With ever-rising mortgage rates and a more competitive than ever housing market, is it any wonder so many people are choosing to invest in their current homes rather than buy new ones? With the right interior designer, a vision and a hefty dose of patience, home renovations can truly transform your space into the house you’ve been dreaming of. But, let’s be honest about it. People love home renovations because of the gorgeous outcome we get to on the other side of all the chaos. The problem is, all of the chaos! LOL. If you’re thinking about embarking on a home remodel or home renovations journey, I’ve got a few helpful tips to keep in mind!
Keep It All In Perspective
I have talked about the differences in designing for clients versus designing for myself on my social media. I am in the process of designing my dream beach home, and my son’s room presented a challenge. There was a pole that stood in the middle of the space. Instead of stressing over it, I decided to design around it. Problem solved! It isn’t usually as cut and dry when I’m designing for others.
When someone contacts me via The Expert for a virtual consultation, the first thing I do is shift every focus to a client-centered view. It all becomes about what you want and need out of your space. Often, that means attempting to solve small issues that clients see as serious dilemmas. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you while you’re in the midst of home renovations is to not sweat the small stuff! Listen, structural imperfections will exist. Trust me, it’s just something you can and should expect.
Trust Your Designer
When we’re designing a space, we are in essence creating a usable box. That means the functionality comes first. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to explain to clients that the tiny piece of the closet wall that isn’t precisely flush against the next wall will never be noticed. People obsess over things that simply won’t matter, and that’s why you hire a designer who can help you distinguish between the things that do and don’t. Don’t fixate on a window that isn’t completely centered. You can place a beautiful vase there and those six inches you’re worried about suddenly vanish. Besides, even if you could get it centered the way you think you want it, the window would be too close to the kitchen, and it would throw everything off!
Spending an insane amount of time on minutia only delays progress. Trust your designer, and fear not when it comes to the little things.
Partner Well With Tradesmen
Home renovations don’t happen without tradesmen. These projects are collaborative. During any given part of the process, you may be working with several different vendors, and they all have a role to play. During what is often a stressful time, it is especially important to remember that everyone has varying management styles. That means you might run into a worker who handles things like invoicing in a way that isn’t your preference. It also might mean you hire someone who isn’t as well-versed when it comes to the administrative side of home renovations. Try to stay calm, and be empathetic. Some people are simply going to be better skilled at plumbing or drywall than they are in billing practices. Don’t get worked up. Keep a line-by-line record of what your contract says, and aim to lead with a smile. Polite will always win.
Keep Cash Handy
This one might surprise you if you haven’t had much experience on bigger home improvement projects, but it’s worth noting. We have several ways to pay people that don’t involve physical money, so you’re probably wondering why I advise keeping it on you, right? The answer is simple. Contracted employees are often scheduling their jobs and time around the size of the job they have on the docket. In the beginning of a project, the tasks, like framing, are much larger. Therefore, they yield bigger checks for the company. The jobs towards the end dwindle in size and pay. It’s much harder to get someone to come out to do one small job without the promise of immediate payment. I have had to have tradesmen come back out to do small tasks like hot mopping a single shower. They were much more incentivized to do so when I had cash readily available to pay them for their time right then and there. So, take it from me, keep your cash flow in order for the best results!
Organization is King
This is where you really need to pay attention. I have one word for you: spreadsheets. Learn them, use them, master them. It’s so easy to get caught up in those “instant” before-and-afters we see on social media. An unsightly space morphs into a magazine-worthy one at the snap of an influencer’s fingers. But to many clients’ dismay, that just isn’t how it works. Good things take time. They also take planning. If you’re planning a remodel or renovation, sit down and strategically plan it all out with your designer. Next, get busy ordering all the necessary pieces. When I’m designing a home, all of my items are already onsite before we begin. That includes lighting, plumbing, bolts, etc.
Now, ordering all of these pricey items so far in advance means that you also have to be able to keep track of them. We don’t want a single thing to go missing. Put each item into your spreadsheet with details. I add extensive notes to mine. I want to know which door goes in which room, which way it swings, the corresponding hardware and any other pertinent information! Home renovations go well when everything is available to be installed when it’s time to get the job done.
Don’t be intimidated by others’ home renovation horror stories. These projects definitely take a lot of work, but the reward is great! Use these tips to achieve your dream space without all of the stress. Contact me today and I’ll help!