By Renée Biery

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Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

How to Set Expectations in the Beginning of a Renovation Project

What you will learn from this episode: 

  • How to set expectations as a homeowner with the contractor or designer

  • Setting expectations with clients as a designer

  • How these steps will give you confidence and help your project run a smoothly as humanly possible

Today I want to talk about setting expectations – both as a designer – how to set expectations with their client, as well as a homeowner – how to set their expectations with a contractor or a designer.

A homeowner comes to every project filled with a variety of emotions…..especially the fear of the unknown of all of the things they know they are going to come across during their projects. My hope is that going through these steps, it will empower the homeowners listening to tamp down some of those feelings that they are experiencing and walk into their projects with more confidence, knowing that they understand more about the process.

The first step I have anyone do is to determine the scope of work in detail. Make a list for the projects you want to complete now, in two years, and then in five years. 

Secondly, you need to formulate a budget! The more you know, the more conversations that are had, long before the work is going to start, the better off the project will be and the better off you will be!

Then, you want to know how the process works. 

This is going to come through communication with your contractor, or your designer because they’re the ones that do it every day. I’m sure you’ve had friends that have done some of this work, and you can talk to them about it, too. But trust me, their experiences, their projects will not reflect your experience and your project. So it is best to have these conversations directly with the people doing the work. 

So in today’s episode, I will be sharing the steps that are the kind of things a homeowner should be doing so that their expectations are appropriate. They know what they’re getting into, they know they can afford this, they know who the players are and how they’re going to get the work done. 

I also talk about how payments need to be discussed. This sets the expectation not only for you and when the money will be needed, but also for the contractors and when he will receive the money because he has his own costs of doing business expenses. 

And then really important – you need to determine your level of involvement, or how much involvement you can handle. 

And for the designers, you will go through similar steps with your clients when you’re working on the projects. Of course, you are going to want to detail out the scope of work. What phase is happening now, what phase is coming next and what phase is in the future? 

There are so many different areas that give both the homeowner and the designer control in the beginning. To set up the process, to set up the expectation, for a very detail-oriented project to run as smoothly as humanly possible.  

Putting all of these pieces in place will not save you from surprises or issues that pop up along the way, but it puts you on a path to be in control of the things you can be in control of. And trust, me that becomes very important as the project goes on. I can’t recommend this enough, taking these steps, whether you are a homeowner running your own project, or a designer running a project for a client. Go through these steps and I can assure you, you will feel more confident, knowing you have all of these pieces in place. 

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