Remodeling Cents: 5 rational ways to make selections for your projects



With every project, there are hundreds of decisions to be made. With even a relatively small project, the process can be daunting. Learn how to make the best decisions when planning your project and understand the different ways to approach the remodeling process as a whole.

Here are 5 rational ways to narrow down your choices during your home remodeling project:

1. Choose Products With Care

When you first begin looking at materials for your home remodel, you could have hundreds or even thousands of options available. You need to narrow them down ruthlessly in the beginning, taking care to limit your selections exclusively to items that match all of your needs and wants. Once you’ve narrowed down the list in this way, you’ll have a much smaller pool of choices to work with. Of course, that’s when the hard decisions begin!

2. Write Lists of the Most Significant Features

You probably created a general list of wants and needs for each element on your remodeling list near the beginning of the project. Now that you have a narrowed down list of products to choose from, it’s time to revisit your original wants and needs and assign values to them. Think about which characteristics are most important and which elements you could really do without. Make a sketch of the area and space plane the larger items you are selecting. Then, go through each item on the narrowed down list of products and choose the items that best suit your project.

3. Take a Hard Look at Your Budget

Though you probably began looking at products in a particular price range that matched your budget, it’s important to reexamine your financial situation once you have the list narrowed down to a few choices. Assuming that all of your selections at this point fit into your budget, consider how each financial option would affect the overall cost of the project. Perhaps choosing a lower-priced option for one material would allow you to splurge a little on another item elsewhere that you loved but couldn’t afford.

4. Make “Temporary” Decisions

Still stuck between a few final products after following the other strategies on this list? Allow yourself to make a “temporary” decision for a day or two. Choose any one of your remaining options (flip a coin or simply go with your gut feeling if you have to!) and tell yourself that it’s only a temporary choice—you can still go back later and change it if you want to. After a few days of imagining your home with the option you “chose” in it, you’ll most likely have a better sense of whether or not that item is the one you want or if you’d prefer to go back to one of the other options.

5. Make a spreadsheet

In general 1/3 of your renovation budget goes towards the products and materials you will select. As the homeowner when you are renovating, one of the more mentally stimulating aspects is the shopping and selection process. Some homeowners make all of their selections before construction begins, but most find themselves picking things out just as they are needed. If you are not planning carefully, you may have to make decisions on short notice or risk delaying your project.

A lot of us as ask, where do I start? Feel like the number of decisions and purchases ahead of you is overwhelming? Well to make it a little easier we suggest you make a spread sheet outlining phases of construction, description, order lead times and cost with tax. You might also want to get with your contractor to confirm who is purchasing the product and the best places to buy.

Once you’ve completed the spreadsheet, share it with your contractor to make sure you’re on the same page. From a design perspective, you may choose to select some lower priority items first so that you can match other items accordingly. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to meet the deadlines.

These are some explanations for many of the categories:

Wiring, Windows & Doors, Trim, Tile, Kitchen & Bath fixtures, Cabinets, Cabinet hardware & accessories, Countertops, Appliances, Light fixtures, Flooring, Paint colors.

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