How To Plan A Renovation Part 1 of 3

State St. Bungalow: How to Add a New Fireplace
May 22, 2019
How To Plan A Renovation Part 2 of 3
April 17, 2020

How to plan a renovation by Rich Glass

Planning a renovation from start to finish is essential to a project’s success.  There are many steps in a remodel project; setting expectations, budget, planning the project, bidding, hiring a contractor, work being done in phases, and finally paying the contractor.  All of these items should be planned for in the planning phase of your project to help it run smoothly.  This is a 3-part blog to help you plan your renovation project.

Step 1: Decide what you want to accomplish.

The first and most important phase of planning a project is setting your own expectations and having a firm grip on what you want accomplished.  Knowing what you want done is essential to starting any project.  That is easier said than done for most people.  Do you want your kitchen removed and new cabinets in their place or paint the existing cabinets and put on new hardware?  Do you want to rip out your current bathroom and start fresh or resurface your tub and replace a vanity?  Having an idea of what you want will help the professional you hire give you what your looking for at the price you need it done for.  If you kind of know what you want and do not know how to get there you may want to seek out a designer to help you lay out your thoughts.   A good design firm such as The Flippin Designer can help you plan the project from start to finish.  We help our client’s layout a good construction plan and then help the client through the materials selection so there is no wasted time.  Once we have the project laid out, we help the client get the furnishings to match the beautiful materials that were just put into a project.    Having a good idea of what you want will help your professional designer or builder layout your project accordingly.  I am over simplifying this, but it is important for you to understand that an interior building project has a rhythm and moves in a specific direction.  Demolition, framing & sheeting repairs, electric – plumbing – HVAC, inspections, drywall, flooring, product installation (kitchen-bath), paint, & finally the finish punch list.  A lot of moving parts, right??  Did you move interior walls, then throw in a structural engineer in the mix of this.  Do you want new siding and windows, landscaping, or a drive way refinished?   The better you have your remodel job planned, the more efficient your builder will be.  The more specific your planning is the more likely the price your builder gives you will be spot on.

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Step 2: Set a realistic budget.

The second portion of a good plan is setting the budget and being realistic.  What can you afford??  Do you need to do your project in phases to cover costs?  Do you want to include exterior upgrades or changes while doing the interior?  Landscaping?  To accomplish setting a proper budget the first thing you need to do is forget everything you have seen on the home show networks.  ALL OF THEM.  Most of the time these shows exclude the TV stars labor and fees, the designer’s fees, contractor fees (which can be upwards of 15-20% of budget), engineering or architect fees, permitting fees, sometimes even the labor, and on and on.  In the case of one of the most famous shows they showed you portions of the home that were remodeled in a fashion like the entire home was done and in reality, only a few rooms were done.  What happened to the rest of the home?  They also furnished the project with new furniture and then removed it afterward.  Let me clear this up for you, you can not roof, side, landscape, put in a new kitchen and 2 bathrooms, all new floors while removing 3 load bearing walls to give you an open floor plan for $65k unless you are doing the work yourself and even then I doubt it can happen.  Other than to keep you entertained and give you design ideas these shows are not doing anyone any favors.  The reality is it is expensive to fix your home up like a home show design star.  Knowing how much money you have whether it is cash, an equity loan, or a refinance will help you decide how much of your wish list can actually get done.  If you are not realistic with what the money you have can buy, you will be very disappointed in the end.  All of our time & money is too precious to be disappointed when you are finished.

The Flippin Designer

Final thoughts….

Believe it, the first two items in this blog are actually the toughest to accomplish.  We tell our clients all the time to be straight with their budgets.  It does not do us or the client any good to design a $150k kitchen if the budget is only $50k.  If you are using a design professional can you afford it?  Is it best to use a professional for part or all of the project?  Only you and your budget can answer that.  That is why it is important to get your expectations and your budget done first before you move forward on your project.  Trust me indecisiveness cost time and money.

In the next blog I will cover laying out a simple plan so you can bid and hire a contractor.   If you are planning a renovation in Charleston, SC and you need help contact The Flippin Designer on our project inquiry tab located on our website and we will get back to your right away.  The Flippin Designer is located in Charleston, SC.  Our design team works locally and nationally doing  interior design projects and construction planning.  We currently have projects in all phases in Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, Sullivan’s Island, & Myrtle Beach SC, as well as New Buffalo, MI and Chicago, IL.

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