Baby Steps
Guidance and Trust

For many people dealing with their First time Renovation and the design process, it can be a little overwhelming.  Even for those who have been through it before-this Renovation 101 primer post can serve as a refresher course. Who do you turn to?  What resources are out there? Why should you believe us? or Aunt Ethel?  How about some advice for first time renovation-Call me @ 914 674 2950, let’s discuss your situation.


We listen well. We ask a lot of questions. We pull on the same end of the rope with you. This saves time, reduces fees and results in happier clients.

Hell yes, going through a construction project is a big commitment. Indecision and cold feet are perfectly normal in this situation. The amount of time and money, energy & decisions is considerable.  Thinking about the inconvenience and apprehensions about possibly living out of your house or having your office compromised for a few months can be daunting.
Especially if you have not been through it before.  But we have, over 400 times….You’ve heard the horror stories and don’t want any part of that.  Delays, cost overruns, …We have plans and tactics to get you through it, with little drama and actual fun.  Battle-tested checklists, schedules, templates and ways of monitoring that are sensible and enforceable.

But the doubters and their second thoughts linger- how will I know?..  The more you know, the less you fear.  The more you prepare and remove the possibility of failure- the fear subsides when you start.  All the planning, research, and due diligence are what largely is your protection and comfort for your first time renovation.  Managing expectations is critical-which happens through knowledge.

Here’s how:

1. Ask neighbors, friends, colleagues, family about their project- what did they do? Any issues? Educate yourself. If they did go off the rails, what were the clues that lead to the issues? Develop and stick to a construction budget…Research, Vet, Interview, check references
2. Get the right people: experienced builders, seasoned architects or engineers, insightful lenders.
   Understand when you need a permit
4. Obtain construction schedules. Anticipate, question, ask to follow up questions until it makes sense.
5. Monitor, notice, observe, question- require accountability from all parties. Ask, Question, Delve deeper.
6. Pay promptly, answer quickly, be present
7. Deliver materials that you buy when needed.
Don't worry!
It can also be awesome!
The construction process can also be a lot of fun since the project’s transformation is often so radical that clients cannot quite believe the extents of the changes. It can also be transformative for kids to watch the changes occur and nice relationships that are built with the contractors are very common.
Really, in 20 years, that’s over 400 projects, we only had to replace one contractor- since he went bankrupt, and had so many other issues well-concealed.  But we quickly resurrected the project and got it done.

Since the result is what it’s all about, clients have a universal reaction…Which is “Why didn’t we do this earlier?”

How many investments can you actually live in and appreciate- if you build it in a sensible Renovation 101 manner?
Call Steve 914 980 5532. Let’s talk. Ohmm…
Get your ducks in a row, BEFORE the project.

Article by Steven Secon