So your New Year’s resolution is to finally get started on that remodeling project. The years of looking at the nicked cabinets, shoes all over the foyer floor or the old jetted bath tub are over. This is a milestone in your journey to improving your lifestyle! Strap on your seatbelt and prepare for an awesome ride-as long as all the planning and selection process are done properly.
For some clients, home renovation often come with some level of anxiety; especially for folks who have either had a bad experience or are first-timers. Based on human nature and some smart people who understand the typical ups and downs in the process, there is a very predictable “emotional” roller coaster for the renovation process – from elated to less excited; and then back again. The average length of the jobs we undertake last three months from start to finish which is no blink of an eye to have part of your home under construction. Fear not; if you hire the right contractor this will be a predictable and overall enjoyable experience… let’s look at the emotional highs and lows:
From Design to Final Budget:
The Design phase gets you from your ideas to a solution. With the exception of hammering out which options you like better than others and the tradeoffs that go with them this is fun stuff! The graph depicts a low in budgeting and this is mostly due to poorly set expectations or lack of good information. Our philosophy of providing realistic numbers early reduces the plummet shown… but let’s face it- this isn’t the most exciting part. This is a large investment… so beware of the flight mode. Consider the adjustments that can be made, and the investment amortized over time and what elements offer an improved lifestyle and you will be on your way.
Equally less fun is the agreement, but critical to the process. Undertaking any kind of construction project should include a good document that makes it clear to the homeowner exactly what is in the budget as well as what is not included to avoid surprises. Detailed specifications clearly specify what materials are being used in the project so nothing is left to chance means more work up front, but it provides immense advantages. It’s critical the homeowner understands the agreement they are signing in order to walk into the project with confidence and thus excitement to begin the next phase- construction.
From Demolition to Framing to Plastering
During the initial phase of construction visible progress is huge! Things like demolition, foundation, framing, roofing and windows have the most tangible progress. You can now see in three dimensions what your new space looks like and that is exciting. Then starting with the less visible parts of constructions- siding, plumbing, HVAC, electrical and insulation the thrill is….. well, gone. The behind the wall stuff isn’t exciting but is crucial to a positive outcome… so effective communication will help you understand what is happening and why the inspector continues to make site visits. With the plaster going on the walls, it starts to feel habitable again and some of the more important parts start to shine-optimism returns!
From Trim to Paint & Fixture Install
Just as the doldrums are behind you, it is great to see cabinets, trim, tilework and painting make empty walls come alive; and it doesn’t stop there. Owners begin to celebrate the near end as plumbing and lighting fixtures are installed and floor sanding makes the old floors new again! At the final walk-through all those decisions and shopping trips come together in a custom space where your stamp comes alive.
We often share this chart with clients because there is a life cycle to every project regardless of duration. The benefit to knowing what our clients go through helps them enjoy the experience by providing good information and staying on the written schedule. Despite your design/build team being wonderful people, there is something to be said for not hearing hammering at 8am.
If you know what to expect, there will surely be less anxiety and more smiley face emojis when you are telling friends about your choice of contractor. Happy 2019 Resolutions and Renovations!