How to prepare to update your home

With the new year often comes new projects to update your home. Many times the hardest part is taking the first step. Sometimes knowing some easier preparatory steps to take before you call anyone can be helpful. This month we’ve identified some easy things that we would suggest you do as you prepare to update your home.
Most of us have a room that we daydream about “fixing”, adding to, or updating in our homes. Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out how to be prepared to take the first step to make your dream room happen. Here are our top suggestions on things to think about and discuss before you call a remodeler.

1.  Make Two Lists
Our first suggestion would be to make not just one wish list, but to make two separate lists: Needs and Wants. Needs are the things that you must have to make the remodel worthwhile in your mind. As you work around the problem areas of your current room, you learn what layouts or features would make life easier. Needs are things that you just can’t deal with any more or that no longer function and need to be replaced. These are the things that in your mind are necessary to be dealt with in your remodeling project. Wants are things you’d really like to have but if that’s not possible, it’s not a deal breaker. They may be things like upgraded finishes or replacements of items that aren’t necessary right now.

2.  Prioritize
It’s important to focus on why you want a new room. Identify the main 3 or 4 reasons why you want a newly remodeled room so that all plans are made with those goals in mind. It is easiest to start creating this list by starting with the need list that you’ve created. Thinking through what’s important to you will create a list of priorities to discuss with your designer. An example of a priority list for a kitchen could look something like this:
• Need workspace for 2 cooks
• Need more storage
• Need better lighting

3.  Collect Photos and Ideas
Websites like Houzz and Pinterest make it easy to gather images of rooms you like, and your choices will reveal the themes that inspire you the most. Also begin saving photos of rooms or spaces that you see in magazines or in other online places. These are helpful communication tools between you and your designer. It’s like giving them easy access to your wants and needs, and a clear way to express your style. It is also is a great shortcut, helping your designer focus on designs you do want rather than those you don’t want.

4.  Think about Appliances (if necessary)
If you’re remodeling a room with appliances, it’s important to think about if you want to include your existing appliances. This is especially important in a kitchen. Kitchens are planned around appliances, so make a list of what you need and want, and which of your current appliances may remain in place or be used for the remodel. The earlier you identify the appliances that will be in the room, the easier it is to design your new space, which can speed up the design development phase.

5.  Determine a Clear Budget
Analyze your finances to learn how much you can spend on a remodel. A good designer can help you work within any budget amount, so be honest and clear about what you can realistically spend. Our designers are educated on product lines, vendors and costs, and know how to conserve in one area to splurge in another. It’s wiser to work within your financial parameters or save more for a future remodel than to be disappointed by having to pass on your dream room.

6.  Research your Remodeler
Do your homework to find the best remodeler for you. Talk to your friends, keep track of the names and companies who did rooms you love, and then check out their websites for more examples of their work. Talk with people whose rooms you admire for their input and experiences. Research the remodeler’s history with the Better Business Bureau. By doing this research upfront, you narrow down your choices and can quickly identify the remodeler you want to work with.

7.  Make a List of Questions to Ask at the First Meeting
There are, literally, a thousand details that go into any remodeling project, and once you start a conversation with a designer, it’s easy for enthusiasm to override practical concerns you may have. So write down any questions to make sure you get answers. Important questions that help you make a decision can include:
• What is your design process?
• How long will this project take to complete?
• Do you create a schedule for your projects?
• Are you part of the construction process, as well?
• What does your warranty cover and for how long?

How a designer answers your questions also helps establish a rapport, and can help you decide if you will have an enjoyable and productive relationship. The more comfortable, knowledgeable and secure you feel during the initial appointment, the better your chances of a successful remodeling project.

Once you’ve completed these 7 steps, it’s time to make contact with your potential design/build remodeler. If you’re searching for remodeler, we not only design your room but build it as part of one seamless process. See the examples of our work here. To get started on your project, contact us here.