Perfect Project: Planning is the Key

The beginning of a new year always seems to bring about a renewed effort to better ourselves and our surroundings. It’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and really get all of those things done that we had planned to do last year or maybe even the year before. We make resolutions in our personal lives, such as becoming healthier, spending more time with family, and advancing at our chosen profession, to name a few.

A new year also generally strengthens the resolve to get the to-do list around the house completed or at least started on. The year starts out with a long list, a wish list if you will, and a renewed vigor to check things off of that list. As remodeling contractors we see a very visible uptick in new projects during the first several months of every year, and this year has certainly started out no differently.

With all of the new project planning going on, why do some folks seem to have a much easier time getting their project completed? And why do they seem to enjoy their finished product more than others? The answer lies in the planning steps that they take, either consciously or unconsciously, that lead them in the right direction.

Here are a few ideas that may help you become one of the few who gets their project done this year and enjoys it for years to come.

  1. First and foremost try to assemble your projects in order of importance to you or in logical groupings if you plan to do more than one project at once. It may make sense to start with a small project such as a bathroom remodel rather than finishing out the basement.
  2. Write down what you like about what you have now. For instance, if you are considering remodeling your kitchen there are probably at least a couple things that you do like about your current kitchen.
  3. Write down what you like least about what you have now and why it doesn’t work for you. This could be something like “my kitchen does not have enough storage and I can’t easily get to things I need.” This likely will be a much longer list than number two.
  4. Make a wish list of features that you would like to incorporate into your project. This wish list should include some items that you absolutely “must have” and a few that are “like to have”. At this point it’s ok to dream, but also be very clear about putting down features that will make the project worth it in the long run.
  5. Lastly, consider one of the most feared words in the English language…budget. Any project attempted without a clear budget will go over-budget for sure, and generally that will ruin even the best new addition or outdoor living area. Household finances, return on investment, how long you plan to stay in the house, and many other factors play into this step. Everyone that you talk to, from family members to co-workers, will have a different opinion so this is one that you have to tackle yourself.

A well-planned and thought out project will run more smoothly for everyone involved and generally will cost much less than one that is more haphazard. If you follow the outline I have listed above, you will be on your way to a successful project. The next key is finding a contractor that is well-prepared and thinks ahead as well. With a plan and a good working relationship with a qualified contractor you can be well on your way to enjoying the fruits of your planning while others’ plans are still just gathering dust for next year.

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