There comes a time when a home needs an update. Over time, we begin to notice that the kitchen cabinets are scratched and look tired or dated, the counter tops take a beating and have lost luster, the paint is chipped here and there and has faded and the window seals have broken down and they are now foggy. Or maybe your bathroom has seen better days. The grout is getting moldy and the tile is cracked. It can get irritating when you are looking at these things on a daily basis. You’re so busy, but every time you see it, you mind says, “gosh, I have to fix this soon!”. I understand. And yes, it’s natural for a home to deteriorate. We need to fix and replace many things. When this time comes, a home owner must make several decisions to move forward. But sometimes, we’ve put it off for so long that our desire is to just do it as quickly as possible. But before rushing off to find the first best offer, ask yourselves the following questions to move forward.
- How long are we going to live in this house? If you are planning to live in the house for over 10 years, go ahead and make changes that you will enjoy and don’t worry about the next buyer. By that time, trends will probably have changed. If it’s less than 5 years, ask yourself if it’s worth changing.
- What is our budget? When considering your budget, don’t forget to think about the value of your house and the neighborhood you live in. You don’t want to overspend and put in expensive fixture that will make your house out of sync with the rest of the neighborhood. On the other hand, if you are going to live in the house for the rest of your life, I say, “go ahead and do what you wish!” Yet, I do know people who have overspent on their kitchens and regretted it. Think wisely.
- What is the purpose of the remodel? This is not a commonly asked question, but it’s something I like people to think about. Many times, we think we need or deserve something and justify the remodel to satisfy those desires. Is the remodel to just update something that is broken, or is it to help improve they way you live and function in the space? Does your family need particular needs? Is the current space a poor use of space? Write your answers down on paper and think about it.
- Who do I call? A contractor, an architect or a designer? First, you must ask yourself the above questions. Then think about your needs. Do you just want to replace things in the exact same position? Or do you want a new design to suit your lifestyle and family? Does the current space work for you? Have you thought about knocking down walls and opening up the space? Or do you just need a fresh facelift?
- A contractor, is someone who does the actual construction and has the knowledge of what walls can or can’t come down. Their expertise is on how to build the space structurally. However, they are not trained to design a space. They follow a plan that has been designed and specified. Many contractors do design spaces and I have seen many. But, I find they are well built but do not function as well. They also tend to have poor color combinations and designs.
- An architect is registered designer qualified to design a building. Adding an extension or second floor to your home or changing the roof line? You need an architect. Basically, if you are doing anything outside your existing home you will need their expertise.
- Interior designers are trained to understand the space within the building. We understand how things functions, flow of floor plans and also consider their aesthetic value. A well-designed and constructed space will function better creating a happier and healthier home. Make sure your remodel is well-designed, not just well-built.
Design is a process. It takes time to understand your needs and your space. Often, when we decide on going forward for a remodel, we feel we need it “now“. However, through my experience, rushing is not a good idea. My suggestion is to take your time, think about it, let it stew. Get as many ideas as you can from books, magazines, online photos and talk to people. Give yourself time. The more ideas you have the better decision you will make. If you need advice or help, please call me. I’m here to help! Jenny@threefrogsdesign.com or call 425-444-3046.