The Most Important Question You Need To Ask Yourself Before Remodeling
If you are considering taking on a home remodel, there are most likely a thousand questions rolling around in your mind.
We know these thoughts all too well!
We see anxiety and feelings of overwhelm all the time when we first meet with clients.
And you know what? It isn’t surprising!
Taking on a large time and financial commitment is something that should be taken seriously.
This is the very reason why we wanted to share a way to help you discover your vision and explore options as you plan for a remodel.
These are the very same effective methods we use when planning our own remodels and when working with clients.
You could be planning a kitchen, bathroom, or whole home remodel- the goal is the same.
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In order to get you started, we wanted to provide a worksheet for you to complete that goes along with the topic.
The worksheet is a helpful tool for you to keep track of your thoughts and it can be shared with a spouse, partner, or family member who may be on this journey with you.
We know that if you’re still reading, you are motivated to move forward, and exploring that motivation is how we will kickoff this topic!
Find Your WHY
Most likely you have heard the phrase “find your WHY” many times, so how does it apply to a home remodel?
It is human nature to seek change because there is some type of discomfort in the current circumstances. For your specific situation that discomfort may be coming from a thousand different places, anything from not enough space for a growing family, to feeling the pressure of "keeping up with the Joneses". No matter the reason, it clearly brought you to the place of seriously considering a remodel.
It is important to understand and embrace your motivation behind deciding to remodel for a few reasons:
to specify the ultimate goal of the remodel
to define the goal when multiple people are involved
to offer light at the end of the tunnel
Wondering what this means? We'll explain.
Your WHY Specifies the Ultimate Goal of the Remodel
Explicitly stating the reason behind why you're motivated to remodel is really important.
If you're initially motivated to remodel because you've noticed stepping into the tub is getting more difficult with age, designing the new bathroom should start with an emphasis of the importance of having a minimal or curbless shower to reduce that concern for the future.
It may seem obvious, but we have noticed many people can become overwhelmed as they get farther along in their remodel planning. As the cost and decisions pile up, they may lose sight of the original reasons behind the decision to remodel and settle for less than they should, which detracts from the value of making the change in the first place.
Your WHY Defines the Goal when Multiple People are Involved
We have often found that spouses and partners may believe they are both on the same page about a remodel, but using the same word does not mean they have the same definition. Here's a - very simplistic - example, a wife says to her husband, "Should we remodel the kitchen this spring?" husband replies, "Sure, honey."
In this brief conversation, they think they have both agreed, but have they? We have to consider their definitions.
The wife's definition of a “kitchen remodel”:
Tearing out walls, cabinets, flooring, scraping ceilings, adding quartz countertops and a marble backsplash.
The husband’s definition of a “kitchen remodel”:
Painting cabinets and replacing laminate countertop with new laminate countertop.
As you can see, the same word can have wildly different meanings to each person.
Talking about the reasons why the kitchen needs a remodel from each individual's point of view, such as feeling too cramped or non-functional appliances, will help make the process of solving that problem, including the steps to take, clear to both parties.
Your WHY Offers Light at the End of the Tunnel
The third reason is that quite honestly, even in a perfect scenario, remodeling can be stressful. It can push even the most easy-going people out of their comfort zone to have contractors in and out of their home, not be able to use a kitchen or bathroom (or both), constantly having to clean to reduce dust, and all the other joys of construction.
We have noticed there are typically two types of personalities people take on at the beginning of a home remodel when we discuss potential stress.
The first is very confident that nothing will bother them and they believe they will be ultra-flexible no matter the situation.
The second is very concerned about the entire process. They are worried about various aspects of the construction being out of their control and try to find ways in which they can control them.
Unfortunately for both parties, neither can maintain their attitude for long. That is because remodeling your home is a complex process that includes many different moving parts. Inevitably something will be out of their control or throw a wrench in their picture-perfect day.
We find that people who can keep the ultimate goal of the remodel in mind are better able to focus on the future outcome instead of the current less-than-ideal situation.
We highly recommend this exercise for anyone embarking on a home remodel:
Take a moment to write down potential issues or concerns you may have about the process in advance.
Go through each issue or concern and discuss potential ways you could handle them if they were to happen.
In addition, thinking of a few ways to reduce stress and practicing them throughout the remodel process can help to keep anxiety at bay. That can include things like going for a walk, calling a friend, reading a book, or some other activity that is relaxing for the individual.
Now that we have discussed the reasons finding your WHY is so important, it's time to get started! Grab some paper or print out our Find Your WHY worksheet and get to work answering these questions:
How long have you been considering a remodel?
What specifically inspired you to consider taking on this project? Did something show you a need for improvement in your space?
If you have a spouse, partner, or family living with you, does this remodel meet a mutual need for those around you?
What three things would be improved in your daily life by completing this
What uncertainties or fears do you have about remodeling your space? For each insecurity, try take a minute to list one way you could address it in advance, or a way to handle it in the moment.
Come up with one or two methods that you can use when stress or uncertainty arise during the remodel process.
Don't forget to share it with your significant other or family members to make sure you're on the same page!
What is your WHY? We hope that going through this process has been a good way for you to begin planning. We believe knowing the reasons why you are making this investment will be a strong foundation from which to plan a successful project!
Has discovering your motivation helped to inspire you as you consider your remodel?
Share it with us in the comments below!
If you’re ready to go on to the next step, check out our article on How to Identify Your Priorities to Have a Successful Home Remodel to keep the ball rolling!