A friend of mine moved, from Minnesota to Texas, a few months ago and bought a house. She connected with a local remodeling contractor and proceeded to do a kitchen addition, which included a mudroom and powder room.
She called me up, one day last week, terribly frustrated because she was not seeing anything she liked in her budget for cabinetry, countertops, flooring, lighting and plumbing fixtures.
Her problem is a common one in my industry.
Many remodeling companies hurry to sell projects to homeowners. They do some rudimentary concepts and give allowances for materials and other items, and then put together a price. If a homeowner agrees to the project, they move forward, figuring out the details and making change orders along the way as they iron out the design.
I call this method of remodeling: “sell, budget, design.” Perhaps it should be called the sell, budget, design, frustrate, change order, re-price, redesign and visit a therapist method of remodeling.
I think there’s a different way this should be done. What would happen if the contractor, designer and homeowner were all an equal team? What if homeowners were empowered to make decisions based on ideas and budgets from the very beginning of the process? It’s far more time efficient and results in a better, more satisfying process.
Here are 5 steps you can take to make the planning of your remodeling project go smoother and to minimize change orders and frustrations:
1) Discuss budget ranges for the project
2) Go through a space planning exercise
3) Figure out the details
4) Ask for the project to be priced in detail
5) Make final revisions to details and pricing as needed
Now, if you’re comfortable with the cost and plan for the project, sign on the dotted line.
For more ideas on how to make the remodeling process flow smoothly– read, Minimize Stress- Work with Someone You Trust.