There are many approaches to remodeling. How you choose to approach your remodel depends on the scope of work, your available time, your level of expertise and your budget. It is important to get a sense for what approach to use when starting to look at your project. After all, you don’t need a chain saw to cut a twig, but also, you would not use a pocket knife to cut a log. In the same way, a lot of times you do not really need to have a large architectural and construction team to remodel your powder room.
Do it Yourself.
The first approach to remodeling is DIY. This is typically suitable for projects that are smaller and less complex. I do not recommend this approach for tasks that require plumbing, electrical, mechanical or structural work. The advantage of this approach is that the cost is lower than if you hire the work out. Also, there is nothing more satisfying that telling your friends and family that you worked on tiling the backsplash in your kitchen all by yourself. The disadvantage of this approach is that since you are not a professional, it might cost you time or quality. There is certainly a learning curve with any DIY projects. My favorite resources for DIY knowledge are Youtube, This Old House and The Spruce. Even with the DIY approach, we can consult with you to figure out the best way to go about your remodel, where to affordably source materials and what you need to look out for during your remodel.
Hire a Handy(hu)man
Handyman projects are also smaller in scale. They take a few days at most and don’t require major changes to plumbing, electrical work, mechanical or structural work. Examples of projects that are suitable for handyman projects include: Installing a vanity, ceiling fan and some finish carpentry. It is important to get a sense for what your handy-human’s skills are, and if they align with your project. Not all handymen can do all handy-work. We can consult with you to figure out exact scopes of work for your handy-human, where to source materials, an develop your scope of work and schedule.
Managing your own subcontractors.
The next level involves hiring many different trades or subcontractors. You would typically do this if you have managed previous remodel processes, and have a good understanding of what the sequencing of the jobs needs to be. The big advantage is that you would be saving costs, and possibly preventing communication breakdowns. We can help you find the right trades, create a schedule (sequence) for the work, and assist you with the quality control to make sure the job is being done right.
Hiring a General Contractor.
A good GC would usually be responsible for overseeing the different trades at a job, sequencing the remodel and quality control. General Contractors typically execute plans/design created by Architects or Designers. They might also need assistance for material sourcing. We can help you as the General Contractor for your remodel. We would also assist with the design and material sourcing.
Design Bid Remodel.
This is typically for medium to large size remodels, and involves hiring an architect to create plans for a whole home/business, and then providing those plans to solicit bids from different contractors. It is important to give your architect some sense of what your budget is, so that they can design accordingly. However, it is also important to note that your architect will not be able to know how much the project is eventually going to cost. Also, unless your plans have materials specified, the bids can be very varied. Owner representation is especially important for these types of remodels. We can help you find the right architect, communicate cost-saving design adjustments to the architect and manage the bid process to make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
Design Build Firms
Design Build Firms are full service professional firms that would work on both the design work (architectural) as well as the construction (build). They typically work on more medium-to-large sized projects. The accountability in this process is streamlined, and communication should be better. However, there is a wide misconception that the homeowner is completely hands-off once they hire a design build firm. That is not the case. Design Build projects work well with owner-representation included.
These are some ways you can manage your renovation project. What questions do you have about deciding on a remodeling approach?