Why, When and How to Remodel?


By: Byron Buchanan

There are many reasons that contribute to the eventual decision to undertake a renovation or remodel.  It can be as simple as need: something has worn out, or one’s personal style has evolved and the environment no longer represents current taste.  More likely lifestyle changes have rendered the function of a room inconvenient or obsolete.  Regardless of what creates the motivation to begin the process of redefining the style or the space itself, there are a few things to consider that will reduce or eliminate aggravation, making the process more pleasant.

First, and above all, consider the function.  Is the room working well?  Do the traffic patterns make sense, is seating ample, or necessary?  Is lighting adequate for the intended use?  Were the existing materials good choices for the level of wear?  The answers to these questions will likely underscore the scope of a project, and indicate whether you are looking to DIY or if it is time to consult a professional.

Second, do some exploring.  Shop the magazine stands or websites whose covers express styles that best reflect your taste.  Stop by model homes to see what finishes are currently considered desirable in your market. This will help you come up to speed on current trends and finishes that might not have existed when you were last in this process.  Styles evolve, just as your personal tastes, and materials and finishes continue to advance.

Third, consider your budget.  Neighborhoods in the same general market will have vastly different rates of appreciation, and this alone may well help determine the amount that is prudent to invest in your home.  This is when to begin thinking in terms of the scope of work it will take to achieve your new lifestyle vision.  Don’t be afraid to think big – your project does not necessarily have to be completed at one time.  Most of the time work can be done in phases.  With proper planning these smaller jobs may result in an even better overall effect. The ability to finesse a plan is a signature of taste. The most warm and beautiful environments are the result of evolution; a home that is stagnant, or without change, soon becomes tired, stiff, and uninviting.

If you are not a DIY devotee, now is the time to start talking to people.  If you do not have a designer or decorator, ask friends for referrals.   Next, meet those professionals, or start shopping.  There is no substitute for a face to face meeting to determine if you can be confident and comfortable in a relationship through a sometimes lengthy process.  Be frank. The more information a professional has will enable them to understand your point of view and bring your ideas to fruition. On the other hand, if you sense that they just don’t “get it”, there is a great likelihood that they never will, so, walk away!  Rest assured there are professionals who are more interested in your vision than their branded look.

Remember that you are dealing with the most intimate environment – your home.  You deserve that it should be a true reflection of your singular and inimitable style.