or distracting noises, or even necessary conveniences for those who are working on your projects, such as portable restrooms on site.
Plan around your utility outages so your life isn’t dictated by them during your project, and if you have any concerns, talk to your contractor and they will find a way to make sure these outages happen at more convenient times for you.
Living Space vs. Construction Space
Before a contractor steps into your house on the first day of construction, it’s crucial that you define what areas of the house are off limits to workers and what areas are acceptable.
This is especially necessary if you are still living in your home while its under construction, you need to have a place in your house that isn’t covered by hardboard and plastic walls. Even while your house is under construction, it still is YOUR house.
Establishing a safe haven is incredibly important if you have pets and small kids in your home. In the presence of dust, noise, heavy machinery & construction workers; these elements can alarm small children and pets. So whether your dog has free reign of the house or your child takes their naps near the construction, it’s important to bring these things up to your contractor so every precaution is taken.
Defining these zones will help relieve the stress your project throws on your shoulders, provides a safe haven for you and your family & give direction to the people working in your house.
Choose Your Selections as Soon as Possible
Making a definitive decision on the pieces that will shape the look and feel of your home for years can be difficult. However, the benefits of making these decisions as soon as possible can greatly impact the speed of your project and the look of your home.
Interior design is entirely subjective and with millions of selections from which to choose, this part of the process for your home renovation can seem overwhelming.
However, the more time you spend making your selections upfront, the easier it will be to make consistent and unique designs for your home. Selections include everything from the light fixtures to furniture pieces to the knobs on your cabinets, and a skilled designer will lead you in the right direction.
Providing an “idea book” of furnishings, paint colors & finishes that really catch your attention, from sources such as Houzz, Instagram or Pinterest can be helpful. This proactive style direction will help the designer understand your desires and will ultimately make the selection process much easier.
Whether you have specific design ideas or just a collection of pictures from the Internet, a skilled designer will help you avoid second guessing your design and keep your project running smoothly by cutting down the number of change orders and the number of creative interruptions.
Weekly Meetings with Your Contractor
If there is a point that can’t be stressed enough in this article, its communicating with your contractor. Every piece of advice given thus far revolves around staying in consistent contact with the person who will be making your remodel into a dream home reality.
Your contractor is in charge of sourcing the materials and selections for your project, scheduling qualified workers on your project and most importantly staying in contact with the designer & YOU, the homeowner. The Contractor’s job is to make sure everything is to your liking and is going along with your original plans. But sometimes plans can change and it’s up to the contractor to keep you in the loop.
The best way to make sure you and the people who are working on your house are on the same page is if you do something as simple as schedule a weekly meeting. These meetings should accomplish the following:
- Give you updates on the project
- Inform you of potential delays or changes to the original project
- Warn you of upcoming outages of particular utilities or areas of your home
- Provide you with a schedule of work that week (start & end times, type of work, etc.)
- Allow you a chance to express your comments and concerns.
If this type of communication exists between you and your contractor, you can easily manage the number of surprises that will appear in the course of your project. In the words of Dave Peterson, “People respond to information well and surprises poorly.”
Hire the Right Company
In the end, if you hire the right people to do your remodeling work, they will take care of these concerns before your project begins. They will get the best craftsmen to work on your house, determine the construction zone, work with a skilled designer and source your selections reasonably, stay in consistent contact with you throughout the project.
It’s important to do your research upfront and find the contractor that matches your style, level of quality and experience that matches your needs. Remember to keep these five tips in mind when you prepare for your next project and you will have a successful home remodel.
If you’re looking for assistance on your next project, contact our team of experienced team at MA Peterson .