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Renovation 101

Bedtime Network's interior designer, Randy Florke, found himself drilling for peace and quiet after a recent dental office re-do.  Here, with a checklist on what TO DO and what NOT TO DO, he hopes to save us all from the cost and grief of construction, re-design and renovation which can be especially stressful when it involves a BEDROOM.

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I am reminded this week of the pitfalls of doing a construction project.  I'm in the middle of a re-make for my kids' dentist's office! When I brought my kids in for their last dental check up, their dentist asked me if I knew anyone who might be able to help renovate the space.  Ultimately, that someone became me.  Ten days ago (after several delays), we finally began the two-week project. Remember; I do this for a living, but even with all my experience, I still fall into common traps and make mistakes.

Although a dentist's office isn't a bedroom in your home, construction is construction! So below, I've listed a few of the mistakes I've made on this project. Hopefully by reading these, you will learn from me and avoid making similar mistakes of your own!

1. Don't select a wall paint color before the floor you selected is on location and in the room! The light, both artificial and natural, will change the sample color of the flooring thereby making your matching wall color  off if you go by the floor sample outside the environment in which it will be installed! If you pre-select the wall color, make sure you are there to inspect the color before they paint the entire job!!! I will add, however, that it is easier to re-paint the wall color than it is to re-tile or re-carpet an entire space.

2. Always make sure that your contractor's contracts are sufficiently (as in very!) detailed.  Costs can escalate quickly in the form of "extra charges" for things that weren't meticulously outlined in a contract. In a rush to complete a job, we always tend to add on things without thinking about the costs involved.  When the final bill is presented, it is easy to be surprised or even horrified by just how much all those "extras" costs.

3. If you don't use a general contractor on your home project, make sure the sub-contractors get along well and, that they take responsibility for their own work! There is nothing worse than the electrician saying that the carpenter is responsible for patching the holes he made (without a care because he doesn't think he has to repair the holes) and then, listening to the carpenter stating that now, he won't meet his deadline because he is doing the electrician's part!

3. Never schedule a construction project before a planned event! It is normal to decide to do a renovation project before your child graduates from high school or your daughter is getting married and you want to spruce up the place before you host your out of town friends and family. The stress of completing a project only adds to the stress of hosting the event and makes a bad time for all involved!

4. Finally remember that the project will not only take twice as long as it should but that it will likely cost twice as much! If you go into a project with this mindset, you will be pleasantly surprised if in fact, it doesn't!

Don't be scared, it is almost always worth the effort and money, but underst