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!

What you will learn from this episode: 

  • What steps to take before hiring a professional

  • When your planning ends and a professional takes over

  • Why these are important in making your dreams a reality

Today I want to talk about the act of planning out any home renovation.

This topic came up because I wanted to share what I experience during a lot of first initial meetings. 

I’m normally called in because they’ve reached a point where they need to get their project to another level. Usually it’s when they want to renovate their kitchen or bath, but not sure which direction to take it in. 

The first meeting is to see the existing conditions and basically listen to what they planned and what their goals are.

More often than not there are very few details in the planning department and just a lot of pictures of pretty things, hopes and dreams, and a wishlist. 

If it’s a kitchen it’s more often more than just esthetics changes. They want to move things around, or they need better lighting. Then I ask them what they’ve done next. “What planning have you done? What steps have you actually taken to put your dreams in an orderly manner and know it’s even possible?”

And so the reason I bring this up is that most times they don’t call someone like me, they jump right to a contractor. It’s likely that people don’t know the role an interior designer can play in this situation. Depending on the contractor, that might be ok. There is every kind of contractor out there. Some get involved in the design and esthetic elements, some don’t. Regardless of who you find, I want to make sure people are finding the right ream partner for their project. It is critical to bring these partners in early so that you can make sure what you want can actually happen.

People watch shows like HGTV and see appliances moved around. What those shows don’t show you is the potential difficulty in moving plumbing. Once it is explained to you, you’re going to say “Yeah, ok. That makes sense.” But it’s not things homeowners typically think of. 

In today’s episode, I’m giving you some examples of things that are not regularly thought out by a homeowner. And that is what I want to start educating you in thinking about – all of these behind the scenes, ‘in the walls’ components of any renovation. Kitchens, bathroom, even if you’re updating electrical and everything in between… want to put a window in, you want to put a bigger window in – what’s in that wall? 

You might not know what’s in every wall, but keep in mind that the physical nature of the house might not support your dreams without major work.

This is part of the planning that I think should fall into your hands before hiring a contractor.

So how do you go about this? Where do you stop your research and planning and bring in a professional? I’m giving you the steps to go through before you hire a contractor, architect, or interior designer.

In today’s episode, you will hear the steps to take to make sure that what you’re dreaming of can actually happen.

The more detective work you can do on your own and thinking about what’s above you, below you, in the walls beside you, the better, the more educated you will be and be able to play an active role in the project process.

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