Why A Remodeling Design Plan is a MUST HAVE?

June 5, 2017

It is almost an organic phenomenon; once you start remodeling, you cannot help but think, ‘while you’re at it…”

These four words can lead to a bill as long as your arm.  Before you realize it, the figure has gotten out of hand. It always starts innocently enough. You meet with the contractor. The project is going well. You look again, seeing a slight blemish hampering the full perfection of your home. Your mind races. You say, “While you’re at it…”

Such a simple question – without context, it doesn’t even mean anything, but when you go ahead and add, “While you’re at it, put a new coat of paint on the drywall, or tweak the down-lighter formation on the stairwell juuust so…”

Tiny stuff, right? Shouldn’t affect the overall budget of the remodeling too much, right

Well, not quite.

Once you utter the phrase “While you’re at it…”. There is a shift in dynamic – priorities rearrange, the technicalities change, and the fees increase, for those ‘small’ additions.  These expenses keep piling up, and before you know it, you end up with a billing sheet that is not quite what you might have imagined.

It’s long and comprehensive – but most of all; it consists of a list of all the pile-ups in labor and cost that have happened because you said those four tiny, harmless words. This charge up in expense can lead to a change in the budget you’d had fixed for that particular remodel. It can also compromise your fixed price agreement with the contractor or the bank, which may lead to problems further down the road. The effect of while-you’re-at-it is quite unpredictable indeed.

Be extremely careful about what “extra” changes you inadvertently end up asking of the contractor. That new coat of paint on the living room drywall? It’s going to cost some extra bucks in the form of cost of paint and labor, not to mention the culmination of hours. You’re going to incur charges when the electrician and the drywall contractor have to join forces to get the work done. The combined effect of all these additional changes can add thousands of dollars to your bill.

The outcome of “while you’re at it…” is like a ripple effect – it causes some changes that you had never planned for your remodeling budget. Keep this urge in check by carefully setting priorities, and noting the exact scope of work. Know your budget and be firm it. Do not succumb to the lure of while-you’re-at-it.

There are always a few very common and generic sets of repercussions in the remolding budget that come with the while-you’re-at-it effect. Let’s take a look at a few of them on a spectrum of harmless, mild and alarming.


–    Door adjustments

You might have noticed how the doors got puffy and stuck after a particularly brutal spring rain shower. It’s practically nothing to worry about; would probably settle down with the weather. But if you need that door adjustment, then it can accrue a harmless incursion of the cost of your end remodeling bill.

–    Change in accessories

This can include a change in lighting or bathroom fixtures. Replacing a small light fixture or even a faulty bathroom faucet may be considered simple matters. Note that whenever the placement of these fixtures remains the same, it will cost a relatively minimum collect in the overall remodeling budget.


–    Additional paint job

While not the worst kind of an expense pile-up, but it is not exceptionally shabby either – consider $500 or above. Sometimes having an almost perfect remodel of your suite and then comparing it to that shabby guest room and be irksome. Try to reign in the while-you’re-at-it and think about the priorities


–    A structural reset

Breaking down the wall, between the kitchen and dining room? Sounds simple enough, but the mechanics of architecture dictate otherwise. That wall you want to shatter might as well be in a load bearing capacity; which means that if you want to knock it down, you’d have to do an extreme architectural remodel.

This kind of a remodeling intervention can add a huge, huge pileup of expenses on your overall budget – think more than a few thousand – because not only are you resetting the ambiance, you’re reconfiguring the entire structure of your home.


Change orders can necessary or not, but it is important to leaf through the legal jargon and compare notes with the contractor before you succumb to the while-you’re-at-it syndrome.

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