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Home Remodeling: Philosophy, Design & Execution
In this post, we explain our remodel philosophy within the context of the basics of design and execution that apply to any remodeling project. We cover the subject in these inter-related topics:
We cover these topics in other parts of this website:
- Bathroom remodeling
- Kitchen remodeling
- Interior space remodeling
- Home management and enhancement
- Yard & garden remodeling
Please see our home page.
Our philosophy of home remodeling has three components:
- The need to see a remodeling or renovation project in the overall context of living in the home way into the future.
- The need to see the elements of design that apply throughout the project through the holistic prism of Universal Design.
- The imperative of detailed advanced planning and thorough record keeping.
We arrived at this measured approach by observing clients who approached remodeling with a single thought that can be summarized in these words: “Man, what a dump we bought. Let’s fix it quick!”
And our response was: “Not so fast. Think it through!” We did not want them to be disappointed.
The Home in the Context of Life
This website is an overall guide to remodeling. And remodeling should be more than the simple upgrading or renovation of what is in front of us as we contemplate our home.
Of course, the simple beautification of one’s home is a major part of the project, and we certainly don’t want to downplay it. But it is not the whole picture.
Imagine a Complete Picture
The complete picture lies beyond what is obviously in front of us. We need to see how we can use the occasion of the remodeling project as a way to enhance our lifestyle going into the future. So our task is to mold our home towards that purpose.
This is why, in the introductory post on the home page, you will see subjects like decluttering and the creation of zen zones. And you will also see topics like home defense and designing for disaster. We include them because, in some respects, they require home modifications, and you can use the remodeling project to plan for them.
We recognize that those particular topics may not be important to you. And you may have different priorities. But the point is that you should look ahead in your own life at home to see what things may be important to you in the future and that you should plan for in your remodeling project.
In short, remodeling your home may be a short-term project but it can have a long-term effect on your life. What’s more, if you account for the big picture future in your planning, you will save yourself money and aggravation in the long run.
The elements of design, the use of color, and the vagaries of trends and fashion have a long history. And we review them all on this site. But they should be seen in the context of who we are designing for – the human being in all stages of development.
This is why we discuss Universal Design and its subset, aging in place, as important considerations in the planning of a home remodeling project. And, for good measure, we add the ancient design philosophy of Feng Shui.
You will also find discussions of design elements and principles and various aspects of the importance of color.
A successful home remodel execution is not easy. But on this site, you will find a planning and execution overview and checklist for a remodel project.
We will take you step-by-step through some thought processes, get you into the right mindset, and provide some practical tools for the best way to approach a home remodeling project.
In short, we are going to arm you for success. And the first key point is that most of this happens before you even consider picking up a DIY hammer or calling a contractor.
We also link out to other posts on this site that are specific to more detailed aspects of home remodeling.
The Right Approach to Remodeling
A home remodeling project can have a major emotional and financial impact on one’s life and is not to be approached lightly. The impact can be either very harmful or very beneficial.
If not addressed in the right way, it can cause one to suffer severe anxiety, frustration, disappointment, and the financial damage of wasted money.
On the other hand, if you do it the right way, it can lead to a feeling of intense satisfaction and achievement plus the knowledge that you have made a sound investment in your home and that you will be enjoying the result for a long time. Plus, you can have a lot of fun along the way.
Our goal here is to help you get your remodeling project started out in the right way so that you have a good experience and no regrets.
So, what is the right way? The right way is to start organized, stay organized, and keep records. And also stay patient in the knowledge that this is going to take longer than you think. Records and a patient mindset are the only sure path to success and sanity with your remodel project. So be prepared to deal with a ton of paper. We talk about record keeping later but you start with a system. It can be as simple as a 3-ring binder.
The Key to Organizing a Home Remodel Project
The key to success is to put it all down on paper. All of it – from your initial thinking process, through the financing, contracting, design, and planning stages, to the details of the execution of the project, to the generation of the final punch list at completion.
And make written notes to yourself all the way through, so you don’t forget anything. Keep a notepad by your bed – I’m not kidding!
Promise yourself you will do this. You will keep your sanity and avoid mistakes. It is a lot of work but it will save you money.
However, if all that sounds too daunting or too much of a pain in the butt, our follow-up advice is – don’t do the project!
That said, and now that you are mentally prepared, let’s get down to the right approach to the remodeling project itself. This is what you need to accomplish before you even talk to an interior designer or contractor.
Planning and Record Keeping
This site emphasizes the importance of planning and record keeping
This site is NOT about the electrical, plumbing, tile, drywall, carpentry, etc trades. It is NOT about DIY projects. You can find these subjects very well covered elsewhere, especially on YouTube.
Rather, this site is about how to approach your remodel in the first place. Whether it is the whole house, kitchen, bathroom, or other. This is BEFORE you even think about DIY or calling a contractor.
All this comes under the well-known 6Ps rubric: Proper Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance.
And it is by thinking ahead carefully, in great detail, writing it all down, and organizing your thoughts that you will have a successful project and save money.
Using This Site
Our goal on this site is to answer all the questions that come up when people start to think about a remodeling project. These are questions like: What are the steps to remodeling a house? And: How do I plan a complete house renovation? It’s all about planning.
We suggest you find your way around this site by referring to the contents on the home page and following the six main category links.