Friday, April 1, 2011

Br-br-break down....

When you watch HGTV, they make it seem as though an entire kitchen was remodeled in an hour. Or, a whole house was reorganized in a half hour (which, is just crazy-talk...have you seen Hoarders?) I wish they'd add little captions to the bottom of the tv show actually breaking down the design process. Something realistic like, "it took a week to narrow down lighting"...

With that idea in mind, I wanted to give you some insight into how a basement remodel I'm working on actually is long things take to get them perfect for the client.

For this basement remodel, I had received the heads up from the contractor of what the client wanted, what their vision was, now it needed to take shape. I met with them on December 23 (just for reference, today is April 1). We hit it off right away (!) and started making selections that night for the project. A huge concern for them was the sound proofing for the home theater. (Turns out, they had talked to 20+ contractors before feeling confident and signing!)

Back to the design breakdown. So after we made our selections, we got a cabinet layout put together, which looked like this:

The clients had made some choices for the cabinetry and wanted me to go take a look and select a laminate top to coordinate. I went out January 5th to see the selections and pull some counter samples I thought would work:

A week later on January 14th, we met to finalize the counter selection, back splash, grout colors and did one more walk through Home Depot (lurv Home Depot!) we ended up finding that night, a kitchen faucet on clearance that was exactly what they wanted (score!) and the new front door lock/hardware they wanted to install before work began. (The new lock was similar to this- it has a keypad which the home owner can program for the contractors to use, rather than giving them a key to their home...and the best part of the keypad, you can also set the TIMES that the codes will work! So if you don't want them in the house until after 8am, you can do that!)

Another week later, on January 21st, we met again to sign off on all the selections we had made (using this great chart which details every selection from paint colors to cabinet hardware to plumbing fixtures to the number of door handles...its a pretty big sheet!) That night I went downstairs and took before photos.
This is the future kitchen area:
This is the future bathroom:
Over here is the future home theater area:

Construction started on January 25th. Every Friday (except when we were slammed with snow, thank you Mother Nature) we had progress meetings; where we got updates from the project manager on what was completed this past week, what is going to be done the following week and how close to the schedule we were. (After all the early Friday meetings, I'd leave and head straight to Dunkin' Donuts!)

After the meeting on the 21st, the next trip I made out to the job site was on March 18th. I was jumping up and down (literally) at how wonderful it looked! When you think about basements, you think cold, dark, damp. Well, not anymore...
Kitchen (check out the cotton-candy ceiling!):
Living area:
Home Theater:

Pretty awesome right? I imagine I was as anxious as the homeowners when I heard that they just needed to install the ceiling tiles and carpeting (which was delivered on March 28th!) and they'd be done! (insert fist pumping)

This past Wednesday morning (March 30) at 7am the project manager and I were out to do a substantial completion walk thru with the clients. I was so excited to see how beautiful it all came out (and even more thrilled to see the happy smiles on our clients faces!) We went through the clients check list, walked around made lists of things that need to be touched up and then I took photos of the beautiful space!
Kitchen (no more cotton-candy ceiling! How cool is the over cabinet lighting? I think they said this weekend they were going to install the tv over the sink and soon have the candy apple red(!) refrigerator delivered!):Notice the back splash looks like steps!Check out that faucet! That's a thing to remember. It doesn't matter if you got something full price, half price or at a garage sale- if you like it, it doesn't matter how much you paid for it! I love the thrill of the hunt!!

Bathroom: The clients knew they were going to do this renovation sooner than later so they made purchases along the way, like the vanity and floor tile. That's another great tip- if you find something along your travels you like, buy it then! I can't tell you how disappointing it is to have found "the one", walk away from it and spend time trying to find it again...(and you never do, of course- that's just the way it goes sometimes!)

Living area:

Home theater: (I know its empty now...but just wait until the speakers are installed, the screen is up and the black leather chairs are in place!) Oh, and check out the BLACK carpet!

There it is! A behind the scenes look at a real-time project time line. While talking to the home owner on Wednesday morning, she said they started interviewing contractors last March (if you remember, they didn't sign with us until December!)

I hope this shines some light on how long it actually takes to get the project done right. If you are a home owner, interview as many contractors as you need to (and don't feel bad about this! Its YOUR home and YOUR money!)

I also recommend working with a skilled designer (hopefully its me, but if not, just work with one who knows how to LISTEN!) Our job as your designer is to take the load off your shoulders and show you the best products for you. Its intimidating starting a major project, but with the right people in place- it goes smoothly!!

Like what you see and want to get started? Contact The New View Group here!