As an interior designer, I've had the privilege of assisting numerous clients in getting settled into a new home. Whether that is an existing client...
7 Reasons Why A Renovation Project Goes Astray
We’ve all heard the stories. A homeowner begins a renovation; maybe they decide to put in a new kitchen or bathroom. They are very excited about the project; therefore, they jump right in and are anxious to get going. They hire a contractor that put in their roof or garage because they liked him, and he calls them back, and they’re off and running. This contractor assures them he can put in a kitchen for their home, and he’s anxious to get started on it right away.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Until a few weeks in, the contractor starts to ask you some questions about what you’d like to see in the space. What kind of a sink do you want? What kind of cabinets? How tall is your faucet? What is the new layout? What thickness is your floor tile? You dig through your endless file of Pinterest boards and design ideas that you’ve been collecting, and you show him photos and ask his opinion because you haven’t made a final decision. You figured you had a little more time to make these decisions since they just started the demo.
Then one of two things can happen from here. The contractor decides that you can take all the time you need to make your decisions, then promptly packs up his tools and leaves and asks you to give them a call back when you’ve decided on all these things. Or your contractor, anxious to keep construction going, will quickly suggest to layout and tell you that’s the best way to do it. He’ll pick out a sink and faucet for you.
What I have just described is the number one way that a project goes astray, by not having a complete detailed design plan before construction begins. Although many contractors are very skilled, and some might even have a good design sense, it is not their job to design your project. They will build what you tell them to build. It’s not their job to guide you through all of the options, all of the design elements and help you make decisions that are right for your household or decisions to accomplish your design goals.
Lack of detailed design. In these previous scenarios, the homeowner skipped a vital step in building a new kitchen or bathroom or any renovation, the design. The design consists of every decision made regarding layout and all materials: the floor plan, the elevations, the product, material selections, and placement directions. For the best results in any design project, these decisions happen before construction begins. Knowing the thickness of the tile that you plan to use in the shower allows for better planning with everything around that tile, etc. When these elements are not known, things cannot be appropriately planned, leaving some awkward details in the final results. Although many savvy contractors will talk with a homeowner at the beginning stage of a project and steer them towards hiring a designer to prepare a design, many do not allow the homeowner to navigate the process. Much to their demise, this creates numerous delays in the project, pauses on your project, and in the end, there is not always a cohesive design, so the results may not be with the homeowner anticipated.
Using materials that might not be suitable for your project. There are so many options when it comes to design elements that go into a renovated space. They are decisions to make regarding flooring, tile, wood woodwork, molding profiles, lighting placement, and numerous other design choices. Thorough knowledge of what is available and where it could and should be used is essential to get the desired results. Also, a thorough knowledge of the price point of these items is necessary. When a homeowner does this on their own, they may quickly fall in love with a particular decorative tile, not realizing that it’s not meant for the floor or that the price point will drastically increase the total cost.
Improper space planning– Measurements matter, measuring the products going into the space and how everything works together and the necessary amount of space that it takes to do all of the work that needs to be done to place that item. For instance, the vanity sink measurements might look like it works for the size vanity that you’ve chosen, but you have to allow for areas of attachment on an under-mount sink and for plumbers to be able to attach all fittings properly. You couldn’t possibly know these things unless you are a pro that does this every day or you have made this costly error yourself previously.
Hiring the wrong contractor for the job. There are so many levels of skill involved in building. Contractors all have their specialties and areas of more remarkable talent. You want to find artisans that specialize in the type of project you are doing, which is extremely important in the kitchen and bath renovation area. A contractor that does kitchens once in a while most likely does not have the skill level, and I have a contractor specializing in this area, hiring a design and build firm like mine becomes so valuable. As a designer, I know the level of skills needed for every project that I design. I bring a team of professionals to my projects to implement all projects with a high level of skill, creating a seamless process from the initial design through the construction, creating the best results possible.
Starting a project based on no design and only”rough numbers”- Not having a detailed quote. One way that a project truly goes astray. The key to your project’s success has a well-developed design plan that allows contractors to know precisely what they are building, right down to the final details. In return, this allows the opportunity for you to obtain a detailed quote for the project. The nature of construction is that there will always be extra things that come up during the build—opening up a wall and finding a pipe that needs to be moved or adding some additional details while you’re in progress. However, designing the entire project as you’re going is a sure way to create a financial disaster. Without a detailed design plan, you might get a quick number that a contractor throws out in Lou of a quote. Then while you’re in progress and you start choosing design elements, your quick quote can easily double or triple while you’re in progress. It’s always better to figure the cost as close as possible before you begin a project. And at least you know the reality of what your project is going to cost, and you could factor in a percentage for unexpected issues.
Not sifting out all your design ideas before construction. A huge reason why a project might go astray. Your very patient contractor might continue moving that same wall repeatedly until you decide what you want to do, but I assure you that this is not the best way to design your project if you are paying him by the hour. Hiring a designer does not mean that you will be unaware of what your project will look like when completed. In reality, A good designer will listen to your ideas and discuss what additional options might be available for you and your home. Designers have a wealth of experience to bring to your project. The designer will design the right project for you and your family so your newly renovated home will reflect you and your lifestyle.
Homeowners thinking that they should know how to design and manage a renovation project. Homeowners, take the pressure off yourself. Why would you expect to know everything needed to produce a professionally designed and implemented renovation? We are bombarded with the oversimplification of the design and renovation in media and advertising. However, I assure you, the process itself is not simple. Hiring a pro will be the best decision that you make throughout your project. It will allow you to breathe easily, confidently knowing that you are making the best possible decisions for your project and that you will love the final results.
Until Next Time,