Let’s face it: Renewing your driver’s license, going to the dentist, or changing a flat tire – all foreboding tasks, but challenges we face in our daily lives. Don’t let remodeling be one of those daunting tasks. Remodeling does mean an investment of time and treasure, but it doesn’t have to be a dark, looming shadow that intimidates you into inaction. Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom can actually be an adventure, if you get the right people on your team at the right time. Here are a few challenges and our suggested solutions:
Challenge: You have a “vision” of your new kitchen, but you aren’t sure where to start with the remodeling.
Solution: Start by translating that vision to something other people can see. Collect photos from websites and magazines that show the style and type of look you want – or what you don’t want, for that matter. Then, formulate a plan that you can share with a professional builder and designer.
Challenge: You don’t know what professional does which part of the job.
Solution: Research your local general contractors. The general contractor usually has a group of associated professionals with whom he works, and he can tap into those skills at the time he is ready for them in the process. For example, he will provide an architect if necessary. For all tradespeople – plumbers, electricians, roofers, mason workers – the tradespeople are the instruments and the general contractor is the conductor. The general contractor will schedule the jobs and you don’t have to get involved.
Challenge: You’re afraid you won’t be able to live in your house during all the renovations.
Solution: Your contractor should give you a timeline for the project. While it has to be somewhat flexible due to weather or unforeseen circumstances, the timeline will give you an idea of how long the project will take. You can plan accordingly to stay or leave during the renovations. Any good contractor is respectful of your home and your time, and tries to keep the disruption to a minimum.
Challenge: You thought your kitchen remodel was finally complete, but it looks like the sink is loose and the top rack of the dishwasher won’t stay closed.
Solution: Make a “punch list” of items that you notice along the way. Bring these things to the contractor’s attention while he is still mobilized on the job. Good contractors make sure the punch list is taken care of before they pack up and call the job “complete.” They do a final walk-through with the client, to make sure the homeowner is 100 percent satisfied.