Home renovations can be a mixed bag of excitement and frustration. As the saying goes,” The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong.
Home renovations can be especially precarious because you don’t know what hidden problems you may find when walls and ceilings are opened. This can be unsettling, to be sure, but proper planning and a contingency budget can be helpful tools.
As always, I highly recommend hiring qualified professionals to assist with the planning. Architects, professional interior designers and licensed builders are essential.
Room for improvement.
Often, problems that become known could be opportunities for improving other systems in your home. As an example, we discovered a roof that was completely compromised in a home that we renovated with new kitchen cabinets, fresh paint, etc. The house had poor lighting (as many do) but we used this as an opportunity to upgrade the lighting since the roof had to be completely removed.
A recent client brought forth a project where black mold had been discovered in the wooden floor joists and bearers due to a slow and undiscovered leak in the bathroom. This opened up a huge can of worms!
The savvy homeowner quickly hired professionals because of an article he read in The Santa Fe New Mexican HOME magazine. He used this as an opportunity to improve the home by replacing flooring, kitchen cabinets and fixtures. Yes, it was a distressing time, but the result is a much-improved home with updated finishes selected by an interior designer and re-constructed by a licensed building contractor.
There are other smart planning points that will be helpful in making the renovation process easier. Here are some additional suggestions for a smooth renovation process:
- Pack up valuable items and place in storage, out of the main flow of traffic through the house. If you’re living in the home during the renovation decide which items are essential for daily living. Keep the things you will be using in an accessible location.
- If you’re remodeling your kitchen you’ll need to set up a temporary kitchen. Put rolling storage units to work. These rolling racks will be easily portable and light to move around as needed. Plus, you can easily see and access what you need. These carts can help in any room of the house stocked with the most used items that must be at the ready.
- A renovation can be an unsettling time for pets as well, and their safety is of key importance. Cats and dogs can be frightened by loud noise and the general upheaval in their home. Plan a safe retreat for your pets during this process.
Happy planning and may you make the most of your home renovation!
Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, CAPS, is founder, principal and lead designer of Samuel Design Group based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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