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Establishing Your Remodeling Priorities

In order to get the most out of your remodeling project, it is important that you and your remodeling firm know and understand the priority order of what is most important to you.

Priorities for the Project
There are several methods of determining your priorities for a remodeling project. Here are a few:

  1. Some people use the “bucket” method. They determine what they need, want and “would be nice to have but can live with out.” They use these bucket categories to help set their priorities.
  2. Another way of looking at priorities is to use the “pain and importance” method. List and rank the things about your home that provide you the most pain. The kitchen and entertaining areas might be too small to accommodate your family on holidays; the laundry and pantry being in the basement may require you to run up and down the steps too many times a day. Perhaps you have no place to work and read in peace. Then make a list and rank what is most important to you. You may have things on your list of things that are important that are not on your list of things that cause you pain. You may find that something that causes you pain may not be as important to you as something else you want to do. Now compare the two lists and rank your priorities based on the combination of both pain and importance.
  3. “Value Engineering” is of most importance when you are doing a larger project.  It means allocating different percentages of your budget to different aspects of your remodeling project, based on your interests. For example, you might be doing a kitchen, addition, deck, family room, dining room, and powder room. If you are a more typical homeowner, you may place value of the design and quality of the materials and products used in all areas equally. However if you are a gourmet cook, you might want to spend ½ your budget on the kitchen, getting a high end commercial grade range, oven, freezer and refrigerator.

Priorities for Selecting a Remodeler
Before you start talking with prospective remodeling companies, you should try and determine what your priorities are for selecting the contractor. Here are some things you should consider and rank:

  1. Reputation
  2. Certifications and qualifications
  3. Experience and expertise
  4. Portfolio of work
  5. Quality of design
  6. Quality of construction
  7. Durability of materials to be used
  8. Quality of products to be used
  9. Maintenance requirements
  10. Energy efficiency and costs
  11. Level of service
  12. Chemistry/Personality with remodeler
  13. Communications style
  14. Schedule
  15. Price
  16. Value
  17. Trust you have in the remodeler
  18. Level of involvement you want to have or not have
  19. Level of guidance you want or don’t want
  20. Warranty