photography by Lisa Russman

So you’ve decided to pursue a home remodel? Great! We know that this can be a stressful, exciting, confusing time, so we’re here to help you get through this as seamlessly as possible. Many of the breakdowns during this process come from simply not knowing what can come up, making communication impossible. Providing you with clarity on typical issues gives you access to clearly communicate with your architecture team. It is important to understand exactly how to do that, so we’ve broken it down for you.

Inspiration Board

Many times during the design phase, we encounter clients who know what they want but simply don’t know the terminology or how to describe it. One recommendation would be to take photos or save pictures of any ideas you come across, even when a home remodel is just a passing thought. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The more photos you have to show what you like and convey what your style aesthetic is, the more tailored your design will be for you and your family. Use Pinterest, for example, to create an inspiration board to capture what excites you. What kitchen design makes you want to stay home and cook for the family? Whatever it is, put it on the board!

Town Permits

As a homeowner, you should not be expected to know what your town allows, and if elements of the project scope require permits. This is where your architects come in. During the design process, recommended upgrades for your home should only be suggested if they are allowed by your town and it’s ordinances. As you move along in your home’s development, you should feel free to add to or inquire about your designs and how they fit within your town’s allowances.

Do You Have a Contingency?

Demolition can uncover a myriad of things that no one could have possibly detected. In such cases, it is important for you to have a contingency that is built into your budget. At the time same, you want to feel comfortable enough with your team that they will do everything possible to avoid such situations. During the initial walkthrough, analyze your house and get to know it as much as you can. Some things to look out for and ask your team about right away are any: ceiling stains, creaks in hardwood flooring, cracks in the walls, or cold spots near windows. 

Have a change of heart? Communicate Sooner than Later.

People change their minds and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Changes to your project’s scope are part of the industry and we welcome change. You want a team that you feel comfortable coming to with a change order. The only time this would become an issue is if the desire to make changes to the scope is if it is communicated too late. Remember, communication in architecture is important and go hand in hand, so speak up about any changes you would like to make as soon as possible.

You are a Decision-Maker!

This is a journey that we are taking together so we invite you to stay involved throughout the entire process. One way to stay in control of your design is to make decisions on the materials for your project. As you are provided with sample materials, feel free to ask questions about durability, cost per square foot, and long-term maintenance of the product. At the same time, don’t be afraid to choose a color, pattern, or texture that perfectly suits your unique aesthetic and style. Never feel like you have to choose something because it’s trendy or popular.

We hope that this article has answered some questions that were in the back of your mind as well as bring up some things that you didn’t know about this renovation process. It brings us joy to watch you freely and seamlessly participate in designing the home of your dreams.


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