Bellevue Interior Designer - Timeless Kitchen - Remodel Success Key Points

Key Points for a Successful Remodel

As an interior designer, I strive to improve the remodeling process for a smooth, enjoyable, and successful experience.  It’s not uncommon to hear about projects that go over budget, take longer than expected, and cause stress. So, I’d like to share some key points for successful remodel.

Is your budget realistic?

Reach out to us or a few professionals in your area and inquire about the average cost of remodeling projects. Unfortunately, in my 15 years of experience, I have observed that the cost of remodeling has never decreased.  To gather reliable information, consult trustworthy sources that provide data on average remodeling costs such as Cost vs. Value Report.

Is your timeline or deadline realistic?

To ensure quality and prevent errors, construction projects must adhere to specific steps.  We do not advocate for shortcuts or rushed approaches.  It is crucial to have realistic expectations regarding deadlines and timelines.  If there are any logistical concerns, please communicate them with us to make appropriate arrangements prior to construction.

Define scope clearly at the beginning of the project

Defining the scope of work is crucial for accurate bidding from contractors, smoother construction processes, and a more efficient design process.  It helps prevent the need for additional work and reduces the likelihood of exceeding budgets and construction timelines.  Adding work to a project after it has been awarded can diminish your negotiating power with the contractor.  Expanding the scope of work may result in increased costs and potential delays, limiting your ability to negotiate favorable terms. However, it’s important to note that changes are a natural part of this process and should be welcomed.

Ask for detailed break down of estimate

When requesting a bid from the contractor, be sure to ask for a detailed breakdown of material and labor costs.  It is common for material costs to be listed as an allowance until the actual materials are selected and quoted.  It is important to ensure that the allowance provided is realistic.  At Hatano Studio, we create a remodel list and material budget list to ensure effective communication and accurately include your desired elements in the project.

Be realistic

Clients often inquire about the cost of additional works, even when the contractor’s estimate already exceeds the budget.  It’s important to recognize that adding more elements will naturally result in higher costs. When such requests are made, it can give the impression that there is no set budget in place.  This can lead to a loss of the intention to work within the original budget, ultimately undermining your advantage.

Including a Cushion in Your Budget: Accounting for Unexpected Expenses

In construction, unexpected situations can arise during a project, such as repairs for hidden damages, electrical and plumbing upgrades (especially for older homes), or required building code upgrades.  Despite thoroughness, budgeting oversights can occur.  Including a buffer in your budget is essential to handle these unforeseen circumstances.

Plan, Plan, and Plan

You never over plan and over prepare.  To ensure realization of your vision and design, you cannot remodel on the fly.  That is why we prepare a set of construction documents to communicate with you and meticulously review your needs beforehand as much as possible.  These documents will be used by contractors at the construction site. Of course, changes may still occur!

Work with experienced professionals and build a “team”

The saying “You get what you pay for” holds true in many cases.  It is unfortunate but important to acknowledge.  Selecting  a team of experienced vendors, manufacturers, designers, and contractors is a crucial step towards a successful remodel.  Read more about questions to ask contractor before hiring.

Maintain open communication with interior designer and contractor

I cannot stress enough the significance of effective communication throughout the process.  It is essential to be able to openly discuss any concerns or issues with both the interior designer and contractor.  At the same time, we kindly request that text messages during after hours and weekends be kept to a minimum. For urgent matters, please communicate via phone call, and for general business matters, email is preferred.

Embrace the fun and creative aspects of the project

Regrettably, procurement and logistics pose significant constraints on our work and the ordering process.  Despite our efforts to minimize delays, they can still occur.  It is important to establish realistic timelines that align with the project’s requirements. Interestingly, excessive worry can sometimes lead to unexpected outcomes.  However, rest assured that we will make every effort to take care of your needs, allowing you to sit back, relax, and focus on the enjoyable aspects of the project!

Please contact us if you like to learn more about working with Hatanao Studio. Read additional helpful information in our FAQ & More.