Podcast Ep 110: Surviving the Remodeling Curve

The Ups and Downs of the Remodeling Journey-2

Remodeling Curve (noun): The emotional highs and lows that all clients experience throughout the full remodeling process.

When it comes to riding a rollercoaster, the emotions felt can be as thrilling and unpredictable as the twists and turns of the ride itself. As the rollercoaster slowly ascends to its peak, a sense of anticipation and excitement builds within. Then, the moment arrives when gravity takes over, and the rollercoaster hurtles down the track at lightning speed. In that split second, a rush of adrenaline surges through the body, creating a surge of euphoria that is unmatched. As the ride comes to an end, a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction washes over, along with a sense of relief that the wild journey has concluded. It's an emotional rollercoaster that mirrors the remodeling process, where clients experience the highs and lows of excitement, anticipation, fear, and satisfaction throughout the entire journey.

In this podcast episode, we map out some very specific highs and lows felt during design and production. Interior designer Lizzie Armstrong and project manager Kalia Krichko help us explain just how to survive the intense feelings that come with a long renovation project. 




Mapping the road to consistency

Below we have listed all the phases of the remodeling journey, what emotions are experienced, and how to survive them. We call this the remodeling survival guide.

Discovery Phase

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During the discovery phase, clients are doing a little bit of brainstorming, researching, and networking. At this point, excitement is high as you have lots of ideas and you've likely found a few companies that you are excited to talk to. 

You have a few scheduled phone calls and you gather a bunch of information on the different processes that make up each company you have decided to vet. At this point, you might be feeling a little bit of decision fatigue and your excitement levels drop a little bit. That is totally normal! Each company will have different benefits and drawbacks and on top of that, they probably all offered you a different price point. 

Advice: Take your time. Unless you are repairing something that is damaged, we strongly advise you not to go into a remodeling project in a rush. The entire process from the very first phone call to the photoshoot at the very end should not be any shorter than a year. Right now with our major remodels we are seeing an average time frame of two years. If you go into your remodeling project with plenty of time and patience you will be ahead of the curve. Take the necessary time you need to weigh your options. Do you choose the contractor that can start soonest but is most expensive or do you choose the company that you have to wait for that offers a lower construction cost? Or do you choose a company that has educated you, gotten to know you, and has a strong process that will carry you safely to the finish line?

Design queue

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Congratulations! You chose a company to work with, you probably signed some paperwork and submitted a retainer, and now... you wait. Seriously though, all jokes aside, now you get to take a break. At this point, you can recover from decision fatigue from choosing a contractor which is super important because the design phase will involve quite a bit of decision-making.

During this phase, you'll transition from a state of tranquility after officially committing to the project, and then for the next month or two leading up to the design phase, you'll likely find yourself filled with a sense of eager anticipation.

Schematic design

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Easily one of the most exciting parts of the remodeling process is starting design. Now you know who your designer is and you've started discussing all your hopes and dreams for your new space. 

Right now your designer and architect are making a lot of the decisions for you since schematics rely heavily on building codes and space planning. Seeing your new space come to life makes all the waiting you just did feel so worth it! 

Design development

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High to Low

The excitement continues into design development as you start to pick out the fixtures and finishes for your new space! You finally get to see the space you've been dreaming of come together in drawing and 3d deliverables. But wait! Now you realize that the 36" range you always wanted won't allow you the space for a pantry and the imported tile you wanted takes the project over budget. During design development, you'll find that a few of your dreams just aren't realistic for the space you have. 

It can be so frustrating to feel like you have to say no to some of the design aspects you got your heart set on. Especially when you are investing so much time, energy, and money into making your bathroom or kitchen designs come to life. Worry not! This is why you hired a professional designer! Your designer will guide you down a path to getting the space you want even if it wasn't the OG dream. 

Advice: Keep an open mind. Don't let yourself go into design being married to any one idea. This will help avoid heartbreak and it will also set you up to be open to incredible designs you may not have been able to imagine on your own. Letting your designer take the wheel and make a few decisions for you will not only get you a flawlessly designed space but will also help avoid major decision fatigue which is what we see around here when clients want to make every decision on hundreds of different finishes.

Production Queue

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This period in time is all about prepping. While we wait for permits to be approved by the city, we'll do our sub-walk and start creating your fixed cost estimate that will be on your construction agreement. While we take care of all of that, you will be packing up the project area or possibly moving out if you plan on doing a larger project. 

Waiting for your fixed estimate to arrive and your project to start will come with a lot of anticipation. At the same time, finding a place to move into and packing up your belongings might be a little overwhelming. It's safe to say that this phase comes with a mixed bag of emotions. 


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High to Low to High

Let the hammers swing! We sealed off the workspace and our crew is in your home FINALLY bringing your plans to life! This is a thrilling experience. It probably feels like the design has been in the making for years at this point so seeing contractors come in and demo your existing fixtures and finishes is probably both exciting and nerve-racking.  In the first few weeks of construction, there will be so much happening, including site prep, demo, framing, electrical and, plumbing. 

Once the above-mentioned steps happen, you'll have the close-in huddle. During this week, there will be inspections conducted, minor changes being made, and photos taken of everything put behind the walls. It's going to look like there has been no progress for a few weeks as these key steps are taken to ensure safety. At this point in time patience is everything as insulation and drywall will be coming next which will feel a bit mundane. 

When the space is drywalled in, excitement will spike back up because you'll be able to see the shape of your new space. If you aren't living in your home at this point, then every weekly meeting will make you feel giddy as you will be seeing major changes happen in your new space. You'll also start making decisions on lighting and hardware placements. If you are living in the home, then seeing your space start to come together faster may offer a sense of relief as living in a construction zone requires a lot of patience, understanding, and probably some meditation.

 Advice: Put your trust in us. Production will feel like a roller coaster within a roller coaster. There are a lot of highs and lows that you'll experience. Surviving this volatile phase will require full trust in the team that you have partnered with to take care of all the nitty-gritty and keep your best interests in mind. With us, your home is in good hands.

Punch list and Move in

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Your project is now wrapping up. You get to see the completed look and you'll also have a chance to ask your lead carpenter to fix anything that didn't meet your expectations. Once the bulk of the work is done, you get to move in!!!

Move-in day is the best. There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when you use your new space for the first time. We hope everything has paid off and with our 2-year warranty, you can sleep well at night knowing that we will guarantee quality and longevity. 

Once you have fully moved into your space, we will have our professional photographer come out to take some after photos. These high-res photos will be provided to you to share with your family and friends and we will also include a few before photos as well.

Buckle up

If you're still reading this blog, then you might feel like you just experience a little taste of the rollercoaster that is the remodeling curve. This is why it's so important to do your due diligence when vetting contractors. Ask a million questions, have several meetings before signing anything, and talk to at least 3 different companies. Take your time, keep an open mind, and when you're ready to take the jump, contact us to be your parachute. 



Article Categories: Interior Design, Customer Satisfaction, Remodeling

Guide to Hiring a Remodeler

This comprehensive guide walks you through all the steps of choosing who will design and build your project, vetting remodeling companies, and ensuring that you have the best experience.