For most homeowners, kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects generally start from one of many different arenas; appliances, counter tops, cabinets, floor tile, lighting, painting, etc. Many times homeowners contemplate this item for a period of time and then start interviewing contractors to help them. They then discover that they need a complete remodeling job, not an item-specific one. So a seemingly easy, what-color-do-I-choose decision turns into dozens of decisions that have to be made for the project to be successful.
Here are some thoughts to help you understand how the process works:
1. Take a deep breath.
- Once you have hired a competent Design/Build Contractor who has done this dozens of times, the process isn’t as difficult as it seems. The process should be organic. The project design grows from the space being remodeled, your tastes, the budget, and the creativity and integrity of everyone involved.
2. Gather inspiration. Create idea portfolios in a hard folder with pictures harvested from your favorite design magazines, or create an electronic folder on http://www.houzz.com or http://www.pinterest.com and save pictures from all the great resources on the Internet. Your designer will love you for your efforts because it makes the process proceed easily.
3. Find your style. Do your tastes lean towards classic, traditional, modern, contemporary, cottage, or some conglomeration of all the above? Do you want to work outside the box (your comfort zone) to discover a new style you may like but don’t know about? Finding likes and dislikes in your inspiration portfolios will help you find your style direction and be a great platform for your Design/Build Contractor to work from.
4. Hire a Professional Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Design/Build Contractor. Hire someone who makes their living making people happy with their bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects. The professional you hire should be able to give you a minimum of 20 references of happy bathroom and kitchen remodeling clients from the past two years. Interview at least three potential Design/Build Contractors, call at least 10 of the references and ask three questions: 1. Did you get what you expected? 2. Did the project come inside the projected budget? 3. Did the project get finished within the initially proposed time line?
5. Price is way down on the list of reasons you should hire a Design/Build Contractor. Read this for more thoughts on the topic: Why Competitive Bidding Is Not the Best Way to Hire a Home Remodeling Contractor.
6. Make sure the design is 100% complete (or darn close) before the work starts. If work starts while the design is still being contemplated, there will be stress from second-guessing the decisions and the anxiety of needing the decisions to keep the project moving forward.
7. Make sure the contract documentation concerning cost, progression payments and time lines is crystal clear, and makes sense. If contracts aren’t your thing, find someone who understands them and can help assure you that you are protected.
Big remodeling projects can be intimidating, but if you take your time, and enjoy each phase of the journey to completion, these remodeling projects can be fun and rewarding. Let us know if we can help you plan your project.