Remodeling a kitchen or other room in one’s Livonia home is not an everyday experience. It will be the culmination of months of planning and careful decision making and should be undertaken with attention to every detail. The end result will be well worth the effort in improving one’s home, lifestyle and home value.
Do: Complement and integrate the design for the remodel into the architectural style of the home
Recently one new homeowner recently fell in love with the popular “farmhouse chic” design style, and wanted to have her kitchen wall covered with shiplap. After watching too many episodes of TV shows featuring fixer-uppers, she found the perfect galvanized steel range hood and pantry doors with chicken wire inserts. However, the home’s architectural style was modern, which would have been a disaster. Fortunately, her best friend was an interior designer and gave her much-needed advice. She ended up having her remodel done in a modern style that fit with the house and was able to add non-permanent accents such as a small rustic clock and sign that could easily be swapped out. She learned a crucial lesson about complementing the overall design of her home when planning a remodel.
Don’t: Delay choosing new appliances
Homeowners who have their hearts set on a wine fridge or double-wide refrigerator need to make these choices early on in the remodeling design plan. This helps to ensure there is adequate space for their priorities when working on the layout of the kitchen. It may also help with the overall remodeling budget because certain standard sizes may be much less expensive than a custom appliance that may also have to be special ordered and could take several months to arrive. An exciting new trend in appliances is the addition of gorgeous hardware, adding a jewelry-like quality to the everyday item.
Do: Focus on function before style
While it may be tempting to make a kitchen or bath beautiful enough to be featured in a magazine, smart homeowners know that functionality is key and will provide the best result in the end. For example, if there are any safety or structural issues, these must be addressed as the priority before any cosmetic changes are made.
In many cases with older homes, there are outdated electrical system issues that need upgrading. This is an additional benefit to doing a remodel — sometimes contractors are able to uncover potential safety hazards from previous shoddy work, or simply outdated wiring or plumbing. Put safety and function first in remodeled bathrooms and any other rooms. And, speaking of safety…
Don’t: Forget about safety before and during construction
The best contractors discuss safety with their clients to make sure they’re prepared before the remodel begins. A safety zone should be erected around the room being worked on to protect children and pets from any dangers. Even adults, such as interested friends and neighbors, should be discouraged from entering the work zone. This will also help keep dust and dirt from being tracked through the rest of the home, while keeping everyone safe at the same time.
Do: Select quality materials
When choosing materials for remodeling, it’s critical to select the highest quality materials while still staying within the planned budget. For example, the choice of bathroom vanities is crucial because it’s one that is used many times every day. The most popular type of vanity is free-standing and looks like a piece of fine, classic cabinetry with drawers and storage underneath. Another style is wall-mounted, allowing for open space underneath the vanity. Most master bathrooms have dual sinks with space in between, or even a storage tower built in for necessities. The choice of cabinetry for bathroom vanities is key to the design aesthetic for the room. For countertops, designers still highly recommend natural stone for its durability and beauty. While it’s a larger initial investment, it pays off in the long run by not needing replacement down the line.
Do: Be flexible, forgiving and kind
Remodeling is a change for everyone in the household, so it’s important to be as flexible as possible, especially with children. There will be unfamiliar sounds, smells, and favorite spots may be blocked off from use. For example, mealtimes may be disrupted during a kitchen remodel, when kids may not be able to get their favorite foods. On the flip side, pizza delivery on a regular basis may make everyone happier and less stressed. Bedtime routines may be upset if a familiar bathroom is being remodeled and kids have to shower instead of taking baths.
Do: Communicate clearly and often with contractors
While translating the vision for a remodel into reality, experienced contractors appreciate clients who communicate their decisions and needs on a timely basis. Some of the leading remodeling firms now utilize software called BuilderTrend that provides transparency from beginning to end. It provides for real-time 24/7 online updates and messaging back and forth between contractor and client and even allows photographs of current work to be shared. Questions and concerns can be easily addressed and decisions made so that work can progress on schedule. Features of BuilderTrend include daily logs, schedules, document storage, budgets, and change orders. According to a top kitchen remodeling expert in Livonia, this software has truly been a game-changer for the industry.
Do: Choose a contractor carefully
Savvy homeowners begin the process by carefully selecting a trusted partner for their remodel. They personally check several references in addition to online reviews. When interviewing potential contractors, it’s a good idea to ask the same questions. Some good questions include whether or not they use subcontractors, who are licensed professionals for specific tasks such as electrical or plumbing work. Licensing and insurance should be reviewed for every worker on the project.
Do: Show appreciation
Contractors and their workers appreciate even the smallest gestures of kindness. They are working hard for the homeowner’s benefit to achieve the results the homeowner has dreamed of. After successful completion, their company will also appreciate an honest and factual review of their work.