Until you’ve undergone a major remodel yourself, it’s hard to fathom just how much of a team effort it really is. You may not realize how many people it takes to get the project done, even when it’s a simple bath remodel. Some of the people involved are in the forefront- those are the ones that arrive at your house to run wires, pound nails and install tile. Others, however, are behind the scenes, providing skills and knowledge that might go unnoticed. With 21 years in business, and countless remodel projects under my belt, (including a few at my own house) I’d like to use this column to call attention to to all the people involved in making my 2-dimensional designs on paper turn into reality.
Architects and Engineers
Without a firm plan, there can be no construction. As the designer, I create the overall concept and select the materials, but since I am not an architect or engineer, I rely on these folks for the detailed structural plans. With their knowledge, we are able to add or remove walls, expand and move doorways and windows, and raise ceilings. In one recent project, my design called for raising the floor in two step-down rooms, removing two walls to create an open floor plan, and moving a window several feet to make room for a built-in bar. The structural engineer adapted my concept drawings into the working documents needed for permitting and construction.
The key to a successful remodel is the General Contractor, who wears a number of hats during the project. He (most contractors are men, but there are some women out there!) has to coordinate all the subcontractors, keep the project progressing on schedule, navigate the permit and inspection process, procure materials, make countless pickups and deliveries to make sure the crew has what they need, often participate in the hands-on work himself, and keep in good communication with me, as the designer, and of course the clients.
My goodness, there are so many people to acknowledge in this category! Since no one person can possibly have all the skills and talent necessary to perform every task required for a remodel, we rely on a trusted pool of tradespeople to get the work done: framers, roofers, concrete pourers, sheet-rockers, electricians, plumbers, painters, cabinet makers, installers of flooring, tile, countertops, shower glass, windows and window coverings, doors, fireplaces, staircases, and many others! You’d be amazed at how many people it takes for a successful project. I am continuously learning from these folks, as they provide very important technical knowledge, and are the ones who quite literally make my designs a reality.
I know many things about many different types of materials, but I certainly do not know everything. For specific knowledge about certain products, such as appliances, flooring, plumbing fixtures, just to name a few, I rely on experienced, professional salespeople to help answer questions and offer advice on what is best to use in a particular application. For those of you undertaking your own projects, I encourage you to seek out the knowledge and advice of experienced salespeople. Great customer service is worth a fortune.
It’s very rewarding to see my designs come to life. So many people make important contributions to the completed project. It’s with an incredible amount of gratitude, I offer my heartfelt thanks to “The Team.”