I was with a client yesterday who asked me how many change orders to expect during their kitchen renovation. When I told him it is rare that we have a change order he was shocked. He asked me how that is possible because change orders often add up to many additional costs during renovations. They are one of the primary reasons the cost of renovation is higher than expected at the beginning of the process.

The real question is why change orders happen in the first place. Most of the time a change order happens because once the homeowner sees the space opened up, they envision something different than has been planned for or the homeowner does not like a finish that has been selected and wants to change a color. These are often costly mistakes that can be avoided by following three simple steps.

Vision in 3D

The main reason people change things during construction is because they have not been able to visualize the space. When we work together we take the time to vet out all of the options and discuss the pros and cons of each choice. Then 3D drawings are provided to help the client really see what the space will look like. This helps them to quickly ascertain what they like and dislike about the choice they have made. At this point we can easily adjust the lay out to suit the client’s vision. Going through this process takes time and patience but allowing the time to work through this step is critical to success.

Devilish Details

The floor plan with measurements is then provided. We are able to walk through the design in the space with measurements. This step allows the homeowner to really get a sense of the space. Sometimes taping off where things will sit helps to “see” the overall concept. This also takes time and patience but is another opportunity to change anything that appears to be “off” to the homeowner before ordering cabinetry.

Color Relationships

Finally, we select every finish and utilize samples in the space to ensure the colors read the way we want them to in the lighting of the home. The relationship between finishes is vital to great design and colors look different depending on the lighting in every space. Additionally, taking the time to assess scale of light fixtures and other items in the space will allow for re-selection prior to ordering.

Following these steps will ensure that you have 100% confidence in your lay out and your selections. That confidence will allow you to move through the construction phase knowing that you have made the right decisions and choices for your family in your home.

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