How to Get What You Want from a Home Remodel

Renovating your home is a huge investment: of time, money, and trust. Depending on the size of the project, a renovation can take months to complete and tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the faith you're putting in the team you hire to make the dreams you have for your space come true. So how do ensure you get what you want from a home remodel? Here are a few of our best tips.

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1. Gather inspiration. You'll quickly find out that there are thousands of options for materials, textiles, fixtures and finishes you can choose from for your home remodel. To whittle down what you're really looking for, and how all of your choices will play together, gather inspiration photos. Save images to online idea boards like Pinterst and Houzz, or tear out pages from design magazines to bring to meetings with your design team.

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2. Learn the lingo. Communication is a huge part of a successful home remodel. Being able to articulate what you want, and in the right terminology, will greatly improve the odds of getting it. Once you narrow down your inspiration images, do a little research to find out the style, brand, or material of the various elements in the photo. Knowing you want recessed-panel cabinetry, non-porous, engineered stone countertops, cup-style cabinet pulls, and schoolhouse pendants will help speed up your design process and eliminate the chance your ideas will get lost in translation.

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3. Hire a top team. Though homeowners often go into a renovation project thinking they can serve as the general contractor for the project to save money--that is, hiring each electrician, tile installer, and architect separately, this approach often leads to more headaches, time, and even added expenses. A quick example: Often, big renovation projects are like a well choreographed dance--the project as a whole can only be successful if each member of the team holds up their end of the bargain, and does their part properly and on time. If installing cabinetry is dependent on laying the flooring, and the flooring contractor reschedules on you at the last minute, then you have to reschedule the cabinetry install, and the plumber, and everyone else after that. Hiring a design-build firm eliminates the need to project manage, because everyone, from the architect, to the designer, to the contractors and builders work for the same company.