It’s almost the New Year, which for many signifies a fresh start. It’s also an excellent time to begin thinking about home improvement projects. Maybe you’ve been considering a remodel for your kitchen for years, dreaming of building out the ideal primary suite, or getting some interior design expertise to freshen up your finishes and you’re not sure where to begin. We’ve got you covered! We’ve created a guide with 5 easy action steps to get you organized and prepared for when you’re ready to launch ahead with your goals. Throughout this blog post we’ve also asked members of our team who’ve gone through the remodel process to give their greatest bits of advice- just for you!
1. Outline Your Goals
Write down some key goals that come to mind for you. First, list out the top three improvements that you would like to focus on for your home. This will help your team better understand the project scope and how to estimate the potential timeline and associated cost. Next, list out three aspects of your home that you love and why? Your team will want to know what parts of your home are currently functioning well for you and what you enjoy. By gathering this information, your team can bring those positive aspects into the remodel. Lastly, write out your top three goals for this home renovation project. A couple of examples could be the desire for more space in the dining room and kitchen area for entertaining guests or hoping to turn your basement into a space that can be rented out for additional income or used by visiting family.
2. Gather Inspiration
Gathering inspiration images will help the entire team get on the same page regarding your design style and goals. Sources that we recommend would be design magazines, designer’s websites, Pinterest, or Instagram. During the inspirational phase it helps to also think about key words that describe how you want your newly remodeled home to feel. Do you want the space to feel light and airy or do you want the space to have more of a moody vibe? Do you want a lot of concealed storage, or do you like to have all of your items on display? This is all crucial information that creates a huge impact in the design process. When you are ready to begin your project, having this inspiration ready to go will help your design team understand exactly what you are looking for.
3. Talk with friends and family about their remodel experiences
Experience is key in any new journey and learning from those who have already gone through the process can help uncover ideas, highlight aspects you may not have thought about, and help you further refine your goals. By asking questions of your friends and family you can gain valuable knowledge from their previous projects. By talking with them you will gain insight into both their positive and negative experiences, so that you can learn and make more informed decisions. A few of the questions that we recommend asking would be
- “What contractor did you use?” and more importantly “Were you happy with their work, would you use them again?”
- “How long did the process take for your remodel?” and “Did it take longer than what was estimated?”
- “Is there anything you would have done differently in the remodel process?”
Your friends and family will provide a wealth of knowledge that you can use going forward in this journey.
4. Schedule a financial meeting
The end of the year is often a time for financial planning for the year ahead – and is a great time to consider how any potential projects fit into that picture. Schedule a meeting with your financial advisor and/or bank and discuss your project ideas. Your advisor can help you figure out what you can realistically budget for your project and discuss different financing options to help you get there. Your budget will be important to discuss with your design team right from the beginning so that you are not only working towards the goals you want for your space and how it will positively impact your life – but ensuring the project will also work for your budget. You want to minimize surprises down the road and lessen the chance of you having to give up on items you were really excited about due to cost reasons. The sooner you have mapped out a financial plan, the sooner you can begin creating your dream home!
5. Typical Timeframes
Timelines can vary and depend on many factors that you’ll want to discuss with your design team but having some general idea of timeframes can help set the pace in this early planning stage. To help with this, we’ve listed out some typical single-family residential project types with rough guidelines for typical timeframes for both design and permitting. As a rule of thumb, you can expect to spend as much time planning your project as the construction team spends building it.
Large projects such as a second story addition or complete gut can easily take 2 years to complete between the design and construction processes.
Smaller projects without significant structural work (like a basement remodel, primary suite remodel, kitchen/bath refresh) can take 6-12months from start to finish.
Surprisingly, furniture install projects can take as long as construction projects, as supply chain issues have led to very long lead times for furniture.
There are a variety of elements that are out of your control that impact the overall timeline – permitting timelines, construction sequencing, and supply chain are the biggest. However, there are also several items where you as the owner have the ability to impact the timeline.
- Allow yourself ample time to think through the design in the early stages, so changes are minimized during the design and construction processes.
- Ensure you’ve got time to dedicate to design meetings, with follow up time within your household for making decisions.
- Consider selecting a general contractor early in the process – this brings them onto the team where they can offer valuable feedback to the project, but ALSO this gets you in their queue so that by the time the design is ready they are also ready to start!
Are you ready for the New Year, and your New Home journey? We are beyond thrilled for you! The design and construction processes can and should be fun and exciting – especially when you are already well prepared to start! Use this guide to get ready, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all.
And if you’re ready to get going and want to chat with our team, we’d love to see how we can help!