Whether you're considering building a new house, remodeling your commercial space or office, or remodeling your home, there can be an overwhelming amount of things to think about. Being prepared for the whole process as well as each part is a big step toward a successful project. What should be considered? The following is a brief list of items to get started:
Budget - Yes, it is obvious, but no matter what direction a project ends up going your budget will likely be a determining factor in finishes/materials, extent of remodel, size of space, etc. Have a big dream and a tiny budget? Something is going to have to give.
Project Goal - What are you hoping the result will be? More living space? Another bedroom for the newest child? A guest suite and a sitting room? A home office? Upgraded finishes? Restoration to historic state? A clear goal is essential to a successful project. The project goal is how the process begins, though the final result may vary as the solution is developed. Discussions with your architect/designer and contractor in this process will help make the destination more clear.
Timeframe - This is one of the most common frustrations for those involved in construction projects. Prior to the start of a project or the signing of any contracts it should be clearly communicated what is hoped for (on the home/business owner's side) and what is possible (architect, designer, contractor's side). Project coordination and scheduling can be difficult, especially in busy seasons, and clear communication between those involved in the project is necessary to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
When to Involve Professionals - When should you talk to a contractor? How and when do you acquire bids? When should you talk to a designer or architect? Talking over your project with a designer or architect should happen as early as possible in the process. They will be able to guide you in determining scope (based on budget, project goals, timeframe, etc.) as well as help in acquiring and looking over bids and selecting a contractor. Would you like your project to start in the Summer? Try to start the conversation with your designer or architect in the Fall or Winter before (or Summer before if possible!). This will give plenty of time for ideas to develop, for sample materials to be acquired and compared, similar spaces to be experienced, and contractors and carpenters to schedule and coordinate materials and processes.
As with anything, putting together a trustable and skilled project team is essential to a successful project. Start the discussions early and don't be afraid to ask questions!