Four Key Takeaways from LakewoodAlive’s “Knowing Your Home: Creating a Sound Investment” Workshop

March 8, 2017

Opening Night for LakewoodAlive’s “Knowing Your Home” series lived up to the hype, as 35 attendees gathered at The Bottlehouse Brewery Lakewood on March 2 to hear a panel discussion addressing the process for undertaking major home improvement projects.

Lakewood Knowing Your Home - Creating a Sound Investment

More than 35 homeowners attended the inaugural workshop of 2017.

Panelists Frank Scalish (Scalish Construction), Vince Valentino (Cleveland Lumber Company) Bill Gaydos (William J. Gaydos & Associates, LLC) and Chuck McGettrick (Architects C.A. McGettrick, Inc.) shared their expertise with the assembly of homeowners.  Ultimately, their collective goal involved equipping attendees with the knowledge and confidence necessary to tackle larger projects.

If you happened to miss this particular workshop, we’ve got you covered.  Here are four key takeaways from “Knowing Your Home: Creating a Sound Investment.”

1. Determine a budget and stick to it.

Before commencing your major home improvement project, know how much you wish to spend – then don’t let yourself exceed that figure.  As you begin to explore your home improvement goals, it’s easy to be tempted to expand the scope, yet you owe it to yourself to complete your project within your means.  Make your budget a binding agreement you’ve made with yourself.  Consider performing some of the labor yourself to save money and avoid paying with credit if possible.

2. Have realistic expectations.

When it comes to largescale home improvement projects, you stand a much better chance of coming away satisfied if you understand the specifics and limitations of your project up front.  This means developing realistic expectations with regards to your project’s budget, timeline and long-term outlook.  A good contractor will be able to keep your project moving, keeping your vision on track.  Slow down and take time to consider all the ramifications of your project.  Keep in mind that most major projects will experience at least one minor speedbump on the road to a successful completion.

3. Write a list of what you want.

Make a list and check it twice.  Create a “wants vs. needs” list – this will help you stick to your budget and get the project result you desire.  By employing this strategy, you can better hold your contractor responsible for ensuring the final product meets your expectations.  In the end you’ll enjoy a project result that fulfills all of your needs and if extra budget remains, then you can pursue a few extra bells and whistles.

4. An architect can help you understand the possibility of a project.

A successful home improvement project typically requires a strong relationship between architect and homeowner.  Your architect can help you analyze the full scope of your project, enabling you to better determine the range of requirements and choices at your disposal.  Ultimately, your architect will help you truly define your project and guide the design.  Finding the right architect, then bringing that expert into your project early, should pay dividends throughout the course of your project.