It has been said that a home renovation can involve as many as 15,000 decisions. That is a daunting number, and many homeowners who intuitively understand this either refuse to do a needed home renovation at all, or end up with a “nightmare remodeling contractor” story to tell at cocktail parties.
There is another option that is gaining popularity for home renovations. It involves hiring a renovation consultant, also known as a remodeling coach. Unlike a remodeling contractor, a renovation consultant acts as your agent, and is paid to look out for your interests.
Whether you are thinking about a home addition or a simple kitchen remodel the process can be a mystery: Do you start by calling a remodeling contractor? Or should you select a designer or architect first? Do I need a designer? Can I move a wall? Am I overbuilding for my neighborhood? All valid concerns. Renovation consultants are individuals or companies that guide homeowners through the home renovation process from beginning to end.
While services vary depending on your needs, a renovation consultant can help you put together an action-plan that makes sense. This plan should include establishing a budget and developing a prioritized list of needs and wishes, and should help you understand what to expect before, during, and after, the home renovation. If needed, the consultant can become part of your permanent home renovation team to ensure that communication, quality, and scheduling are maintained. Acting as your agent on site, they are your eyes and ears while you continue to live your life.
Renovation consultants also can assist you in the purchase of a property. In some cases buying a “fixer-upper” is the best option for you. It may be that you are looking a specific location where there are few choices or your budget mandates that you buy a fixer. Whatever the case spending $400 to $700 before finalizing the purchase of a property can prevent surprises down the road. By carefully examine the layout, current condition and zoning limitations and then overlaying your needs and wants the consultant can advise you about the design potential and the functional limitations of the property.
While all home renovation projects are unique this is a list of the most common items a good renovation consultant will help you with:
- Assess existing conditions
- Develop project scope
- Complete a Move vs. Remodel analysis to help you determine if you should move or do a home renovation
- Value engineer the project; suggest alternate materials or design approach
- Develop a realistic budget
- Assist in choosing design professionals
- Material selection and specification
- Produce the request for bid or proposal documents
- Review bids/proposals
- Recommend construction professionals
If needed they can also assist with:
- Manage the remodeling contractor
- Monitoring quality control
- Managing the project schedule
- Management of weekly project meetings
- Monitoring payment schedule and payments
- Meditation disputes
- Management of punch list completion