You can see it in your mind.
It's the renovation project of your dreams.
It's the work that will make everything about your home modern, clean, and perfectly suited to your needs. Lots of bright, natural light, and the newest finishes on your cabinets and hardware. Beautiful modern paint colors adorning the finest wood trim.
In order to make that vision in your mind a reality, your next task is to make sure that others see that vision, too. In order for you to be totally satisfied with your construction project, your contractor must understand exactly what you're looking for, so that they may bring it to life.
To ensure total alignment about your vision between you and your contractor means that you must communicate your vision across four categories.
The most important part of construction success is ensuring that you will be able to do the things you want in the space that you will have.
For home renovations, this means that a successful project will give you the amenities and abilities you desire. It can be very difficult to envision the end result of a construction project when looking at and living in the existing space. By approaching the construction project from the viewpoint of utility rather than the existing space, you allow yourself and your contractor to think more creatively about what the new space could function and look like.
List out your must-have amenities and abilities, without taking space into consideration. Brainstorm every last function you would like to have in the space, and jot it down in a list.
Perhaps you want to be able to do laundry in the second floor, so that you don't need to lug every load of clothing down and up the stairs. Perhaps you want to be able to fold your clothes in the laundry room rather than on top of your bed. Perhaps you want to have your closet right next to the new second floor laundry so that you don't need to go far once the clothes are folded. In these few sentences, we've already started to see the functional beginnings of a second floor laundry that may not have seemed possible when looking at the existing space. Now we can take this prioritized list of desired amenities and see about fitting them inside the existing second floor space and making as few concessions as possible.
Understand that too many amenities or abilities will not be possible in the finite space of an already-built home, but this is the time where you will prioritize your need-to-haves and want-to-haves so that you may discuss them with your contractor and see what is feasible in the space and budget at hand.
While the matter of aesthetics is a subjective one, it is important that you are objectively satisfied with the finished look of your project.
Communicate your aesthetic goal with your contractor by showing them examples of homes that have your goal look from Instagram, Pinterest, and elsewhere.
Understand that the most-liked homes on Instagram and Pinterest likely have finishes and appliances that command top-dollar prices, but a similar look can be achieved at lower prices by installing hardware from different brands. Typically, the most striking and attractive looks can be boiled down to a handful of stylistic elements that can be implemented into the shape and layout of the space, rather than by purchasing expensive finishes. Bright walls and high ceilings for modern contemporary, charming colors and wainscoting for colonial charm - the building materials can develop the character of a home without the purchase of very expensive brand-name finishes like windows, hardware, and appliances.
If you present your aesthetic vision to your contractor clearly and with the support of example photos, you will be on your way to having the space of your dreams.
A budget for a construction project is a single resource, money, that is paid to a contractor in order to be converted into three different resources: time, labor, and materials. The higher the budget is, the more flexibility you will have with the allocation of time, labor, and materials on your project. If your budget is lower than the requirements of your desired utility or aesthetic, you will need to prioritize the elements of those categories that are must-haves, and remove some of the less critical components.
You must have a clearly defined budget for your construction project, and that value must be communicated very clearly with your contractor in order for your project to be a success. If you were to withhold information about your budget form your contractor, they will be flying blind - trying to complete the project without knowing the conditions for success. This requires trust in the relationship between you and your contractor, and you will be rewarded for it. Transparency about your construction budget will allow you and your contractor to collaborate and determine which components of your project will be prioritized, and thus will ensure the best possibility of your satisfaction with the finished results of your project.
The schedule and timeline of a construction project is an important topic to discuss with your contractor. Your contractor will be able to communicate with you what is possible to be performed in what period of time
There are elements of construction timelines that are out of the control of the contractor - plan review, building inspections, inclement weather, and supply chain lead times are all inflexible variables in a project that may change greatly with no notice. That is why there is always some need to budget a time margin for unforeseen contingencies at the start of the project.
Outside of these third-party variables, the pace of work on the construction project is limited by the budget and the space. As explained in the previous category, budget determines time and labor. If the budget is increased, there can be more labor on site for longer periods of time. The last limiting factor of the construction schedule is the space - as in literally, how many laborers can safely work on the site.
Having the conversation with your contractor about your timeline for project completion will ensure that you both understand the conditions for success on the project, and will have enough information to plan ahead to ensure smooth progress as much as possible.
These four categories each present a different condition of success that must be clearly defined by you, and clearly communicated with your contractor. Having a contractor who understands the necessity of these categories and communicates project progress to you in terms of these categories will be a vital asset for your home renovation. We proudly offer that as our service to our clients.
For more information on residential construction services by J. Campoli & Sons, please see our residential construction page.