January has always been a time for setting goals. For those whose goals are home related such as a remodel project or building a new home, this is the perfect time of year to start your planning. The design phase of a project can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months depending on the size and complexity of a project. Attaining permits can take as little as a week to several months depending on the town. I think you can see where this is going, so if remodeling your existing home or building a new home is your goal for 2018, it is time to get started.
Three steps to a successful start…
HAVE A VISION – know what you want the completed project to look like. You do not necessarily need the exact picture in your mind, there are professionals to help with that, but you should know how you will live in the space. For example, you know if you want a big kitchen or smaller kitchen, an open floor plan or something a little more compartmentalized. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Perhaps you want a library or an office. Understanding how you want to use the space will help the professional you are working with design your vision.
I recently met with one of our clients to review their project. The project was a master suite extension, but they eventually want to continue updating the rest of the house. The existing house had a combination of stained wood and painted wood trim. The new portion of the house had white painted windows. Our first discussion tackled what their vision was for the rest of the house. Were they drawn to all stained, all painted, a combination of the two? All too often when people remodel they end up creating a home that looks like a patchwork quilt, and not in a good way.
Knowing what you are planing for the rest of the house will help make decisions easier for the portion you are remodeling.
BUDGET – know your budget. If you can not express in real terms what your budget parameters are when you are sitting with a professional, everyones time is being wasted. I have met with many people who have plans in hand only to find out that their dream design will cost double their budget because they did not share this information with their architect and general contractor.
Don’t play coy about your budget, it is not fair to the professionals who are taking valuable time to create your dream.
PRIORITIZE – If you have a vision that does not fit your current budget, but you still plan to complete it over time, sit with your general contractor and break it up into stages. This way you can create an informed plan on how to proceed and how to budget for future work.