Trent is the owner of Excel Builders in the Twin Cities. In this periodic series, he answers questions about your building or remodeling project and provides clear expectations for the process of your remodel.
Q: Why is the design step of a remodel so important?
A: If you’ve ever been let down by a purchase that you thought you had thoroughly thought-out, then you understand the horrible feeling of disappointment that comes with it. All that anticipation, just to be left with frustration and regret.
Unlike most products that you purchase, a remodel is not returnable.
This is why the design step is crucial. Designing not only encompasses selecting products, it’s also about preparing for your remodel and the process that goes with it. It gives you the chance to make your expectations clear and known, and your contractor the opportunity to make the process, price, and outcome clear to you as well.
How it works: During the design phase you will be working with two to three individuals: the designer, the project manager, and the site supervisor.
Your role in the design process: Take a look at the space you want to remodel; pay attention and write down each aspect of the space that will need attention. There are often hundreds of items that need to be addressed to complete a remodel. Write down your questions and ideas. Pull pictures if necessary to help communicate what you really want to your designer.
How the design process effects an estimate for your project: Remodeling costs are hard to gauge when there are no specifics to go on. I hear all too often, “I just need an estimate to complete my remodel.” While that may seem like a simple request to a consumer, an estimate without a design is not an estimate, it is just a rough ballpark or budget price. With a proper design, the costs for your remodel can not only be finalized, but can be accurate — giving you peace of mind and the specifics to plan accordingly.
The cost of a design: The design step and careful planning for your project will increase the cost of the remodel, but usually only around 5%. This is not an area you want to skimp on. My advice – “The bitterness of poor quality will outlast the satisfaction of a low price.” If you’re going to remodel, do it right, and then enjoy the on-going benefits of a new room or level of your home that you love!