Before you think about renovating, make sure everyone’s on board


Before you get ready for any project that includes someone else coming into your home and changing it in some way, I like to recommend that everyone in the household is on board with the idea, and the process.  The question I like to ask innocently is, ” Will both of you be meeting with us today, then?” This helps to do two things: 1. To make sure all of the interested parties are in attendance and all the communication gets to the right people with no intermediary and, 2. We don’t cause arguments between the clients. If  one of the party’s is missing from the initial meeting, I try not to get to far into the process, then schedule another meeting where everyone can attend.

Not every renovation project is conceived unilaterally. Thus, it stands to reason that arguments can occur, ideas can be unacceptable and your friendly general contractor can be right in the middle of the whole thing. This is not uniquely a remodeling concern, but can happen in the purchase of anything, say, over fifty bucks.

What cause the most anxiety when planning a renovation?

Believe it or not, it’s not cost. Seriously, money is not always the catalyst for an argument. Finding out your partner wants granite tops and vessel bowl sinks, while you want Corian® with under-mount sink, because you do the cleaning, can cause a quick argument, often while the contractor is sitting there. Other quick boiling points can be who will be making decisions on design, color, material, etc…  Also be aware of the hidden stress points. Uncertainty. By far, the most “un-talked- about” topic never discussed. My philosophy is there will always be a little uncertainty to every projects. Until I get X-Ray vision or transcend time and space, (note to self: good idea!) this is always a part of every renovation. Personally, my pricing always includes a percentage of uncertainty. A newer home will have a smaller percentage than an older home, though. If anyone tells you that their price doesn’t include unexpected occurrences, be prepared for the “Extras” bill. Knowing that there will always be a measure of uncertainty, you can prepare for it.

Making The Call

Make sure, before you make the first call to get an estimate you have ironed out a few things. What is it that you want to do? Change out tops and appliances or completely remodel your kitchen, including cabinets, tops, appliances, flooring, etc… Be prepared to be asked about the type of design your looking for. Modern minimalist or Traditional craftsmen design, for example. This can help the contractor by allowing him to ask the right questions. Be prepared to have some photos from magazines or ideas from a friends renovations or new home. Be prepared with a budget. Then double it. You can always work backwards from that, but the reality check is helpful at this point.

All Aboard!

This is a very personal business I’ve gotten into. It’s what I love about. It is always my goal to make each customer happy with the decisions they make about their home, large or small. Part of this equation is me, part of it is you. Happy Renovation!

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