Most homeowners have no idea their remodeling project will require so many decisions. Fixtures, surfaces, colors, styles, and textures are all very important decisions in remodeling, yet in many cases they are left for last minute. Questions rain down on the homeowner that can dictate the pace for the workers and craftsmen that are about to invade their home. Take too much time with a decision, and the domino effect could begin. Make snap decisions, and live with it for years to come.
I have noticed over the years that there are two different types of people when it comes to making decisions. Some folks just have a knack for knowing what they want. They can make decisions in a snap with no regret. Others mull over the smallest detail lying awake at night wondering if they will be sorry for the rest of their lives. In remodeling unfortunately, those who have trouble making decisions get lost in a quagmire that bogs down work and delays the project. As I have said in many of these articles, planning is the key to any remodeling project, and knowing what decisions need to be made early on will help avoid sensory overload.
Early in the planning stages, a homeowner should ask questions about what kind of decisions need to be made and when. Designers are pretty good at getting to the bottom of design issues such as door swings, appliance location, window placement, electrical layout, etc., but contractors are not as good at asking questions. Many contractors will wait until the day before ordering the materials, and then ask for colors, styles, Etc. This is where the trouble really lies. Given enough time to research, homeowners are much better at making decisions then they are given credit for.
The problem is that many decisions are interdependent and can have far-reaching impact. Some decisions such as skylights must be made early on because it can affect the rough framing plan. Electrical changes late in the process can cause drywall removal and costly repairs. Big-ticket stock items such as windows, doors, cabinets and appliances can take two weeks of comparison-shopping. Custom cabinets, countertops and other special order items can take months to finish and deliver. Every one of them is on a timetable that in many cases the homeowner isn’t aware of. Every one of these decisions should have a realistic due date, then those dates should be strictly adhered to.
If you are considering embarking on a remodeling project, don’t underestimate the number of decisions that need to be made by you, and you alone. Take the bull by the horns and dive in! If you wait for your Contractor to push you along, you may be the one lying up at night wondering if you made the right choices.
Patrick Benkowski, CR
Roadrunner Custom Remodeling Inc.