Many people make resolutions to get the New Year started. Others see no power in the changing of the calendar. Whatever your stance may be, any opportunity to recharge and reevaluate your goals is a good one. Although we may not always succeed, it is important to set our intentions for success. New beginnings and new opportunities for one and all.
What will you do to succeed in the new year? If you have home renovations you’ve been dreaming about, why not start the project you’ve been dreaming of for years? Creating a comfortable space at home to launch your life into the next phase could be just what you need. Here are a few steps to follow to get you starting off the New Year in the right direction.
Decide What You Want
The first thing to consider is what you actually want. Once you come up with a big picture goal, it’s easier to break it down into steps. The only difference between a dream and goal, is a plan.
What are you goals? Are you looking to re-organize, create more space, or re-define your home? There are no wrong answers here. Giving yourself an end goal will help each step of the way on this project. When you know what you are working towards and have a few guiding questions to help, completing the project is more manageable. Ask yourself, “How does this help my goal?” or “Does this bring me closer or further away from my goals?” These questions are handy to have when it comes to decision making.
Evaluate Your Resources
Resources include more than just money. Before changing everything around, take a look at what you have. If you want to do it yourself: what kind of knowledge or skill set do you or a few good friends possess that could make this happen? Saying you want to do the work yourself is one thing, but if you’ve never built anything then maybe you should evaluate how realistic this goal is. Especially if you need to live in the space in the meantime.
Do you need to demolish your entire kitchen? Or could you save the cabinetry, by moving some things around and refinishing them? Smaller projects like this can be easily done in the winter months, making your home ready to celebrate by the time the sun comes out next summer. If you are looking at undertaking a bigger project, consider whether or not you have the time, money, and patience to follow through with your project. If you don’t feel you have the time or patience, look for something smaller that can give you change and also fit in your available resources.
Plan AheadWith the cold months just getting started, there are some indoor projects you can start, but this time may be better used for planning. You can map out exactly what you want your project to look like and what your goals are by building project boards on Houzz and Pinterest to help keep your ideas organized.
Set a Budget & Stick to It
Perhaps one of the most important parts of this step is to make a budget. Give a name to every dollar so you know what you are spending and where. Put aside 20% of your budget for contingencies and unexpected challenges that always seem to come up in construction. A budget can help keep you on schedule and you won’t be shocked by the bills coming in. Be up front and open with your contractor or designer so they know what to expect and can plan accordingly. Perhaps the most important thing to remember, is that a budget will do you no good if you don’t stick to it.
Find a Contractor
If you are looking at bigger projects, start looking for a contractor now. Finding the right person that you can communicate with to get the job done is important. It will save you time, money and frustration. Having a good relationship with your contractor is crucial to the the success of a project. Be clear with your expectations and goals. Contractors book their spring and summer projects ahead of time, be sure to get your name on their dance card now.
Sometimes, a picture on the internet just isn’t enough. Go out in search of real life samples so you can have a sense of what the new pieces of your home look & feel like. This should also help give you a better understanding of how things come together. Grand Banks has a library with a wide variety of materials you can touch and see. Some of them you can even take home to help you make decisions, like if those blue cabinets are the right shade or there is some other stain you like better. Hardware displays help you choose your knobs or handles.
Setting your goal or intention is important, but it’s even more important to follow up with some work. Even if you are unable to start work now, doing the research and having the plan in place now will make the project go that much smoother when the time comes. Set yourself up for success now, and reap the benefits all year long.
The following is a true story, adapted from a 1921 edition of the American Journal of Ophthalmology...