Of course, as a designer for over four decades, I know how valuable the place we call “home” is to our health, self-image and focus, as well as often times our largest financial asset. “The chickens don’t come home to roost,” however, until the real estate agent comes to your home and tells you like it is – warts and all. But whether you’re staying or going, smart homeowners realize that the value of their property is in the enjoyment of it while it is theirs – not just when they plan to sell.
So – dear reader, perhaps now’s the time – and the season – to give your home the “face lift” or renovation its been silently begging for and you know is needed. Granted time is always our enemy, and the project may seem overwhelming (perhaps because its long overdue) but in this designer’s world, we do it every day! Since I’m a big believer in sharing, here are my thoughts on you getting started:
To Renovate or Decorate:
- Do you want to replace in the same space or look to expand?
- Do you want to retain a general contractor or hire individual trades whom you will supervise?
- Would you benefit from the services of a designer or architect?
- What should you plan on purchasing?
- How will you prepare realistic budget options?
Before Your Renovation Project:
- Discuss needs and wishes to determine whether you want to undertake a major or minor project and inquire about funding. If major renovation, will you move out or get storage pods, if needed?
- List your priorities before you call in the professionals (designer, architect, contractor) and look at magazines, internet, and homes in the neighborhood etc. for ideas.
- Interview professionals if you need help and before you hire, get references and then make your final decision.
- Start with the interior designer and get space plan alternatives.
- Now bring in the architect for construction drawings.
- Check out building codes and determine who will file plans.
- Give all contractors the same final plans to bid.
- Compare bids and prices for what’s included and time frame to complete.
- Schedule payments based on accomplished work.
And most of all – IF YOU NEED HELP, ASK FOR IT!!