February 1, 2021

I Can See Clearly Now

I have been contemplating a renovation for years. After months being cooped up in our charming 18th century farmhouse, we are finally going ahead with one of my many ideas of how to bring light into our dark albeit cozy home.

It’s taken me years to get clarity on how best to proceed. I find it easy to come up with design ideas for my clients. But when it came to my own project I felt stuck. I knew what I wanted but was having trouble visualizing how to tie it into to my existing space. Then I discovered Conceptual CAD – a 3D design firm. Working with a 3D specialist I now had a clear picture of what it would look like and how it would work. (This worked so well that we’ll be offering 3D design services in our larger projects.)

Now I had the vision but knew it was time to sit down and review my own process – all the steps I take my clients through that would definitely work for me in my own home. Here’s a quick review of that process:

Start With a Plan and a Budget

When beginning any renovation, you need a plan and a budget. I love working with people who give me an accurate budget up front. This saves a lot of extra time and work on my part and results in a more successful project. But many of my clients have no idea what things really cost (especially if they watch HGTV). If you haven’t renovated in a long time, be ready to be surprised at how prices have gone up and how quickly the elements of a project can mount up. Before you begin any project, you should have a reasonable idea of how much you can spend.

Use Spreadsheets

I like to begin with an Excel spreadsheet for my clients and collect the estimates of work that need to be done, before we get started. I’m doing this for my own project right now, and even with all my experience, I’ve been sobered by how quickly the costs can mount up.

Pay Attention To The Details

There are elements of a room that for me are non-negotiable. You must have a clear idea of how you’re going to be using the space. Quality is important. You will not be sorry in the long run if you chose the correct heating elements, flooring, windows, roofing, and finishes. Comfortable furniture is always a must – along with window treatments to finish the room.

Choose The Right Team

I have a team of contractors and tradespeople that I work with who are there to facilitate a large project. These are people I trust to be in my home or in any client’s home. They know what they’re doing. Finding the right people for the job can be a one of the most difficult aspects of renovation – especially now with everyone spending so much time at home and doing home improvement projects.

Why would you need a designer? I’m generally tapped to help with all the project details, communication, coordinating contractors, finishes, furniture, lighting, ordering, and tracking all orders.

I love working with people I really like. Sometimes this takes time, but I can do my best work by getting to know my clients. Which means I care so much about the outcome of a project, I wouldn’t dream of letting them down.

Did I say communication? I can’t stress it enough.

It all starts with a vision. How do you want to live?

Surprises do happen, but If you do the work ahead of time. You might be able to avoid any unwanted surprises!

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