One thing I hear a lot is “our remodeling project took twice as long and cost twice as much as the contractor told me it would”.
There are several reasons this can happen, most of which can be avoided by getting a neutral, third party (ie. someone unrelated to the contractor or architect) help get and keep your remodeling project on the right foot. That third-party can evaluate the existing conditions of your home, help you develop a game plan for the project with a realistic budget and schedule, and then establish – and enforce – the budget and project timeline. I would recommend that you hire a renovation consultant (also known as a remodeling coach) to help you set up your project for success.
For example, before you begin your project, these are just a few of the questions that arise:
Where do I begin?
What can be done in this space?
Can I add a bathroom in “that” space?
Do I hire a contractor or an architect first?
How much is this going to cost?
How long is it going to take?
Can I live here while the work is being done?
How can I get more of what I want with a small budget?
The chances are that you will get different answers to these questions from the architect, the designer, the plumber or the builder – if only because their interests are all subtly different to yours. The best way to get answers to these questions is to hire a remodeling coach, or renovation consultant, whose interests are more closely aligned with your own.
A renovation consultant will help you determine a realistic budget for your project, prioritize your wants and needs based on that budget, and even help you decide if you should move rather than remodel. At the preliminary meeting with your renovation consultant you will discuss:
What you want to accomplish with the remodel
What is your intended budget
The current condition of your home
What professionals need to be involved and when
After this meeting you should have enough information to decide if you want to proceed and you will know the essentials elements of a remodeling plan. A renovation consultant should be paid on an hourly basis or a fixed price, because if they are compensated on a percentage of the total project cost their interests are not aligned with yours.