Thinking about your next home improvement project?  Maybe it’s a new kitchen or master bathroom, maybe a family room addition, or maybe even adding that second story to your home.  Whether it’s a small job or a big project, the same general principles apply.


After last winter, I’m sure the thought of disrupting your family this coming winter is not appealing. However, if you’ve got a project in mind for next Spring you need to start planning for it NOW!

Your first task it to think through the construction process and, trust me, this is not a TV show, this is your home and your family.  Minimizing disruption to your lives & routines is critical, and good planning is the first step in a successful project.

  • Get a feel for what to expect. Good project planning starts with a thorough assessment of the project itself.  In other words, starting at Point A (today) what has to happen to get to Point B (a successful project)?
  • Size. Is it a smaller project that will be done quickly or a large-scale undertaking that’s going to take time?
  • In or Out. Does it involve exterior work, interior work, or both?
  • Sprawl. Will it impact the use of other rooms/areas in your home?

Good planning will reduce your angst and uncertainties at the outset of the project, and will minimize the potential frustrations and surprises you encounter along the way.

Building The Project Team

Construction team on siteThe second step in a successful project is building a team to do the work.  This obviously is going to be dependent on the size and complexity of the project, but generally falls into two categories – small job, big project.

Small Job

If your project is just painting or carpentry repairs, or maybe replacing that gutter that the ice brought down last winter, then your best bet is to hire individual contractors, hopefully recommended by a friend.  The key member of the Project Team is you, the Homeowner, and, in this instance, project & budget manager.

Big Project

The Project Team on larger-scale projects most often consists of three members: the General Contractor, the Architect, and the Homeowner (you).

Do you need a General Contractor?  If multiple contractors are required on your project (electricians, carpenters, plumbers, et al) you need a general contractor to coordinate the schedules & work of these subcontractors.  In a nutshell: Do you really want to leave work to let in the plumber who hopefully won’t install his pipes in the electrician’s way?

Do you need an Architect?  If you are changing the footprint of the house or adding a second story or doing structural work of any sort, an architect’s stamp will be required in order to secure a building permit.

Teamwork & Communications

I’m sure you have heard stories from friends about a contractor that didn’t deliver or an architect that designed a Taj Mahal that was completely inappropriate for the budget available.  All of this is avoidable.Collection-New-Trend-Modern-Family-Room

The Project Team – the Homeowner, Architect, and General Contractor – need to work together at the outset – and throughout the project – to ensure a final product that is exactly what you want and within your budget.

The keys to a successful project are planning, teamwork, and communication.  Like I said, this isn’t a TV show, it’s your home and your family so put in the time and attention required to make it a success!

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