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Journal

December 28th

Remodeling Tips for 2012

With the right plan and remodel team, you can have a dream bathroom like this in just a few weeks.

As we enter into the new year, you might be thinking about doing a little remodeling of your home. Remodeling was our most popular service at Style on a Shoestring in 2011, and for good reason: you can reinvent your home much more economically than selling and buying a new one.

What I’ve found in consulting on remodels is that a lot of people think remodeling has only one path: Hire a contractor, write a check and wait for the room(s) to be finished.

Not only is that not true, it’s probably the worst mistake you could make with your home. Contractors are wonderful and they never cease to amaze me with their work, but they’re typically not designers. So unless you are an extremely educated consumer who knows every detail of your home remodel project, you will need a designer. I cannot tell you the number of clients who have contacted me too late – after they realize the kitchen they thought would be perfect is far from it, or the furniture doesn’t fit in the new room, or the carpet is making the paint give off an undesirable peach hue.

Although you shouldn’t rely solely on your contractor, the remodeling process does typically start there. Make sure your contractor is license and insured, and that you feel comfortable in your relationship with him or her. The contractor should understand what you want, and provide you a quote in writing. Once you select your contractor, do some shopping for materials and note what they cost so you have a better idea of your budget.

Next is the designer. If you go with a full-service firm, they will have a designer on staff who can help you. Conversely, some design firms employ contractors. But if you use a contractor who works alone, you should still consider hiring a designer, not necessarily throughout the project but perhaps for just a few hours to help you choose materials and select colors. That little extra expenditure could very well save your entire remodeling project.

For example, before hiring us one of our now-happy clients tried to manage her remodel on her own. Guess what? The painter she selected didn’t know recessed lights were going to be installed in her ceiling, so not only did she overpay since he bid on painting the entire ceiling, but he had to return to patch and paint around the lights, adding to the project’s cost. And that’s just one small example of how a designer’s guidance can save time and money.

Seemingly simple decisions such as where to place lighting can cause problems if you don't work with a designer on your remodel.

At Style on a Shoestring, we do all levels of remodel design work, from one-time consultation to complete project management. If we manage the project for you, we are there from start to finish to make sure your blue wall is the right shade, your cabinets are hung properly, and your new sectional doesn’t overpower your room. We help you stay in budget, and we double-check everything throughout the process to give you the best possible results. Because that’s what really matters to us: your happiness.

If we can help you with any aspect of design for your remodel, please contact us.