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The 4 Phases of Home Remodeling: Part I

Embarking on a home remodeling project is an exciting experience. Yet, while the opportunity to create the perfect home is inspiring, you may wonder how you’re going to manage everything. A home remodel occurs in steps, or phases. The key for getting exactly what you want is to understand the four remodeling phases and create realistic expectations for everyone involved.


Phase I: The Planning Process

It helps to start your remodel with a clear vision of your desired outcome. Can you visualize the positive transformation that will take place in your home? A few uncertainties may arise during the design-build process, but by spending extra time in the planning phase surprises can be mitigated as you move into the active parts of your project.


  • Scope. Is your project large, small or somewhere in the middle? Are you making cosmetic changes only, or are structural elements involved? Typically, the larger the scope, the greater the complexity and the greater commitment of time, money and resources. To be sure, costs will start to add up with a whole-house renovation or an extensive remodel to several rooms (e.g., living room, dining area, kitchen, bathroom). Be realistic about how much you are willing to take on.
  • Timeline. Can you only manage a shorter-term, summer remodel, or are you up for several months of inconvenience? It's critical that you anticipate the timeline before deciding how much to do. There's nothing worse than expecting construction to last a few weeks and having it actually drag on for months. A good contractor will develop a schedule with input from their sub-contractors and vendors so the project can be completed in a timely manner.
  • Budget. The nagging question for any home renovation is how much to spend. Do you want custom finishes? The finest cabinetry? Top-end appliances? All well and good. But whatever you deem as essential make sure it fits within your budget. It is also important to develop a cooperative relationship with your contractor to keep schedules on track, improve efficiency and guard against potentially expensive miscommunication. Careful planning will ensure that you’ll stay within budget.
  • Measure. Faulty measurements can cost you time and money, so it pays to use a professional here to avoid mistakes later. Measuring the length of a closet, for instance, may seem like a simple DIY project, but what are your exact start and end points? It’s not so easy to get it just right. Leave this to the experts.


Phase II: The Design Process


Once you know how much time, energy and money you can devote to your project, you can move on to the design phase.


  • Develop Ideas. Knowing what you want and creating that vision is the fun part of a remodel. How will your space function, and what styles speak to you? Do you prefer modern or traditional? Are you expanding into a new space that needs to harmonize with existing parts of your home? Use visual example you find online to create a cohesive design that you can show your contractor or architect. Share your wants and need with your design team.
  • Select Materials. Things like doorknobs, light fixtures, cabinetry and countertops all significantly contribute to the overall design of your home. Use your plan to stick to both your budget and design parameters when shopping.


Click here for The 4 Phases of Remodeling: Part II