What’s on Your Home Improvement Calendar?
My TOP 3 TIPS on planning for your next home improvement project
My husband, John, is always telling me that I only plan parties and events at our house in order to get home-improvement projects completed! Although not totally true, gatherings of family and friends certainly do give us all great incentive to get things done!
Even when we were undertaking the total gut and renovation of our own 150-year-old home, I set a rather aggressive deadline date of 6 months for my Open House celebration. We pulled it off (with long weekends and late nights) only due to the fact that I am in the business of interior design and know how to get the job done….half of which is making selections and ordering the product so that it was ready and waiting when the contractors were available.
- Whether it’s a simple refresh of your living room for holiday guests or a complete renovation of a kitchen, planning is crucial. One of the biggest mistakes people make is underestimating the amount of time a job will take. This not only concerns a homeowner making decisions and selecting that perfect color – it pertains to the busy schedules of the contractors, installers, and tradespeople involved in the project, as well! Don’t assume just because you are working with a flooring showroom and purchasing the product directly from them that they will have the date and time you want for the installation. Especially during busy times of the year, their schedules can be backed up for several weeks.
- When I begin a project I always ask the homeowner, what time frame they have in mind, and try to give them a realistic vision of the availability of product (especially custom items) and then the availability of contractors to get the job done. I take a “big picture” approach to every design project because materials and product selected in unison and ordered prior to the job commencing is always the best way to go. Yes, this takes a little more preparation but the result is happy contractors and happy homeowners as the job progresses smoothly – and IF an issue arises, you have the time to find a solution.
- This means addressing even the tiniest of details such as cabinet hardware, outlet or switch-plate colors, and grout colors in advance! Decisions made pre-demo ALWAYS have better outcomes. When I am hired to take the role of project manager I create an Excel spreadsheet that notes everyone’s contact information, responsibility, along with the dates and duration of their work. As I mentioned, I prefer the birds-eye view where the interaction of all trades can be seen as part of the total project. There are some really great applications available that can help with this task, so even if you are a Do-It-Yourselfer you can make sure to take the lead OR hire a professional to do it for you!
So even if you feel like it’s still the middle of the summer, the holidays will be here before you know it. If you have aspirations to accomplish a home improvement project in time to celebrate the season with family and friends… START NOW and I promise you will be toasting to your success with a glass of bubbly by the time Jack Frost nips at your nose!