Remodeling University: Manage Your Mindset First for a successful Los Angles Remodeling

Home remodeling projects, large and small, place unusual demands on homeowners.

In the best of cases (if you chose your general contractor well), you will need to deal with noise, interruptions to water and power services, strangers in your home on a daily basis, significant disruption to the family’s routine and so forth.
You’ll also be the point person for a team of players that might not always see eye to eye with each other and/or with you.
All of this – in addition to whatever you have going on in your life already. A challenge indeed!

Before you can manage others and be positive and proactive under the stress introduced by a remodeling project, your best bet is to manage your state of mind.
I have worked with homeowners that were a great asset to their own project. They were in control of their emotions, they made a point to compliment the workers and other team members, they appreciated others’ efforts and showed it, they addressed problems proactively and ran their projects in a business like fashion, avoiding making problems (which will always come up in remodeling) personal or larger than what they actually were. This type of attitude inspires and motivates everyone that is involved in a project. The atmosphere is positive and the results are somehow always better.

As importantly, with this attitude, the homeowner’s own experience is cast in a positive light and the project is much less of a burden as a result.

My advice: before embarking on a project, take a deep mental breath. Vow to be a positive and a supportive center of influence. Tell yourself (and internalize the notion) that you are about to embark on an adventure. One that is going to be challenging but fun and rewarding. Prep your family in advance and solicit their participation in the adventure. They should all share in shouldering the responsibilities. They should all be kept informed about what is going on. They should all take ownership of the process and have a vested interest in the outcome (a great way to accomplish that is by soliciting everyones’ input regarding certain design decisions, for example).

With the right attitude and spirit…and with the right team at your side, you will remember your project ‘days’ fondly for a long time. You will remember the project as a challenging, rewarding and successful experience. More importantly, you will enjoy the results that much more for years to come and, unlike the vast majority of folks that remodeled their homes, you will have great and positive tales to share.

Happy remodeling!

Remodeling University


In line with our commitment to provide value and professional input to our current and future clients and to homeowners everywhere, we are starting a new series of blog posts: Remodeling University.

My hope is to be able to present here fresh, pertinent ideas and tips to homeowners about remodeling. From time to time there would be articles posted here that might be a bit on the technical side of construction, building science, insurance loss and remediation, solar panels, green ideas, and so forth. On other occasions, I might post here design related articles and images. For the most part, I plan on sharing tips and ideas in, what I hope are, easy to read and entertaining posts.

Today’s tip: Thinking about a remodeling project? Start with the budget. Before you are considering various design options, before developing specifications and before meeting with any contractors, articulate to yourself how much you can/want to spend on the project. Most homeowners start from a different point of departure. They reason that, as they do not know construction costs, they should meet with several contractors and get an idea what their project would cost them. This is not the best approach for several reasons; the owners are no longer in control of the process, without clear budgetary guideline contractors’ input would be all over the place and of far less value and time, energy and mental focus are wasted and are dissipated with discussions about various projects that can not be build. Most importantly, without a clearly defined ‘target’ to aim towards the likelihood of hitting a ‘bull’s eye’ (i.e. putting together the most suitable project for you) is a hit-n-miss at best.

So, what should you do? Find out what is a reasonable amount for you to spend, based on affordability, what it’s worth to you and what is reasonable for the area. Than articulate a list with your objectives – real needs should be at the top and desired feature should come next, prioritized in a descending order. Reverse engineer the project from there. In other words, now that you have a rough number YOU can work with and a list of what you need/like, meet with competent contractors and have them figure out for you how much of your list they can fit into your budget.

When discussions are framed with a budget guideline, the conversation tends to be focused, practical and productive. What a better way to start a remodeling adventure?

Happy remodeling.

Los Angeles Remodeling Cost Estimate: Did you Try our Interactive Estimate-Generating Form?

While our site is in late beta and our interactive form (you can find it on the Home page. Scroll down a bit) is in early beta, it is already shaping up to be a great tool for homeowners thinking about a remodeling project.
We wrote proprietary software and logic to enable users to get a guesstimated range of costs for a project (especially for Los Angeles remodeling), based on the particulars of their planned project such as age of home, square footage, level of finish, etc.
You are welcome to ‘take it for a spin’.
Please let me know how you like it.
As best I can tell, there is nothing like it online.