July 18, 2019

Are you considering a summer renovation? HERE is a great article that will help you consider the financial investment.

When people reach out to me about a potential project, I always as three key questions:

  1. SCOPE: what is the scope of your project that you are hoping to accomplish?
  2. BUDGET: what is the budget that directly aligns with your scope?
  3. TIMELINE: when are you hoping to start the design and construction?

It’s always important for you to be very, very clear about what you want to accomplish in your project. This is defined as SCOPE. When people are unclear, I ask them to do some thinking and processing about what they need in their home before we meet to make sure it is possible.

The subject of BUDGET is sometimes a tricky one because it’s personal and can be complicated. This number is important to gauge the sustainability of the project. What is the most amount that you are willing and able to spend on this project? The Seacoast is an expensive, busy area and there are no real “deals”.

It is not helpful to withhold your budget from a designer or builder, you need to make absolutely sure that you can in all honesty complete the project with the funds that you have to put toward the project. If you have heard before that it is ALWAYS more expensive than originally expected (certainly not less) it is true. This isn’t because the builders are out to rip you off, it’s usually due to a few issues:

  1. Homeowners upgrade materials and expand the scope of project while under construction. Again, scope and budget directly align.
  2. Construction Materials are getting more and more expensive. For example, the window prices went up 5% in one year across the board between all manufacturers.
  3. Unknowns of the project.Sometimes issues arise that were unexpected – structural, beating systems, the need to upgrade electrical or heating system. All of these mentioned costs thousands of dollars outside of the scope of project.

Your TIMELINE needs to be respectful of the market that you live in and the work that lies ahead. It is currently July and I am working on projects to get them wrapped up and finished for move in by fall. I am interviewing for projects that will be designed all fall/winter and secure the builder for a spring start. The projects that will break ground in the fall I started designing in early spring. That is basically 2 seasons to get things off the ground – designed, priced, contractor lined up with crew and sub-contractors, permits in place and getting the homeowner organized for the start of project.

Being under construction is exciting at the beginning and frustrating at the end. You will be ready to kick your contractor on the butt to get out of your house by the end. So, being organized at the beginning is essential to making the project as least painful and most time efficient.

This is how I look at projects at the beginning to make sure they are viable, interesting and serious. Aligning your scope, budget and timeline before you start the conversation about your project is time well spent and a true investment in your home (and emotional welfare).