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PLAN

Make a Wish List

In one column, put your wants. In the other, your needs. That way, when faced with tough choices down the line, you’ll have a clearer picture of your priorities—what has to happen now and what can wait. (A second bathroom upstairs might be a must; a stainless steel Viking range, maybe not so much.)

Determine Your Budget

Before you meet with a contractor or an architect, you’ll need a ballpark estimate—then both of you will be able to talk honestly about what’s possible. (P.S.: It’s a good idea to build some padding—at least 10 percent is recommended—into your number, for all those unexpected uh-ohs and might-as-wells that will crop up.)

Check Your Calendar

What is your timeline for the renovation? If you want the living room done for, say, Jenna’s graduation party, don’t wait until spring to start talking about it. Likewise, you won’t want to install a new roof when a New England winter is looming—or schedule any major demolition a month before you host a family reunion.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Begin Looking For a Contractor

This isn’t the time to crack the Yellow Pages. Ask everyone you know in the area about their experiences, good and bad. You should also consult the websites for the National Association of Remodelers (nari.org) or the National Association of Home Builders (nahb.org); the professionals belonging to these organizations are bound by strict codes of ethics and business practices.

Start Interviewing Contractors

REMODEL

Examine the Fine Print of Contract

Finalize Household Arrangements

Now that you know when the work will begin, make any additional plans, such as reserving storage space for furnishings or booking a hotel room for the day when the water will be turned off.

If Possible Create a Haven For Yourself

Select a room that will remain relatively untouched by the chaos and equip it with whatever you might need to keep yourself sane for the duration. (A DVD player, electric teakettle, yoga mat, earplugs, etc.)

If you have any questions regarding property refurbishments please contact Pelin Martin on 02089947327 – pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk