Tips from our clients for a Successful Renovation

After their FABULOUS Kitchen Transformation, our clients, Steve and Celine, were asked if they had any Tips to help others thinking about a Renovation Project.  Here’s a few that they had to offer: 

TIP  1) Make sure you plan well enough in advance so that all contractors involved can be available at a time that you choose as most convenient for your family. 

DKGC says:  Your home and schedule will definitely be disrupted during a major renovation, and you want to time if for when you can be outside or away from the house as often as possible. This means initial contact is best made with a general contractor at least 6 months in advance of the start time of the project. 

TIP 2) It’s vital that you and your family are compatible with the contractor(s) and crew – they’ll be in your house for a long time, sometimes while you’re still in your jammies, even without your first coffee, so a good working relationship with everyone who will be integrating with your family is essential.

DKGC says:   If you have a personal conflict with any crew member, or you feel they aren’t compatible with your family, if anyone is rude or isn’t doing the job you think they should be doing, speak to the project manager immediately – not only is it essential that our customers are happy, our project costs and reputation are at stake when a crew member doesn’t meet expectations.

TIP 3) Once you’ve chosen a contractor to do the job, make sure you listen to and trust their suggestions in the planning stage and during the project – you hired them for their expertise and skills, and usually they will have great ideas that can enhance the project. 

DKGC says:  We love to share ideas with our clients, and often we can learn from them, too,  but it’s important to realize that some designs or “wish list” items cannot be incorporated into the project – if they don’t meet the building code, for example, or are too expensive for the budget, or will mean compromising the schedule or the integrity of the whole project.  We’ll do our best, though, to make it work, and hope that our clients listen to the suggestions we have along the way, too.   

TIP 4) Save your $$ until you can afford what you want & do the job right the first time, instead of re-doing it and spending a lot more later to get what you wanted in the beginning. Celine and Steve were so happy that they listened to our advice and didn’t compromise 2 major changes to the project that added to the original budget:  sanding and staining the hardwood floors in the adjacent living room so that they matched seamlessly with the new ones in the kitchen, and removing a wall to create an open floor plan.  This meant adding a very expensive steel beam to replace the wall and support the roof, but together this additional work changed the entire design of the whole living space, and they agree that it would have been a very different and disappointing end result without that change.

DKGC says:  Not everyone can afford to do everything on their “wish list”.  But on any given project, we’ll work with you to make sure that most, if not all, of your priorities, are met. Often we can find a less expensive alternative, or can suggest another idea that will make you just as happy.  Or, it may be more practical to plan the project in stages so that you can budget for the work to be done in stages over a couple of years. 


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