Communication: The Key That Unlocks The Door To Remodeling Success!
Communication helped everyone transform the 1970s ranch-style home: New dormers and new semi-circular wall surrounding the new private patio.
The return trip home, after leaving Mark and Anne’s yearly Thanksgiving open house, presented a wonderful opportunity to think about everything that made their major 1970s ranch home remodeling project special. Then, a familiar question, “How can more homeowners achieve the best results possible — with fewer anxieties, hassles, and regrets?” Here’s what made a big difference for Anne and Mark when they remodeled (and added onto) their home, and what can make a big difference for you:
Everyone took responsibility for communication, making this a successful remodeling project!
Remodeling Change Orders — The LAST Thing You Want!
Caution: The lowest estimate often comes with change orders.
Remodeling Change Orders. You’re surprised, and feel betrayed. Just when everything seemed to be going well, your contractor says, “We’ve run into a problem,” or, “If you want it, you’re going to have to pay more.” There are (sometimes) valid reasons for Change Orders, but most of the time, they can be avoided. You do not want to feel like your home is being held hostage. Here are five ways to avoid Change Orders:
How to Avoid Remodeling Change Orders
Remodeling Change Orders during a building or remodeling project should be an exception, not the rule. Here are ways that you can avoid them: (more…)
What is an Advocate? Many contractors conclude that an advocate always takes the homeowners’ side against them, which is not true. Remodeling is a team effort. If everyone remembers this, and takes their individual responsibility seriously. There’s no need for anyone to take sides in most cases. There have been only five times in several hundred remodeling projects where a dispute arose. There was clear evidence that the contractor had done something very wrong:
Not providing products and services specified in their agreement without communication.
Changing the scope of the project without communication.
Not providing a written change order before extra work began.
Selling products at an inflated price because “warranty service” was provided, without specifying in writing exactly what is included and excluded.
Building-Remodeling Changes: Santa Claus or Grinch?
“How the Grinch Stole . . . Everything!
History Before 2008:
Building-remodeling professionals were busy, with seasonal ups and downs. Homeowners called design and construction professionals to renovate their home, or build a new home. They had high expectations and positive anticipation about finding someone to help them.They felt it was like waiting for Santa Claus.
The Grinch (aka the economy) stole everything. Anticipation was replaced by anxiety and fear. Americans were just trying to keep their homes, trying to prevent the Grinch from stealing the roof over their heads. People lost jobs as companies downsized or closed their doors. Building and remodeling stopped. People who were thinking about trading up decided to hunker down and stay put. Recovery from such a devastating blow takes a long time. (more…)
“Rules are not necessarily sacred. Principles are.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
“Form Follows Function.” (Louis Sullivan)
Function – Safety – Appearance
Information About The Kitchen Triangle
Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the first architects to use the work triangle in his kitchens? During a tour of the Gordon House (the only FLW-designed home in Oregon), I overheard the docent talking with visitors about many of Mr. Wright’s innovations in home design that we still use today, and had to add that tidbit of trivial information. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) describes a work triangle in their guidelines:
“The distances between the three primary work centers (cooking surface, cleanup/prep sink and refrigeration storage) form a work triangle. The sum of the three traveled distances should total no more than 26 feet with no single leg of the triangle measuring less than 4 feet nor more than 9 feet.”
The guidelines also state: “No major traffic patterns should cross through the basic work triangle.”
3 Recommendations To Protect Your Bathroom Investment (And Your Sanity)
Have you heard remodeling nightmare stories shared by family, friends, and neighbors? Was your reaction a vow to never remodel your home? Time has passed, and now you’re considering a major bathroom renovation. Your new vow is, “Those nightmares will never happen to me”. How can you avoid costly, frustrating problems? Let’s follow the “Smiths” and the “Browns” through their bathroom transformations:
The “Smiths” wanted to remodel their master bathroom, but didn’t think about what they really wanted to include, and how they wanted to feel in their new bathroom. This opened the door for unnecessary features that could squeeze them into an over-budget situation. The “Browns” took the time to define exactly what they wanted — the look, feel, and function. They agreed that their #1 priority was a two-person shower with all the bells and whistles (rainhead shower head, body sprays, adjustable personal shower, a large bench seat, and decorative glass tiles). They could talk knowledgeably with professionals they would hire to help them design and build their new bathroom.
♦ Recommendation #1: Define Your Priorities (Money Matters!)
The “Smiths” relied on magazine articles and TV remodeling shows for information, without testing reality. They did no research about
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