The Key to Successful Renovation: Build Trust with an Expert Team
By Sherry Willing
Lead Interior Designer and Co-Owner of Make It Real Design
Are you ready for a renovation? Home renovation is exciting. Yet you may be feeling uneasy rather than preparing to enjoy the experience. Here’s some advice on how build trust with a team of experts.
You probably fall into at least one of these categories:
- You’re renovation savvy but want someone to take it from the beginning, get it finished and make it gorgeous.
- You’re not sure where to begin, but you’re fed up with your kitchen, bathroom or house.
- You’ve been planning your renovation for a while, but you understand pricing has changed since you last renovated (5, 10, 20 years ago).
No matter which category you’re in, the secret to a smooth renovation is building trust with your renovation team. You may already have a sense of what you want. A renovation team can share design perspective and an understanding of the time and money needed to make it happen.
Prepare for the Journey and a Smooth Renovation
Ensure a smooth renovation journey by building rapport and trust with the people there to help you with your project. This trust and communication propels the process forward from the first meeting through completion.
Be prepared to do the work of building trust with your renovation team. If the team is willing to do the same, you don’t need the often-seen checklist of how to prepare for a renovation.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan, however. The preparation you completed beforehand is valuable. Things like your wish lists, priorities, and knowing your investment comfort level all help. But communication and the relationship you have with your renovators is priority one.
The Trust Starts Here
Your renovation relationship journey starts with an initial meeting with the designer. Depending on project complexity you may meet the construction manager also. The designer is responsible for delivering the entire concept for your project.
In our company, the designer knows construction and the construction manager knows design. Evidence of teamwork between the designer and construction manager is vital. It’s pointless to design something that can’t meet the test of construction. It’s the same as starting construction without knowing the design.
The designer is the person that begins the planning process with you. It’s important to make sure you feel you can share your questions and opinions openly. The first meeting is an opportunity for the designer to share expertise and insight. You’ll also get a sense of how they will collaborate with the team (including you) and work through the project.
When renovating, the best approach you can take is to trust your ability to contribute, to listen, to consider, to evaluate with an open mind, and make decisions based on the relationship evidence.
Ask Yourself These Questions
When you meet the designer, ask yourself:
- Do you feel a connection and an understanding?
- Do you feel that the designer has listened to you and understood your needs?
- Have you found it easy to share your thoughts, ideas and feelings with the designer?
- Has the designer described the tangible pieces they will deliver to you?
- How the design process works for your project
- What can be expected after you engage their services
If you can answer yes to the majority of these questions, then you have found someone with whom you can build trust.