Surviving the Remodeling Roller Coaster

Surviving the Remodeling Roller Coaster

All residential construction projects are inherently disruptive – the inconvenience of moving furniture, making do with a scaled-back kitchen, or bathroom facilities – dealing with the inevitable dust, noise, and strangers in your home. Even the most Zen among us might feel a little piqued at this time.

We’ve seen (and experienced) the gamut of sentiments – from the absolute delight of a successful “reveal” – to the gut-punch of unforeseen circumstances. We call this the Remodeling Roller Coaster, and our job is to make it as uneventful as possible…with a blissful finish. Here’s what you might experience during the process.

The Design Phase – the “Top of the Remodeling Roller Coaster” Moment

We’ll fine-tune your project on paper to ensure your satisfaction with the outcome.

Now that you’ve put pen to paper and signed the Design Contract, you’re ready to get started. The budget and scope of your home remodeling project are documented and the designers are now engaged in the Design Phase and moving forward with design concepts. This is when you’ll undoubtedly experience the first “top of the rollercoaster” moment, and, we’re just as excited as you! 

The Little Dipper

Most of the financial “drama” occurs when design concepts and ideas are developed and priced – only to be scrapped when they exceed your budget. It’s emotional to fall in love with a concept or idea and not be able to see it through to fruition. You might feel confused by all the new terminology or simply overwhelmed by the number of design decisions necessary to get from paper to saws. 

Because every remodel is unique, we spend time exploring how different scenarios impact your budget and adjust the project accordingly, to set – and manage – your expectations from the onset. We’ll fine-tune your project on paper before the first swing of a sledgehammer to ensure your satisfaction with the outcome. The Design Phase can be quite a ride.

Approaching the Curves, Caves, and Caveats

By now, the MAK Design+Build Team has also explained the caveats of discovering issues once demolition begins, and how these setbacks can affect your project timeline – and budget. With years of experience, trust that we have a plan for addressing any surprises along the way, but now’s a good time to gain clarification about Change Orders, or to ask any unanswered questions, so we can smooth out the curves, shed light in the dark caves, and keep the project on track.

Your home remodeling project was a long time coming, and we hope your energy and enthusiasm remains high throughout the process, but we still have a ways to go before the finish. In the meantime, we’ll apply our proven, process-driven approach to your project – with thoughtful pragmatism.

It’s beautiful – but costly. Be prepared to compromise.

The Climb to the Top

You and the design team are having fun – still experiencing the delight of exploring options that fit your budget, and solutions that suit your lifestyle and aesthetic. Maybe it’s a custom detail to accommodate your collections or a special niche for toiletries. 

In this phase, we’re looking at materials and finishes, moving walls here and putting fixtures there, in order to best capture your vision and bring it to life.

Moreover, we’re paying close attention to your budget. That stone countertop or European appliance you fell in love with…if it’s more than your budget can handle, you’ll undoubtedly experience another twinge of disappointment (or a dose of reality).

Yes, it’s beautiful and it really does enhance the design, so perhaps there’s a trade-off to be made. Our talented designers love a good challenge, and will do their best to accommodate your desires, without breaking the bank – but be prepared to compromise. 

According to Plan

The next high spot on the Remodeling Rollercoaster is when you see what your new space might look like. Our in-house design team has synthesized all your wishes, wants and needs into a set of renderings – lifelike drawings that show colors, textures, fixtures, and finishes in a 2D context, giving you a look at how they’ll appear in your new space.

We’re hoping your response is “Wow!” and maybe “Wow!” again. Now that you’ve seen your vision come to life, we’ll make any final adjustments before creating schedules, blueprints, and assembling our functional teams – starting with the demolition crew. We’re approaching the next big rush of excitement. Time to hold on.

Demo Day

Anticipation builds as we move quickly from demo to framing.
Anticipation builds as we move quickly from demo to framing.

That made-for-TV-demo-day-mayhem looks like fun on the home improvement shows, and you’ll likely experience a bittersweet mix of nostalgia and schadenfreude watching the old space go away, one hammer swing at a time. Rest assured, we’ll take a more measured approach in your home. 

Once the old sheetrock, cabinets, and floors are gone, we’re down to the skeleton of the new space. If you can see past the forest of 2×4’s and snaking conduit, this is when anticipation builds as we move quickly from demo to framing, and installing the mechanicals e.g. electrical, gas, HVAC, and plumbing systems. 

It’s Mechanical

Compared to the rapid dispatch of your previous space, the mechanicals and infrastructure modifications will move at glacier speed, leading you to wonder “Why is this taking so long?” 

In many cases, MAK Design+Build needs to move existing plumbing and electrical systems to accommodate the new space – especially for kitchen and bathroom remodels in older homes. And, we understand, this isn’t the prettiest aspect of a construction project. Bear with us, we’ll do our best to get through this essential element of any home remodeling project quickly so we can get back to the fun stuff again.

Drywalling and Dust Busting

By the time we reach the drywall phase, you’re undoubtedly ready to be done with this messy project. That first blush of excitement has turned into frustration, construction fatigue, and sneezing fits. At this point, you’re more excited about regaining your privacy – and normalcy – than your soon-to-be-completed space. 

It’s bothersome and annoying, we know. We take every precaution to protect your family and home from this insidious reality by employing plastic barriers, floor coverings, and air scrubbers to minimize the migration of dust – but, it will make its way to all corners of your home.

Hang in there! This too shall pass – we promise.

Installers and Artisans to the Rescue

MAK employees working on remodeling project
The cabinets arrive – it’s starting to look like a kitchen again.

Just as your emotions ebb to an all-time low and the sight of the contractor’s truck puts you in a deep funk for the rest of the day, the cabinet installers arrive.

Time for a deep breath.

Now, you’re getting a look at what those drawings promised those many weeks ago – and, it’s thrilling! Once the cabinets are installed, the project picks up steam again as tile, paint and finishing details are added daily.

You’re in the home stretch – literally. Feeling better?

We hope so. In those “What was I thinking?” moments, we encourage you to close your eyes and visualize living in your new space – focusing on all the fun details and amazing functionality in your very near future.

A Dream-Fulfilling Finish

After a sometimes bumpy ride, we’ve all made it to the end of the Remodeling Roller Coaster. The dust hasn’t just settled – it’s gone – and we’re ready to walk you through your newly completed space. Here’s where we might elaborate on how we solved a particular problem or how a fixture or function enhances the environment.

We’re giddy – so we can only imagine what you’re feeling. Happy? Elated? Over-the-Moon? Blissed out? That final swoop to the finish was hopefully well worth it – and we applaud your perseverance and patience.

If you’re considering a home remodeling project, we hope this hasn’t scared you off – but rather painted a realistic picture of what to expect – and how we’ve already anticipated your needs.

Learn more about MAK Design+Build’s approach to home remodeling, by giving us a call at (530) 750-2209 to discuss your dream. We’re ready when you are.

Looking for more design inspiration? visit MAK Design+Build’s portfolio of recently completed projects.


Ask the Expert 2022 – Matt K.

MAK's own Matt K. was featured this year as SacTown magazine's construction expert. Read an extended version of his expert advice here!

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