It's the end of October, and everyone is in planning mode: Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving feasts, December holidays, winter vacations, 2018 business budgets.
Since everyone's in that planning mindset, we thought it would make sense to explain why it's just as critical to spend extra time planning your home renovations.
See, most people think they plan adequately, but we're here to challenge that notion. For all the planning you think you're doing, you should plan on (ha!) doing even more...and this article gets into why.
Q: Why is planning so important to the success of a home renovation or new construction project?
Tim: If people don't plan adequately, what inevitably happens is they'll want changes once construction is underway. And changes (even small ones) impact timelines and schedules because of the domino effect.
Everyone and everything has to be rescheduled when things are changed. There's a whole lot of paperwork involved, too. It extends the schedule considerably, as opposed to having a well-planned project implemented and just carried through. And guess what? It costs money to make changes, sometimes substantial amounts.
All of this can be avoided if you carefully and thoughtfully plan for everything from the outset.
Q: Planning is a big part of the design/build philosophy, right?
Tim: Yes. The "design" stage of design/build is all about planning. Our design process begins with a thorough consultation to discuss your thoughts and vision. Our implementation of the design/build approach is centered around frequent communication, defining exactly what you want and ensuring that the final design reflects your style.
Q: What surprises people about this process?
Tim: For a lot of people, it's difficult to wrap their minds around spending money on plans. But here's the thing: it's not a matter of just drawing a picture. It's working out all the details and the problems in advance, and making the whole project cohesive as a result.
This is very valuable money well spent, because the project's going to go much more smoothly. If it's a home renovation, the renovation will look like it's part of the home. You won't be making changes on the fly. The construction will go more smoothly as a result. And then you, the client, will ultimately be more satisfied with the final project.
I know it's tempting to want to dive in and get going, but it makes sense to slow down and make sure you get everything right. Remember, you'll be living with the results for a long time.
Q: When it comes to costs, is there a rule of thumb? How much of the overall renovation budget should go to plans?
Tim: If you're working with a design/build firm, probably between four to six percent of the cost will be for the plans. If you hire an architect, you might be in the 10 or 12 percent range.
Q: Any final thoughts regarding planning?
Tim: When it comes to planning, start with bigger ideas first. Don't get hung up on "I want a door here; I want a window there." Instead, let's discuss what you want to achieve with that particular space, what you want to get out of the house. What are your desires? What are your needs?
Be realistic about timelines, too. (Editor's note: we talked about timing in last month's newsletter.) And not just timing for the planning/design discussion, but estimating and scheduling as well. I get calls for very large projects in September, and they want it done by Christmas. That's not realistic. For small to medium projects, you should probably contact your builder three months in advance. For large projects, contact the builder anywhere from six to twelve months in advance.
Thinking about a renovation for 2018? Now's the time to start making plans. Let's talk.