It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: the derailed remodel. We are talking about those of you that started a remodeling project with high aspirations that fizzled out and was never completed. This is the stuff of remodeling horror stories. We shudder at the thought. Coming soon to theater near you: “The Day the Kitchen Remodel Stood Still!” And, “I Know What You Didn’t Do Last Summer.”
A week’s vacation, the kids heading back to school, the holidays approached, money ran out . . . Life has a funny way of derailing our plans. All good intentions went out the window when the materials your contractor ordered were on backorder. After a horrifying discovery within the confines of your walls, perhaps a wiring glitch or corroding plumbing, you found yourself dealing with unexpected and expensive new projects that mushroomed from within the original. Your refrigerator didn’t fit properly – darn (@#!$%) those manufacturers for not including the wheels in the measurements! Or maybe a forklift driver skewered your custom made vanity at the factory. Before you knew it your project deadline was a distant memory and your momentum went with it. And so understandably, you decided to pick up the pieces and call it a job “well enough” done.
So, you hooked the old stove back up and rehung the bathroom door while mourning the loss of your dream kitchen and bath. Going about your un-merry way, you wondered, what went wrong? In the words of Victoria Elizabeth Barnes of Houzz, you don’t want your project to “wander off into the woods, dragging you with it through the underbrush.” MBS Interiors is here to help you pick the leaves and sticks out of your hair, and figure out what went wrong. We will provide you with some helpful hints to get your derailed remodel not only back on track, but in forward motion. For those of you who have not yet embarked on the remodeling journey, keep reading!
1. Get Refocused
It’s time to evaluate what went wrong. What happened that got you off track? Did you run out of time, money, or patience? Or maybe all three! For that we offer a special cleaning service that will mop up the puddle of what’s left of you from your kitchen floor. You probably did, or will experience excitement that is quickly replaced by frustration and impatience. If time was the issue, make it a priority to get going, suffer through it and get it over with. You owe it to yourself to achieve that beautiful kitchen you set out to get.
Make a detailed list of what really needs done, get your finances in order, and call your contractor! Yes, it sounds simple but those three tasks can feel insurmountable when you have no time, money, or sanity left. Get realistic and consult your contractor, who may have some excellent suggestions that will give you the look and utility you desire without breaking the budget.
You may decide that the way to get things back in acceptable order is to postpone and choose a more appropriate time in the future for the project. If Thanksgiving and Christmas are just weeks away, don’t pile on more stress. Wait a month or two to revive your remodel. However, you should work on getting everything in order now so that when you are ready to jump back into your project, you can do so prepared and ready to efficiently tie up the loose ends!
2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Setback
Sometimes the simplest tasks turn out to be the ones that test you the most. You very likely came across some issues behind your walls and under your floors. If you haven’t already, prepare yourself for this to happen. No, we aren’t encouraging pessimism, we are encouraging practicality! Since humans don’t come equipped with x-ray vision, it’s better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised, than to expect the best and have your plans tied up in knots. You and your contractor were both frustrated when it came time to remove your built in toilet paper holder in the bathroom. Who knew that it was cemented into the wall? Never mind pondering why a former owner felt compelled to have a toilet paper dispenser withstand an F5 tornado. It’s there and you have to deal with it.
Unfortunately, not all homes were built or remodeled to the standards we expect today. And, even well built homes age and experience growing pains. The idea of jumping back into your remodel is likely complicated by more than issues of time and money. If you remodel is on hold due to complex problems like ancient pipes, settling floors, water damage, know that your home needs to be maintained if you plan on staying there much longer. And, judging by the fact that you are mid-remodel, we will assume you haven’t been house hunting. It’s no fun to have your interior remodel pushed aside by a more serious fundamental issue, but you owe it yourself and the longevity of your home to get everything taken care of. Don’t procrastinate another day! Call up your contractor and work together to forge a plan that will allow you to resume your remodel and fix the newfound problems in the most economic way possible.
3. Have Some Wiggle Room in Your Budget
Yes, we are sure you have heard this before, and probably from us! But, it can’t be said enough: budget, budget, budget. And when in doubt, budget some more. Don’t let money derail your remodel before it’s finished. The older your home, the more you should allocate for financial setbacks. Some say that you should allocate for an extra 5-10% in expenses, while others recommend more. What we do know is that you don’t want to find yourself out of cash, when you are only half done with your project, forcing you to cut corners, or eek – put the brakes on the project altogether, for the second time.
4. Know When to Stop
It has happened to the best of us, you made detailed and organized plans for your remodel. Every color, texture, and material was picked out with careful consideration, and perhaps with the help of an experienced designer. You felt great about your decisions and couldn’t wait for your space to be completed. Until . . . you were leafing through a design magazine and you saw something you didn’t know about before! You thought, “How could I have not known about these (insert one or more) exhaust hoods, tiles, faucets, sinks . . . ?” Quit shopping! Once you have made concrete decisions about your remodel, do yourself (and your contractor) a favor and stop looking. Putting the brakes on your remodel so you could get a different counter-top shade caused setbacks in time and money. Attempting to alter previously placed orders can very well put a huge kink in the works not to mention add to the bottom line. Relax, confident that your original decisions will end up in a beautiful space.
5. Add the Finishing Touches
By the time your remodel is done, you may be exhausted and ready to talk about anything but your kitchen and bath! Your designer and contractor have said their goodbyes and now all that is left is for you to complete the last few finishing touches such as painting and hanging new curtains and decor. Remodeling is like running a marathon, once you get to mile 25 you can’t stop! Power on through the last couple steps of the remodel that are your responsibility and enjoy these simple tasks. Once you hang up your favorite print and display your fluffy new bathroom towels, you can truly say “It’s finished!”