How to Survive a Home Renovation Project
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Thursday, June 25, 2015
By Debi Meyer, Allied ASID
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At Design with Distinction we'll be the first to tell you that happily surviving a home renovation project (kitchen, bathroom, living room, family room or addition) takes a lot of planning, patience and most importantly, a serious sense of humor. We believe that laughing is so much easier than crying! Renovations aren't for the weak that's for sure.


Dust, dust and more dust! Our team of quality professionals do their best to create barriers by sealing off rooms with plastic. It helps some, but the tiny particules still have a way of getting into everything. Even with elaborate Zip Walls, a fine layer of dust can gather in parts of your home far from the construction area. Running the air handlers can pull the dust from the air into the nonconstruction side of the house. Changing the air filters weekly during construction and for at least a month after completion helps. But honestly there is just no way around this! If you or your family members have any respiratory issues we suggest that you move out of your home during the tear out phase.



Noise! Never ending noise all the day long. Jack hammers, whining saws, sanders, the thumping of nail guns followed by singing compressors: in short, very little peace or quiet. Plus the many questions asked by the superintendant (hiring us to act as project managers helps alleviate this). If you aren't sure it couldn't possibly be that bad, visit a friend's home under construction and you'll experience it first hand. Keeping your eye on the final prize makes the hassle worth it. It's kind of like birthing a baby, during labor the pain seems impossible but once your little darling is in your arms you forget all about it.



The Unexpected! Yes, it really does happen. Those unknowns like Asbestos (in older homes), irregular framing, who did that wiring, amateur plumbing, and possibly more "surprises". None of us will be laughing and you'll have to either add more money to the budget or take something away - this is unavoidable and nobody's fault. Count on finding something no one could have anticipated to change both the budget and the time frame. It happens and we deal with it.



Change Orders! The unexpected's cousin is the change order (any new or changed work). Change orders usually either add to or reduce the costs in the original allowances, which are the placeholders in the budget for particular items. Most of the time this occurs because you've found something wonderful that you just can't live without. Be aware that, depending on the stage of the renovation these may or may not be able to be added. Please understand that the general contractor will do their best to work with us. Most of the time it is possible.


Cash Concerns! There is a lot of anxiety regarding the amount of money you are spending on the renovation project. Writing those checks with four or five digits is to be expected. Prior planning with both spouses on board helps a lot. Often times as costs increase so does the stress. We advise that our clients are prepared for a 10% - 20% increase in the original budget due to The Unexpected, OMG must-haves and Change Orders.



Decisions! What finish: Oil-rubbed bronze, Satin nickel, Brushed nickel, Chrome? How high do you want the showerhead? Do you want multiple showerheads? Would you like pull out drawers or pull out shelves for your pots and pans? Where should the outlets go? How many pendant lights do you want above the island? Do you want a hidden charging station? Most of these questions are addressed when we begin the exploration stage of the design. But questions do come up along the way when construction has begun.



The Punch List! At the end of your renovation, expect several punch list items that take some time to resolve. We are usually on-site weekly and actually do a walk-thru with the general contractor so a lot of the items are taken care of before you even know about them. But sometimes items arrive damaged, not quite enough tile was ordered, etc (you get the picture). When this occurs it's important to get it right, even if it takes longer. Most of the time it won't delay you moving back in.


The Party! It's time to celebrate and show off your newly remodeled bathroom, living room, kitchen or addition. We love it when our clients throw a party and invite friends. Often times we'll attend along with our fantastic trade partners. It's an honor for us to be a part of your family. We love seeing everyone enjoying your beautifully finished home. Your glowing faces are the biggest compliment we could ask for. This is your home, your sanctuary, a place for you to make memories for years to come.


When it's time to renovate Design with Distinction looks forward to assisting you! Give Debi Meyer a call at (602) 376-5326(602) 376-5326 (602) 3(602)   (602) 37 


Until then...


Wishing you blessings and joy,



P.S. Some of these photos had broken links. If you know the original source I would love for you to let me know so I can add the source under the photo. Thank you.


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