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Columbia Inspired

Remodeling Do's and Don'ts

Apr 18, 2022 09:24PM ● By Brigid Wethington

Home projects have been on the rise since the pandemic began and many of us are playing catch up. Our resident Designer Brigid Wethington owner of B. Chic Interiors gives us the Do's and Don'ts for remodeling our homes this Spring. 

Let's start with the do's:

1. DO Plan ahead and expect delays. 

Know what has the longest lead times and order those items first.  Then while you wait, you’ll have plenty of time to plan the rest. If you are looking into a kitchen remodel, for example, know that appliances these days are taking anywhere from six months to over a year to arrive.  When I have a new client that would like to accomplish a project, we select and order the appliances first all the while designing the cabinets to fit around said appliances.  The cabinets can be ordered later to coordinate with the ETA’s of the appliances.

2. DO Hire reputable contractors to complete the remodel. 

Often, budget is the ultimate way we determine who we hire.  I recommend to my clients to consider not only the total cost, but how long the project will take to accomplish, and how many resources a contractor has, and to seek out professionals that have great communication skills.  The longer it takes to complete a project, the more expensive it is in other ways (dining out, pet care, childcare, stress, sleep loss, arguments with spouse, etc). 

3. DO Focus on remodeling/refreshing one room a year start to finish (unless you are moving or building).

In this day in age, it is often taking a year to finish any type of project.  It is also so easy to grow the scale and scope of a project because we may desire a whole home upgrade.  However, cost of materials has gone up about 50% across the board.  It is much more practical to execute one big project a year, plan it out properly, make purchases in the logical order, hire the quality professionals to install, and finish the project with art, accessories and décor.

Now here are the Don'ts:

1. DON’T Set any sort of hard deadline on the completion of a project. 

Pre-COVID, I used to ask my clients all the time to set a real or artificial deadline for when we want the project complete.  Whether that be hosting a gathering or an upcoming holiday or just picking an arbitrary date.  Now we do not have quite as much control on completion.  Delays and backorders are the new norm.  And now with the war in Ukraine, this could affect the availability of stainless steel, so watch out for more appliance delays!

2. DON’T hire the cheapest contractor you interview.  

There is always a reason why they are the least expensive, whether they are unreliable, a scammer, or have personal issues that would affect the outcome of the project.  We’ve all heard the horror stories; I’d be truly upset if any one of my clients had a devastating experience to save a little money.

3. DON’T poll all your friends and family about design decisions.  

The more people you talk to about your design/remodeling decisions, the more confused and conflicted you become and the harder it is to make a decision.  When/if you chose to hire an interior designer, it is best to trust the professional as we have the education and experience to help you navigate through any project.  And we’re more than happy to!  Your relative or neighbor who may have a lovely, well-appointed home, but may or may not be helpful or experienced enough to give solid advice when knocking down a wall and expanding your kitchen.  You get the drift.  😊

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