So, you have decided to renovate instead of relocate…  Where do you start?

1. Determine how long you plan to stay in your current location…

  • 2 yrs or less: plan for the next owner (you’re not going to be there long enough to reap the full benefits of the changes you make). Invest wisely for short term success.
  • 2-5yrs: plan for you, but don’t go overboard because you still want to appeal to the next owner (your own personal style may have to be slightly restrained so that buyers can appreciate the value of the changes you make). Find the balance and splurge a little.
  • 5+yrs: this is when you plan for your own personal enjoyment…. (so consider how the investment in change will improve your lifestyle over the years) Pamper yourself and enjoy the rewards.
2-5 years

2. Define what MUST change to improve the current situation…

  • Make a list of what is not working (what is broken, inefficient, poorly functioning, and just plain ugly). The worst thing you can do in a renovation is waste money on costly changes that merely cover up the underlying problem with lipstick.

3. Clarify what it is you want the final result to be…

  • Start collecting your ideas and ideals for the renovation by creating an IDEABOOK on,, or the old school way: with magazine tear sheets in a scrapbook. Look for style, color, features, etc….develop a sense of aesthetic direction as well. You may be shocked by what you learn about yourself during this process.
  • Categorize and make lists of those ideas by NEED, WANT, WISH to help determine priorities (this will be very helpful for the next step….)

4. It’s time to talk about the “B” word….BUDGET….how much is enough to fix what is not working and do you have enough to do what you REALLY want.

  • To begin, you need to know what you can afford to spend, and where your comfort level sits when it comes to your needs and wishes. Define your limits so you don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable position later on.
  • Consider what your budget can accommodate versus what it would actually cost to do what you want. This is where all the information from the first 3 steps comes in to play.

WAIT!! How do you know what your renovation will cost without spending hours and hours researching online, watching misleading television programs, and shopping showroom after showroom hoping to make sense of it all?

5.Talk to an expert. Actually, talk to several: Interior Designers, Kitchen & Bath Designers, Renovation Contractors, and Design/Builders have the experience & expertise to help put a realistic plan together.

  • Now you are properly prepared to get qualified advice and direction on the realities of your renovation options, technical requirements and costs.
  • Professionals in the field are a great resource to guide you through the perils of planning & decision making BEFORE construction begins, saving you time, money and disappointment in the final result.