Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Renovation “Hump” Phenomenon

Living RoomBed Room







After being involved in the renovation industry for more than 20 years, trends and designs change but one thing always stays the same. The renovation “HUMP”! It’s an interesting phenomenon. It doesn’t matter the size of the project, big or small, it’s still there. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a commercial or residential project. It always rears its ugly head.

Very similar to “hump” day, the Renovation Hump is that point in time when clients just want to see the work completed and move onto settling into their new space. Just like most of us see “hump day” as the point in time when the weekend is closer than it was before and we just want Friday at 5:00 pm to roll around, clients get frustrated and just want the project to conclude.

The initial stages of any project are both exciting and at times, frustrating, and often full of anticipation. First comes the planning and design phase. Everyone loves this part – new possibilities are always exhilarating. Long before the first hammer swings, we need to know what we are doing and ensure it will work with the space. Once the design and floor plan are approved, we order any items that have a delivery requirement and purchase any other items to ensure they are available when the work commences. Once we have confirmed the delivery of items, we coordinate the demolition phase to ensure we minimize down time/disruption in your space. Then we begin demo. This is often where we find any surprises that we were not aware of previously, as they were hidden from everyone’s knowledge behind the walls, especially if the client doesn’t have the original architectural plans for the space. We may need to make some modifications to the initial plans, or we may find we do not have to do something we thought we might. This is also where we can experience delays, waiting for other trades to complete what they need to so we can move in and complete what we need to.  

Once the work is in full swing and we start to see a good portion of the work completed, everyone gets so excited to see the design and new layout begin to unfold. Seeing the colors come together, then the lighting and the flooring go in, then tile, vanities, fixtures, furniture and the floor plan comes alive and the excitement is thick in the air. Then the Renovation Hump hits!

Suddenly the end is in sight, but still seems so far away! Clients and sometimes even the contractors get frustrated. The fine finishing details that honestly are not obvious on first quick glance begin to take a tremendous amount of time! Detailing is one of the most important and under rated parts of a renovation job! It can make or break a good project if it is rushed! However, doing a proper detailing job simply takes time. Trim, touch ups, sealing tile, attaching door pulls and door stops are all things that you really do not see at a quick glance, but go in for a good inspection and you will sure notice the difference between a top notch job and a shabby one! Depending on the job, I usually tell the clients to allow 20 – 25% for the detailing work time wise. It is very finicky and time consuming to do it right and to a high standard of quality!

Unfortunately, installing doorstops or sealing tile isn’t something that is quickly visible when someone walks into the rooms. It can be frustrating when you “see” little change over the course of a day. However, this is time when the finishing touches are all being completed with the greatest attention to detail. This is also where we go through the space with the client and ensure they are completely satisfied with the space! 

Unfortunately, the “hump” is as real as part of any renovation project as the materials or the design! I always tease my clients when the “hump” hits and let them know it’s perfectly normal and part of any job! They will be free to enjoy their new space soon and we will be out of their hair and onto the next project before we all know it!

Staging For Maximum Impact

de clutter 

There is such a tremendous difference between filling an empty space and a well-planned, perfectly balanced design. I’ve recently been looking through some MLS listing photos and the difference in photos always shocks me. The homes that have been well “put together” stand out so far above and beyond the others – there is just really no comparison! 

The first difference I always notice is the quality of the photos taken. If the pictures are from an angle that really showcases the room, or just focused on a piece of furniture. Some are taken from a corner in a top down view, these often look good and show more of the space. How is the lighting in the photo? Is it under/over exposed? Is it too dark/light? The photos play a huge role in getting buyers interested and having them want to come view the home. In the past when there was a limited supply of homes, buyers just came to see everything they could. However, now that the selling inventory out paces the buyer’s demand, the only way your home will get short listed for viewing is if it looks good in the pictures when compared to the rest! So the online listing pictures now become that much more important than they ever were before!

Space planning to best showcase a room is huge. First impressions of any space become the key to having buyers fall in love with your home. If your furniture placement is crowding the room, the space will automatically feel small. This is not the first impression you want a buyer to walk away with! Removing extra pieces of furniture or simply rearranging a space can suddenly make it feel much more spacious and much more appealing to buyers. Now is the time to get rid of all those hand me down pieces you’ve acquired from family that you may not necessarily want, especially if you plan to give them away before you move anyway. Don’t wait for your home to sell to remove those pieces, do it before you list your home! It will look so much better for the listing pictures and the showings and you just saved yourself a tremendous amount of time in packing and got a huge jump on your moving chores! Most of my clients are shocked at how much of a difference it makes and all agree they should have done it years ago and would have enjoyed their homes more if they had.

Buyers are looking for homes that are clean, well maintained and give them a certain piece of mind that if they purchase your home, they will not be left with “problems”. I always recommend my clients have the furnace inspected. The electrician will leave a sticker on the furnace when they do so, which gives the buyers piece of mind that you have taken care of routine maintenance. Wash windows inside and out. Again, this gives the impression that you care and look after the “little things” before they can turn in to “big problems” for the home owner. If your home has been well lived in and your walls need a fresh coat of paint, do so. Paint is one of the most inexpensive home improvements but has the biggest return for the amount spent. Select paint colors that are neutral and light enough to ensure they don’t make a space look small. There is a full list of cleaning and de-cluttering in my Handbook that I leave with my clients after a staging consult. The most important thing to remember is that your home is competing with many others now, so to make it stand out it has to look its best. Everything you can do as the Seller to make your home stand out, make sure you take the time and make the effort to do so. Basic repairs and maintenance, cleaning and de-cluttering and staging all help to make your home look its best! 

We always say the “Price” has to match the “Condition” of the property when comparable to others in the immediate neighborhood. So, the more you’ve done to prepare your home and the better maintained your home is, the better the asking price you will have. The more you neglect your home and refuse to take care of details, the lower the price will be.  It really is that simple!