I remember a contractor friend of mine in Oregon, Paul Winans, once
told me, “You have to go slow to go faster.” I was much younger then, so
the idea of going slow to go faster didn’t resonate like it does today.
In my experience, the secret to a successful remodel is a short remodel.
No one really wants workers coming in and out of the house for weeks
or months on end. It may be exciting for the first few days, but believe
me; I’ve heard many homeowners say that dining out at local restaurants
gets old after about a week. They also feel the same about showering at
the gym during a bathroom remodel. And very few people will tell you
that an addition to a house doesn’t disrupt their lives in some way.
How does the amount of time spent in discomfort get reduced? It’s
actually quite simple — through careful planning and feasibility. Often,
contractors are in such a hurry to get a contract signed and get that
first down payment that they skip this process or don’t give it its due
So, how do you take advantage of Feasibility and Planning?
1) Work through all the details with your remodeler – everything should be figured out ahead of time.
2) Avoid allowances like the plague – unless you like writing checks and lots of delays.
3) Expect to be shown line item costs for items you want – don’t
settle for vague descriptions and dollar amounts. Take control of your
4) Make sure all the materials are ordered and delivered prior to the demolition.
If you follow these four easy steps, your project will be done in 40%
less time, and you might just have fun throughout the remodel. You may
really hate the way your space looks now, but you will hate a
long-drawn-out remodel even more.
To read further about planning for your remodel. Read “What happens when you bust the remodeling budget”?