When embarking upon any project, remodel or design & build, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of decisions to be made. The list of decisions marches through the homeowner's mind. What kind of windows should I choose? What kind of handles do I want on this sink? What kind of shutter dogs should I choose? How about the style of siding? Making decisions that impact your project, are wise, efficient, and timely all depend on your process.
If you are a visual learner, this type of up-front decision making involved in a remodel or build can be difficult, because only when you see all of the pieces together do you feel confident you are making an informed choice. For those of you who are hands-on learners, lots of leg-work is involved to do in order to touch and feel products that will eventually make it into your home. Criss-crossing the town with samples and comparisons for days can be exhausting. For the theoretical thinker, there are many surprises when the plans that you carefully crafted in the virtual, precise world of spreadsheets, Pinterest, or architectural plans fail to take in variables that occur in real life. Just imagine for a minute each of these ways to gather information as the leg on a stool. When balanced, the stool is useful, when one 'way' soaks up too much time and energy and the others are neglected, the stool is useless.
The first step is ALWAYS to count the cost. Do the research. Pin away. Answer those basic questions: What do I need? What do I want? What is my vision? How much do I want to spend? Skipping this step and heading straight to show rooms can get you into some major pickles -- sticker shock or product overload, to name a few.