A successful remodeling project is one that improves your family’s enjoyment of your home long after the project is completed, and the process starts with a great design. The following are a few tips I often share with clients to help ensure successful designs and get their remodeling experiences started on the right foot.
Collect your Ideas
While tearing pages out of magazines is one option, a great online tool for collecting and sharing ideas for your home renovation is Houzz. Houzz features more than 18 million photos uploaded by remodeling and design professionals, which can be filtered by room, style, and geographic location. Photos you love can be noted and organized in online “Ideabooks,” then shared with others. It’s a great way to visually communicate what you’re looking for and collaborate with members of your design team.
Brainstorm with All Parties
Include your spouse or partner and family in developing a list of needs and wants, as well as a list of what challenges you’re experiencing in your existing home. You may not all be on the same page and you don’t need to figure out the solutions, but presenting all of the information to the design team will help them to work with you to develop the best strategy.
Wait for the “Aha”
I tell people that when the design is right, you’ll know it! If you find yourself questioning various aspects of the layout, scope or features then communicate with your team and keep at it. Making design changes on paper is cheap, and your team should be willing to rework the details until the design feels right for your family. The additional time spent will ensure a smoother construction process and fewer costly changes.
Make Decisions Based on Your Family
You can surround yourself with a team of experts, but at the end of the day, the decisions that are made must be what’s best for your family. I often advise against making a decision strictly based on resale value or always deferring to an interior designer for finishes. While you certainly want to consider the input of your team, ultimately you know what will serve your family best and you should trust yourself to make the right decisions to ensure maximum enjoyment.
Work with a Respected Design-Build Partner
An experienced design-build professional will serve as your single point of accountability for the entire process, from project feasibility and needs assessment to drawings, selecting and budgeting on through to construction. During this process construction professionals are working alongside the architectural team and other specialists to ensure reliable materials are specified, drawings are clear, and challenges are addressed to lay the groundwork for a smooth production process. Most importantly, they are ensuring that the project that is being designed aligns with the homeowner’s budget goals finding areas of efficiency and appropriate cost savings wherever possible.
Perhaps the most valuable advice I can give is to enjoy the process! It really can and should be a pleasure.
Tim Burch is a Vice President and Owner of BOWA, an award-winning design and construction firm specializing in renovations ranging from master suites and kitchens to whole-house remodels. For more information, visit bowa.com or call 540-687-6771. Have topics you’d like covered, email me at AskBOWA@bowa.com.