What to Expect When Expecting to Remodel
I have a rule for remodeling and interior design projects, which suggests only 70 percent of the overall plans will be solid while the remaining 30 percent are considered “wiggle room” that are subject to constant change. I cannot tell you how much peace of mind this rule has brought me over the years.
There are certain things that can easily be locked in from the get-go, such as appliances, flooring, and door hardware. There are other things best left loose, like furniture placement and which art pieces should go where.
Each time I'm checking in on a project, I start troubleshooting and making on-the-fly decisions once the project has gotten underway.
For HGTV Dream Home 2016, I decided to leave a lot of decisions loose until I could visualize the home after it was gutted and framing was in place.
For an insider's look at how to navigate a design project, follow along as I reveal how my project manager AJ Lyle and I remained patient to roll with the punches that were thrown our way.
During my second check-in at the house after the demolition was complete and most of the framing was up, I had to alter some of my window treatment plans to account for a change in height due to the transoms above each window.
To ensure a finished length that wouldn't be too short, my installer and I made the panels two inches shorter than the total height of the wall. This allows us to move the drapery rod up or down for a perfect fit.
Hands down, the most fulfilling part of a remodel is when interior framing is complete and new windows are installed. This is when you start to get a true sense for scale and proportion as well as the overall lighting scheme of the space.
Once framing is up, I usually bring painter's tape with me to ensure my intended furniture will fit as it played out on paper. This is an excellent time to check how paint colors and fabrics read. I always do a final color check once walls have been insulated and sheetrock is installed.
Although I was thrilled seeing the house framed out, it was hard to get too excited since there was still no air conditioning and it was the dead of summer in coastal Florida where the humidity is similar to the Amazonian rainforest.
When it comes to millwork, it's likely that creative details will slightly change once it's time to install things like railings or trim due to how things need to be finished. I usually plan to meet my contractors during the installation day to make creative changes together and ensure a perfect end product without extra costs or headache.
To track any creative changes, it's smart to mark up your plans with a pencil and use as a checklist when it comes time to tackle your final punch list.
One of the most irritating parts of renovations or simple decorating jobs is keeping a contractor waiting if materials have not shown up. For example, twice in the past month plumbers have shown up to my house to install faucets only to find out they came with missing parts.
In response, I'm running out of the house to the nearest place to find extra parts while the pro is at the house prepping the install. While I'm out, I have an important question and my smart phone dies. To avoid this, I have a fully charged external battery with me before I start any project-related runs.
A massive part of remodeling, which you'll never see but makes a huge impact, is insulation. After the interior walls were reframed for new windows and doors, several days were devoted to adding new energy-efficient insulation. This is an exciting time because once the insulation is done, it's time for drywall.
Once drywall is up, do you know what's next? Instant gratification! Yep, that's the point when the property actually starts to look like a home with walls. So if you can keep your patience up to the point of insulation, it's smooth sailing from there on out, folks.
As the day came to a close, it was exciting to think that my next trip back to Merritt Island from Atlanta would involve an actual house with actual walls, actual working plumbing and functioning indoor lighting. It's the simple things, folks.