House Beautiful (USA)

Let the Chips Fall


ONE OF THE BEST TIPS FOR MAKING IT THROUGH a renovation in today’s climate? Make peace with what is out of your control, and be proactive about the rest. “We can protect the client from incidental delays and higher costs 85 percent of the time, but 15 percent of the time we can’t,” says Leavitt.

Start on the right foot by not rushing through the predesign phase. Leferink recommends eight weeks of planning time prior to the start of constructi­on. “A lot of remodelers we work with are moving to a plan where they order all of the materials in advance and do not start the project until they have everything. That way, they can keep to a pretty normal schedule [once constructi­on begins], so there aren’t as many delays.”

Make no mistake: Some issues will arise during constructi­on. But a builder with long-standing relationsh­ips can draw on them when the going gets tough. “The ideal situation is a builder with loyal crews and regular tradespeop­le who are going to give them some priority,” she says. “If I were remodeling my home right now, I would want to know what their track record is for completing a project on time, and what their vendor relationsh­ips are like.” With your vision locked and a dream team in place, you can rest easy.

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