Let's just get this out of the way. How much can you realistically spend without eating ramen noodles the rest of your life in your beautiful kitchen? Before going down the road to hire someone to create your dream, do your homework and crunch the numbers. Similar to getting pre-approved before buying a house, this will help not only speed up your process, but will also keep you from being disappointed when you fall in love with those handpainted tiles that are not in your price range, but you can't get them out of your head. You may need to narrow down your project and cut some things out to get others that you really want.
Figure out your real style--not the style you think you like. When I was in design school, we cut pictures out of magazines, but the unveiling of Pinterest has made this so much easier (not to mention less expensive). You don't have to like everything in the picture--maybe it's just a floor or a staircase railing or a light fixture. Create boards for elements that are important to you. As you start to amass pics, you will probably see a theme or particular style emerge.
Let's face it--we all like things that are just not realistic for our current stage of life. If you have kids and pets running amuck, white carpet or marble floors may not be your best options. Subway tiles with white grout lines are beautiful on tv and in pictures, but if you are a messy cook who sometimes get spaghetti sauce or food coloring in places you care not to talk about, you need to rethink those. Will that beautiful sofa you pinned above coordinate with your current furniture? Along with this, think through how long you plan to stay in this home. If you will move in a couple of years, you may not want to invest in the heated floors and put that money into something else.
Do you like to entertain? Even when remodeling your bathroom, this is important to think about. If your guest bath is also one that your teenage daughters use, you need to think through ways to hide the makeup and flat irons. Can you widen the space around your kitchen island to accommodate more friends? Do you need an outdoor living space more than remodeling your current one? Is there a good traffic flow or should you consider moving your furniture?
Are you environmentally conscious? While appliances have undergone a huge transformation in the last few years, there are still many different levels of efficiency in windows and toilets and dishwashers. Do your homework--look at consumer ratings, talk to friends and take a shopping trip to touch and feel before you make a decision.
Is there a such thing as too much storage? NEVER! Can you turn a useless niche into a closet? Is there room to add a shelf under the island? Instead of leaving 12" at the top of your cabinets to collect dust, can you take them all the way to the ceiling and store your less-used appliances/dishes there? Are your linen/coat closets placed in convenient places? Would a built in shoe rack or double tiered closet rod be beneficial?
So many houses have itty-bitty laundry rooms. I know it seems more logical to spend your square footage on living spaces, but, I find that I live in my laundry room more than my formal dining room. Do you need a sink or clothes drying rack? Are your bedrooms small? If so, consider putting in a built-in hamper in the laundry room.
No matter how easy you think the remodel will be, it WILL take longer than you think it should. I wish I could give you a "one size fits all" reason why, but there are so many things that go into a project. The drywaller may get tied up on another job longer than he thought which then puts the painter and tile guy behind schedule. Ask for realistic timelines, but be understanding that it's not a robot doing your remodel.
It's gonna be messy--even if they put up plastic sheeting and cover all your floors. Dust seems to just infiltrate all the cracks in all the areas of your home. Prepare yourself for living in a construction zone for the length of your project. If you have a more extensive remodel, you may want to consider moving out for a while. We recently had a client sleep in their travel trailer in their backyard while their master bed and bath were being remodeled.
Before hiring someone, ask around. Get the dirt on what your neighbors liked/didn't like about their contractor. Social media and your neighborhood link are your friends--use them! Anyone can create a good website and market themselves--be sure to go a deeper. Nothing is better than word of mouth.
You are the best judge for your home. Trust your instincts. If you think you should make a room bigger/smaller than your contractor recommends, don't just ignore that feeling. If you don't trust him or her, get a 2nd bid. Just because he was right for your friend, doesn't mean he is right for you.
Hopefully, these tips gave you some new things to think about before you start your project. If you are thinking about remodeling or building, we'd love the opportunity to collaborate with you to create a space that you can truly will love to live in. Comment below or call Brian at 972.259.0378 for a design consultation.