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Renovation Series: How to Prepare For a Remodel

Updated: Feb 27

Starting a new renovation series this week on all things renovation: how to prepare, creating a team, costs, and the benefits of hiring a General Contractor. We hope this series can be a resource for you and any others who are considering a home renovation, no matter what the size of the project is.


We are breaking it down to a four-part series, starting with How to Prepare.


Gathering Your Team

Let's start with gathering your team. You are past the dreaming phase, you are starting to research and gather information. What next?


1. Budget

No matter what part of the process you want to start with, you will always circle back to your budget. Always determine a budget early on, this can be difficult when you don't know what to expect. You may have an idea of what something costs, or you might be completely off. Start by asking the right questions.


If you have a general idea of what you want to remodel, let's say your kitchen, and a powder bath, talk to your contractor about pricing on those two spaces and they can give you a general number to plan for. It's safe to assume it's higher than you've planned for. And in general, never a good idea to rely on the TV shows that show budgets as they're always missing key elements.


2. Quality over Quantity

In a custom build or renovation, never cut corners. This is your home, and in most cases, your forever home. You want to make sure the bones of your remodel will last as long as you live there. And often this is the most important decision you've had to make since purchasing the home.


3. Choosing Your Design Partners

When gathering an idea for a budget, a lot of people don't realize the planning costs on the pre-demo/design build phase. Some design build firms have architects in house and other firms outsource this to trusted architects. This cost will be at the client's expense.


Research and discovery of your land, as built models, building code research, programming and permit fees, field verifications, architectural designs etc are typically a percentage of your renovation/build budget. Most firms start at 8-10%, while independent Architects can be much more competitive in terms of pricing without sacrificing the quality of work.


Drawings are needed for permits, building, schedules and specifications. Having a team on board can lend itself to a group of advocates, checks and balances to ensure a quality remodel.


When you find a Design Build team that you love, trustee process and lean in on this team. When feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, let your trusted advocates go to work to manage the renovation and any unknown surprises that come up.


Getting Your House Ready in 10 Easy Steps

It's always a good idea to get your house ready for a remodel, start thinking about less inventory, minimizing and thinking of ways you can live without a kitchen for 3-4 months, plan accordingly. While some of these tips may seem obvious, these are things you can start a year before your renovation to help prepare:


1. Purge magazines, read and recycle. Remove the clutter.

2. Recycle all appliance manuals, everything is online by the manufacturer, yes empty that junk drawer.

3. Safely dispose all old paint cans, after 2 years the pigment changes and would do more harm to patching a wall.

4. Plastic Tupperware is only meant to be temporary. After a few years the plastics decompose and can be harmful for storage. Look at the bottom for recycle numbers 1 or 2 and get rid of, invest in glass storage solutions.

5. Once your renovation approaches, remove everything from the room you’re remodeling, put back what you will use and donate the rest.

6. Involve your kids, this also teaches them healthy habits of minimalism, we’ve found this encourages them to do the same in their own bedrooms. Seriously!


7. Rent a storage POD for major furniture pieces that need to be moved out temporarily, or consider making space in your garage.


8. Consider a Summer/Fall renovation, easier to use the outdoor grill if you're living through the renovation.


9. Meal prep in advance and store food in the freezer with crockpot or instant pot warming solutions.


10. Talk to your neighbors and let them know. It's always a good idea to keep everyone informed, this eases the blow for your renovation team as most residents aren't thrilled with a renovation next door, especially if it's a larger longer term project.


Take a look at a few recent projects that we've completed by using our design/build team:

Arden Avenue

Westbrook Road

Goodrich Modern Tudor


-Kayla and Jkath Team

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