Most of the renovations we do are to help families with their growing pains (from a space point of view), along with updating. I encounter many children in my business and always want to know what the kids think. I have 5, from 6 to 25 years old, and that helps me understand the phases families will go through, but not the real desires of the family unit. I have witnessed the extremes of complete lack of care (insert stereo type of high school male here) to children who have their own idea book on http://www.houzz.com/. The important things I think that parents can benefit from are tools on how to address the desire for a hot pink room, and how to know what is in it for their children so the during process is easier to navigate.
I asked my daughter Rachel to write a blog on what remodeling is like from her perspective. I read through it, and started editing the content, but then I thought- let me just put it out there and read between the lines for you after you read the unabridged version. Keep in mind; a typical project of this size (I took a 1,000SF ranch and turned it into a 2,000SF contemporary) would take 2-3 months to design and 5-6 months to construct.
I’m Rachel Wiese and the past year my dad has bought a house and it was very small. I was super excited because I couldn’t wait for it to get out of the small red house that was behind the office. When he showed me and my family the plans on renovating the house we were all so happy. I couldn’t wait for it to be done! After about a month or two through the renovation both the first and second floor were built and the kitchen cabinets were being put in, by this time it was January or February. By April and May, me and my step sister’s rooms were painted and the closets were installed. The kitchen and the lighting were almost done. By this time I was so anxious to move in because everything seemed perfect! Then finally in June we moved in. But some things still needed to be done like sanding the deck and painting the outside of the house.
The timeline went like this: June 4, 2014 – make offer. August 4, close on house, design and go through town approvals (this takes longer when you are the cobbler). October 2014- begin construction… framing done and weather tight in December. I probably don’t need to remind you about the winter of 2015… but our company was busy helping with our clients disasters… so we move in in June.
The important part of my children’s experience was that as a family, we went through the plans and discussed the changes as well as their hopes (including some additional space!), we toured the construction site regularly so they understood the progress since a year to an 11 year old might as well be a decade, and when it was time to move back, my 6 year old step daughter had already become familiar with our new home, certainly removing any anxiety about the move.
As for color decisions- when you hear “I want a pink room”, have a choice of 3 pinks that will work and be OK with saying that hot pink is not an option- your children would never go to sleep with a color that bright. Happy renovating!