A blog by Mary Hawley, designer/realtor
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
These words ring true when it comes to any home improvement or renovation project. When I take an initial walk through a home that I will be working on, I tour the home taking copious notes of what I see (and don’t see) as well as snapping a good supply of pictures. I identify flaws in the room, both from a simply design perspective as well as a functional perspective. I take note of the flooring, the paint on the walls, condition of the windows, window coverings, color and condition of the cabinets or architectural features, countertops, backsplashes, tubs, showers, enclosures, doors, the lighting, plumbing, hardware, plugs and switches, appliances, AND the room to room flow. I picture myself living in the space and what I would want changed to fell at home.
The next thing I do is determine the look I want for this house. Often, the house has already made some of that determination. For example, if I cannot change the cabinets, and they are traditional, I will need to use a traditional or transitional look for my updates. Of course, the budget plays a major role. What I don’t want to do is give the bathroom a modern spruce up but leave traditional cabinets and doors in place. I want to make sure that the entire house reflects a consistent look.
After my preview, it is time to establish the budget and begin a shopping list. I DO NOT ORDER A SINGLE THING UNTIL THIS STEP IS FINISHED. Here’s why – if my budget does not allow for all I would like to do, I will have to come up with thrifty solutions. Maybe I will need to paint my cabinets rather then replace them, or maybe new flooring will need to be allocated to the most high impact areas. Focus on the big three first – the main living room space, the kitchen, and the master bathroom. Once you have your budget properly allocated, you can start your shopping list. Look for things that are immediately shippable. Here is the best advice I am going to give you – DO NOT START YOUR RENOVATION UNTIL YOU HAVE ALL OF YOUR ITEMS IN YOUR POSSESSION. Open every box to make sure you received what your ordered, and expect mistakes.
In my next blog, I will share with you my simple little spreadsheet that I used on my last project.
Remember, your success is completely dependent on your preparation. Don’t skimp on it.
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