How to Identify Your Priorities to Have a Successful Home Remodel
Repeat after me: Preparation is key!
If you have ever remodeled your home before, you will agree that remodeling is definitely a learning experience.
We say this with humility as we have had our fair share of difficult learning experiences along the way with our own projects!
If you’re considering a home remodel, your excitement to pick tile or flooring may sometimes have you missing important steps in your remodel planning that can potentially cause big issues down the road.
As a result of learning the hard way, we are big believers in putting an emphasis on preparation!
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As we discussed in The Most Important Question You Need To Ask Yourself Before Remodeling, the first step to planning your project is to start by “Finding Your WHY”. The answer to that question will be the foundation from which you start to plan your remodel. If you haven’t already checked it out, we recommend you start there!
It is really important to remember, there aren’t cookie cutter answers to your remodel needs. They should be customized to fit your present and future need. In this article, we want to take you through the next step in the planning process, which will help you identify your priorities!
Why Do You Need to Identify Your Priorities?
The purpose of identifying your priorities is to:
Give you a starting point
Create a more focused design
Clarify how to spend the budget
Believe me, I am all about efficiency! If this was not an important step of the process, I would not tell you to do it. So, let’s dig into each reason for why identifying your priorities is so important:
1. Identifying Your Priorities Gives You a Starting Point
Let's imagine for a minute that you're planning a last minute party. The guests are set to arrive in an hour and you haven't yet done any planning.
You rush to the grocery store and start grabbing whatever looks good- chips, burgers, hotdogs, veggies, cookies, cake- everything you know you and other people will enjoy.
In theory, there is nothing wrong with doing it this way. You have plenty of great items for the party!
The negative to this approach is that you probably also spent more money than you would have if you had planned in advance and wrote down a list before heading to the store.
In the same way, sitting down and identifying the most important 3-5 things you want accomplished by remodeling your space, then ranking them in importance, will allow you to know where you are starting when you head into the "shopping" phase of your project which includes hiring a contractor, picking your finishes and all the other big decisions ahead.
Related: Can I Afford to Remodel My Kitchen?
2. Identifying Your Priorities Creates a More Focused Design
Time and time again the same scene plays out in our first meeting with new clients. We ask what they envision for their space they rattle off a huge laundry list of items that they want: shiplap on walls, hardwood floors throughout, crown moulding, marble tile, subway tile, brass hardware, industrial lighting, farmhouse sinks- you name it, it is probably on the list.
While it is great to have an idea of the things you like, an impossibly long list of wants makes it difficult to focus on important design elements of a space.
When you have taken the time to identify your priorities, you will be able to narrow down your list the most important items to you, then it is easier to select a focal point, create balance and develop a practical style for how you will use your space on a daily basis.
Sharing these priorities with a contractor or designer, if you choose to work with one, will also ensure better success with them creating the space you envision.
3. Identifying Your Priorities Clarifies How to Spend the Budget
Here's the truth: Everyone has a budget but no one really likes to discuss their budget.
You can daydream all day about affording every item on your "wants" list, but usually some compromise has to be made once you get into the nitty-gritty of all the costs of a remodel.
The most expensive items often aren't even the cosmetic things like the countertops or paint colors.
They tend to be things like the beams needed to open a load bearing wall or updates needed to an electrical system to bring it to code. When these items must be addressed, they can use large portions of the budget which in turn cuts into the budget for the finishes.
Writing out your priorities makes it clear to you, your spouse or family members, and your team (contractor, designer, etc.) what should absolutely be included to create your dream space.
Ranking the items means that even if you can't have your top five, at least you may be able to have one or two most important items. It also allows your team to make suggestions that support your design and budget goals most effectively.
Now that we have discussed why it is important to identify your priorities for your remodel, it's time to get started focusing in on your personal answers to these questions. Grab some paper and a pen, it is time to get to work!
List 3 to 5 priorities for your remodel: These are things that will make you feel that the remodel was a success! Make sure to be specific, for instance, removing a wall to open up the kitchen, quartz countertops in the bathroom, replacing tile with hardwood flooring in the entryway, and so on.
Rank your listed priorities: Look at the priorities you wrote down and take a moment to consider their importance to you. List them in order with 1 being the most important and 5 being the least important in the overall picture.
Compare to your WHY: Looking at these priorities, compare them to the reasons why you decided to pursue a remodel that we explored in The Most Important Question You Need To Ask Yourself Before Remodeling. Do your listed priorities support your ultimate goal/s for yourself and your household? If the answer is no, are there other priorities can you add or remove to ensure you maximize the positive outcome of your project?
Don't forget to share it with your significant other or family members to make sure you're on the same page!
We hope that by taking these steps to prepare for your remodel, you will feel confident moving forward, clearly expressing your wants, and making sure you know where to spend the budget. Having these written down gives you a great place to start communicating with your contractor and others in your life and also can make you feel more confident in your decisions!
What priorities do you have for your own remodel? Share them with us below!