For many new homeowners a home remodel can be an exciting adventure.
Recognizing what work needs to be done, scouring the Internet for ideas and researching remodeling contractors are all key decisions a homeowner makes before a hired home professional steps foot on a project.
To help make sense of the choices you may encounter and what you can do to make sure your project is finished within budget, on schedule, with little-to-no obstacles and gives a finished result that will improve the enjoyment of your home.
Oversimplified as it may be, there are essentially three types of decisions a homeowner makes during the course of a project: The Big Picture, Budget & Finishes.
The Big Picture
These types of decisions are typically directed at the scope and vision of a project. It’s the stage when a homeowner combines their desires/ideas/wants and needs for their project in order to create a design with the help of their designer.
At this stage, it’s not entirely important to know the exact details of every element of your project. The best thing one can do is grab images, ideas jot down a list of must-haves, and obtain anything that can help your designer understand your vision and aspirations for this your project. Social sites like Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram can be helpful to those who are looking for inspiration.
Once you merge your ideas, your designer will lead you through the process of creating a detailed plan that not only will meet your needs, but will provide you with ideas you may have not thought of before.
Based on the scope and vision of the project, the budget decisions will be addressed. These decisions will not only determine the overall budget for your project but also the timing of its build out as well.
Your Project Manager (PM) will be intimately aware of your project’s needs and will be the one to make sure your project is finished on-time and, more importantly, within your budget.
In addition, it’s important to know that a budget is NOT a fixed price, but an educated estimate as to how much it will cost barring certain elements (inclement weather, material delays, etc.). One of the largest contributors to delays and underestimations of a project’s budget are miscommunications between a contractor and the homeowner.
Making budget decisions are necessary but when there is trust and good communication between you and your project manager, the ability to finish a project on time and on budget can be attainable.
After the budget has been established, the next set of decisions are your finishes or material selections. Here you and your selections designer will figure out the exact products that will go into your remodel from the brand appliances down to the specific tile used in your backsplash.
For many clients, making these types of decisions can be difficult. However, a good remodeler and designer will find ways to make this particular set of decisions easier for clients to wrap their heads around.
Here are some simple things to keep in mind when making material selections:
• Focus on the selections: Lean onto your designer to help assist with the selections you care about.
• Use builder relationships to your advantage: What many homeowners don’t realize are the long standing and strong relationships your builder may have with various retailers. With these relationships, you may get commercial discounts and extended warranties on appliances when they buy products from certain retailers.
• Let your remodeler be your advocate: Depending on your remodeler, most times they are a company with years of experience dealing with subcontractors, vendors and retailers. When they help you pick out items for your project, they are buying your materials on your behalf. So if something goes with a product you bought from a vendor, you don’t have to deal with a large retailer on your own, you have a group of industry professionals ready to deal with any issues should they arise.
• Making changes costs time & money: If you don’t like a product you picked out, there is nothing that says you have to keep it. However, depending on the change, keep in mind that if you change a piece of your selections list two things will happen: The budget will need to be adjusted for the change and the contractors will have to make time in the production schedule to adjust for said changes. Don’t feel like you have to settle for a selection you don’t like, just remember one small change can have big consequences.
As you can see, there are plenty of decisions to make in the course of the project; However, the most important decision you can make before going into a remodel is the company you choose to work with.
By hiring a remodeler that helps you express your creative vision, has decades of experience, and possesses a wide breath of talented employees and craftsman, then the remodeling project will be an enjoyable experience. If you would like the assistance of our experienced team here at MA Peterson, please contact us.