In today’s world, more of anything is often perceived as better. Unless of course you’re talking about debt, gray hair, and the almost unavoidable pounds we tend to pack on between Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl. But when it comes to adding space to your home, you can often get more without having to build a new addition. A good design + build firm can help you find ways to create space by redistributing the space you already have. Almost every kitchen design has wasted space, but this can be minimized with adequate planning and forethought. Rooms like attics, basements, and even porches can be remodeled to create additional living areas, while removal of an interior wall can create the illusion of more space.
2. Hiring a Designer Unfamiliar with the Your Home’s Architecture
Here’s your goal: perform a successful remodel that doesn’t look like a remodel. You’re looking for harmony, not an opportunity to appear on the newest remodeling nightmares reality show. The styles and materials used in the remodel should match those of the original house design, otherwise the project can end up looking inappropriate or out of place. A design + build firm will consider the existing home and your remodeling goals and make a recommendation that works with both.
Sure, everything looks better with a little mood lighting. But that same lighting will do you no favors while you’re chopping veggies in the kitchen, or getting dressed for work. And then who’s to blame when you leave the house without noticing that large spot of toothpaste on your shirt? Lighting in your home can completely change the ambience, the colors and your mood. Be sure to install bathroom-rated lights over your sink and near your tub or shower. Evaluate work areas in your kitchen to determine spot-specific lighting needs and ensure you’ll have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks. After all, when a room is well lit, your guests will be able to see and appreciate the hard work that went into creating it!
4. Uncomfortable Spacing
The discomfort and inconvenience of trying to use or share a tiny bathroom is comparable to trying to squeeze four linebackers into a Ford Fiesta. Sure, you can make it work. But wouldn’t everyone be more comfortable in a SUV? While building codes mandate minimal spacing guidelines, these requirements don’t take into account the embarrassment of trying to explain to a houseguest the best way to climb over the vanity in order to get into the shower. In areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, when it comes to space, more is better. To start your project off right, create an agreed upon list of ‘must-haves’ and “like-to-haves”. Consult a designer for ideas on how to maximize every corner, while minimizing any discomfort.
Ultimately, your home should be a haven for you and your family. Limiting improvements to what might interest a future buyer is no way to enjoy your home. However, just because Pantone declared Radiant Orchid ‘the color’ of the year, you should probably think twice before dedicating an entire room to it. Of course you should decorate your home in a style that makes you feel comfortable. But don’t make the mistake of decorating your home in only the latest trends because you think it will increase the value or make it more appealing to future buyers.
6. Thinking Short Term
The fastest way to run into trouble is to think about your remodeling project in the short-term. If you go through all the work of remodeling a room, you’re not going to want to do it again before you sell your house. And, anticipating future needs can save you money in the long run. Before picking up a hammer, a design + build firm can walk you through all aspects of your remodel, helping you evaluate your needs, set goals, find inspiration and choose the right materials that will satisfy your needs now and in the future.
Even if you’re not a tree hugger, don’t make the mistake of starting a renovation project without some thought to sustainability. While green appliances and renovations may be more expensive, green upgrades can save you money over time, especially your utility bills. And, they’ll increase the value of your home, with added features like solar heating. Other examples of energy efficient products include low-flow showerheads, auto-shut off faucets and high-efficiency toilets. You may also consider a grey water system or incorporate trash/recycling sorting bins into your kitchen design.
8. Avoiding Professionals
Whether you’re thinking about doing it yourself, or hiring your friend’s cousin’s kid’s friend who just got a B+ in shop class, stop and consider the benefits of hiring a professional, especially when quality work and safety is of upmost importance. Professional designers stay on top of the latest trends, design ideas and manufacturer’s details, and can help you identify your specific needs. They will also transform your needs into an efficient plan that is carefully managed to a specific schedule and budgetary constraints. When all is said and done, they simply make your life easier; and the value of their expertise and connections more than pays for itself.
Although this is a rather comprehensive list, these are just a few very important items to consider during a remodeling project. Know that you don’t have to do it alone. Choosing the right remodeling contractor is likely the biggest factor in determining the success or stress of your remodeling project. Find comfort in working with a design + build firm that combines the design and construction experience into one team with one goal—to design and build a home that you’ll love.
Find your inspiration at MainStreet Design Build.