In part two of the our Home Remodeling series, we provide tips on how to select a home remodeling company and prepare for construction.
After you curate your design inspiration and put pencil to paper on your budget, it’s time to decide who to work with on your home renovation if you haven’t done so already. Through conversations and research, ensure that the approach of the partner(s) you choose aligns with your vision for your home remodeling project and with your values as a homeowner. Here are several key elements to consider when deciding on a home remodeling service to work with.
It’s important to determine the level of involvement you want in your project as it helps you identify the type of partner that fits your style. Consider if you want to be hands-on and involved each step of the way, or if you prefer to not think about it once the critical decisions are made.
Designer and Contractor vs. Design-Build
Ask yourself which type of professional, or group of professionals suits your style. A full service design-build firm, like Sawhill, manages a project each step of the way from discovery through to completion. In contrast, some homeowners choose to work with a designer on the front end and a separate general contractor or professional remodeler on the construction portion of the home improvement project.
Planning and Design Process
In the initial consultation, ask questions about how the planning process works in the design phase and the costs associated with the home remodeling project. Determine who will design your kitchen, bath or basement remodeling project.
Understand how decisions regarding selections are made and who will help you make selections such as cabinet style, countertops, appliances, tile and flooring.
Learn about the purchasing and construction process. Gain an understanding of who places the orders and ultimately manages the construction – a project manager, a different remodeling contractor or a subcontractor? Once construction starts, who will be on the job site managing schedules, inspections, quality and problem-solving?
Determine how firms plan to interact with you throughout the entire process. Good communication between you and your project team is critical to the project’s success.
How to Prepare for Construction
With the design plan, timeline and budget in place, it’s time for the home remodeling process. The actual construction phase can be a stressful endeavor. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for it makes all the difference. At Sawhill, we do everything we can to ensure that the construction phase runs as smoothly as possible. We guide our clients and manage the entire construction process. In the event a complication arises, we strive to provide solutions in a professional and timely manner to ensure the end results exceed our clients’ expectations. The following are several helpful hints to help you prepare.
1. Arrange a Temporary Space
Before construction begins, take the time to make a temporary space for the functions that will be disrupted by the home remodel. Consider the need for running water, access to electricity and gas, a functional cooking space during kitchen remodeling and shower and toilet needs in bathroom remodeling. Consult your contractor about electrical, gas or plumbing needs for this space prior to construction.
2. Remove All Items
Clear the space before construction begins and remove all items from the cabinetry, closets and countertops. Don’t forget to remove items from the walls in and around the area being remodeled as well. Hammering and cutting cause vibration and may cause items to fall. Finally, it’s a good idea to remove area rugs in and around the remodeling area. This prevents tripping and keeps the rugs clean throughout the project.
3. Recycle, Reuse, Sell or Dispose
Think about whether you plan to sell, donate, or reuse old cabinetry, appliances, countertops, furnishings and fixtures. Make the appropriate arrangements. Your contractor can offer expert advice about what to do with these items.
4. Protect Your Home
Protecting your home during a remodel is an important step in the process. Contractors take care of most of these items, but it is important to be aware. Make sure that your existing floors are covered during the remodel and that you discuss which areas of your residential property will be blocked off to protect the rest of your home from dust. Know that dust from construction will travel throughout your home via the ventilation system regardless of what barriers are arranged. Some vents in the remodeling area can be closed off to limit its circulation, but dust still seems to find its way out. Therefore, cover furniture and floors in surrounding areas with sheets or plastic to protect them.
5. Talk to Neighbors
Let your neighbors know that a remodel is about to start and that there may be more noise and traffic in the neighborhood than usual. If you live in a condominium or townhouse, discuss your project with the association and your surrounding neighbors. Find out what the rules are concerning elevator usage and parking for the tradespeople.
6. Workers in Your Home
Consider the people who will be in your home throughout the remodeling project – designers, project managers, tradespeople, contractors and more. Discuss access and security to your home. Is a lock box for house keys acceptable and what needs to be done with the security system? What are their hours of work? How will they communicate with you about critical onsite details and decisions? What bathroom facilities are available during the remodeling? Where do you want the workers to park? These questions get the conversation started.
7. Safety First
For safety reasons, we recommend keeping pets and small children out of the remodeling area at all times.
8. Staging Area
Designate an area of your home or property to be used as a staging area for remodeling products delivered to the job site prior to installation. Garages and sheds are ideal but are not always available.
Why Consider Sawhill?
While it may be presumptive to think that Sawhill is on your wish list of partners, we certainly hope that we are.
At Sawhill, we spend a tremendous amount of time talking with our clients and asking them questions because we aren’t interested in churning out one size fits all projects. We work with our clients to truly understand how they wish to utilize their space and learn about the unique traffic flow and characteristics of their home, family, and lifestyle. The era, style, and architecture of the home in its current state are considered. We ask homeowners to identify which elements and aspects of their home they enjoy most. Through the design process, we amplify those elements while bringing the space up to date. Our dedicated team makes a concerted effort to protect the character and integrity of the home in the new remodel.
Know that it is vitally important to us to build a level of trust with homeowners with whom we work. It is important that you feel comfortable with us and our process. Like it or not, these projects often take months, and you are going to want to be at ease with the individuals in your home. Whether it’s a bathroom, basement or kitchen remodel or whole house renovation, our goal is a beautiful end project of course, but of equal importance is that we have some fun along the way and take care of one another as a team.