Try this idea on for size:

A home renovation doesn’t need to be a dreadful experience.

Instead, it can be an opportunity: for growth, for fun, for a new beginning.


As we mentioned in our last post, the name Houseplay came from a desire to debunk the old assumption that, “Home renovations are the worst!”

But where to begin? Start with a vision. Allow yourself some time to dream. Sure, it’s tempting to dive right into the nuts-and-bolts practicality, but you’ll miss a great deal if you don’t take time to envision the possibilities. So take a little time to toss around fun ideas with your family, look at photos on Houzz, and let your imagination roam freely.

Once you’re done brainstorming, then it’s time to take a look at the priorities that have emerged from your dreaming session. What’s most important to you and your family? Do you have an accurate, specific idea of what work you want done on your space? It’s great to be open to suggestions from your contractor, but it’s also important to have a sense for what you really want to see accomplished.

If you find yourself saying, “I just want it all redone,” take some time to figure out what project you’d like to prioritize. If you’re saying, “I’m open to suggestions, but first, I’d like to completely renovate and upgrade our master bathroom in a modern style,” then you’re well on your way.

That said, it’s important to note that if you’re looking update just one part of a space – say, the bathroom floor tile – it will likely make more economic sense to renovate the entire space in one go. That’s certainly the case with bathroom tile; if a contractor is already tearing out tile, it’s much more cost-effective to complete a full bathroom renovation at the same time.

And that’s where having a good general contractor really comes in handy, because they can help you to strategize and plan how everything ties together.

At Houseplay, we’re sensitive to budgets and cost pressures. We can partner with you to figure out a phased approach, if that’s appropriate, and we’ll keep you informed about the most cost-effective options for your space too.

The Principle in Action

Recently, we had a recurring client ask us about a project that’s a little smaller than our normal minimum: a back-of-house entryway that she wanted to enlarge. We worked out the numbers for her, and realized that, by the time we got each specialty trade in to do their part, the renovation would cost at least $25,000.

However, this client and her husband also wanted to completely renovate their kitchen within the next five years … and the kitchen is adjacent to the back entry. Together, they decided that enlarging the back entryway would be a logical part of the forthcoming kitchen renovation. It would be much more cost effective to lump the projects together and have them completed at same time.

In fact, these homeowners could end up with substantial savings if they add on this small project, as so many trades will be present already to complete the larger scope of work for their kitchen renovation.

The moral of the story: when it comes to home renovation, take the long view. With your contractor’s help, consider not just what your home needs today, but what will be needed just a few years down the road.


P.S. – Did you know that we have special packages and offerings that might fit your specific needs? For example, if you live in northeastern New Jersey and are buying a home, you can take advantage of our Homebuyer Support Sessions. In a Homebuyer Support Session, we’ll meet with you, talk about all your needs, and help you budget, plan, and prioritize accordingly.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series, where we’ll outline key points to consider as you create your own renovation timeline!


Disclaimer: Although we have made every effort to ensure that the information in this post is correct, we do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.