How to Avoid Renovation Mistakes: Part 3

How to Avoid Renovation Mistakes: Part 3

Now that you are working with an architect, you have realistic expectations and know what your priorities are. That leads us to the third most common mistake: unintended consequences. What does that mean? I think this example will make it clear.

We had a homeowner that came to us after they added a two story space to their house. They had room available in their yard and added on to their house, but their problem was that they couldn’t figure out how to get to their new addition from their current home! They had never planned for how the new space would integrate into their existing home. Now, they would have to redo much of what they’d just done, in order to make things work, spending more time and money to accomplish what they could have done in the first place with just a little professional help.

Another example of unintended consequences is having several projects you want to accomplish without the funds to achieve them all at once. Many people may want to renovate their kitchen but have future plans to add on a family room, master bedroom suite, or finish their basement. So, why not just do the kitchen and worry about the other projects later?

Because, a lack of planning for the future today can lead to a problem tomorrow. I have had clients who are looking to expand their main level to create a new great room space, but they just renovated their kitchen the year before and unfortunately, the best place for the expansion would require them to take out many of the brand new cabinets they had just put in the year before. Frustrating. It costs enough to do renovation projects once, so it can be discouraging to have to pay for it again just because of poor planning.

The key to avoiding unintended consequences is designing with the end in mind. Work with your architect to define your immediate, mid-range, and long term goals for your home. Then have your architect develop a master plan with each project phased in such a way to minimize the amount of rework that will be required. This way each phase of the project can be completed and enjoyed without tearing everything apart when you want to tackle the next phase. Design with the end in mind.

Keep checking our blog for the next and final installment in this series where we discuss our fourth pitfall of hiring an unqualified contractor.