Uncovering your Needs: 3 Questions To Ask Before Starting a Remodel

Uncovering your Needs: 3 Questions To Ask Before Starting a Remodel

As a homeowner, there are a lot of questions you'll want to consider as you embark on a new home improvement project. To help manage some of the stress and planning, it's helpful to begin by establishing your project priorities. The answers and the questions that develop from those conversations will help you start to understand how your projects might be accomplished and how challenging or costly it may be to realize your top renovation goals.

The general idea is to determine how to get the most value out of your house, based on your needs. To ensure your success, we suggest that you answer these three questions when considering a new project:

  1. What are the most essential goals & priorities for you and your family?
  2. What are your timing and financial constraints?
  3. How do you define your design style and collect inspiration?

By addressing certain critical questions, your design-build company will have a better understanding of your goals, budget, and timeline, ensuring the final result matches your expectations. Careful consideration of these matters upfront helps to foresee potential barriers down the road. 

What are the most essential goals & priorities for you and your family?

During the project planning process, it's important to identify and articulate your objectives. It's beneficial to think about and outline your top priorities to ensure your design team meets your desired goals and outcomes. Every project starts with a conversation about how to clarify your vision, but you will need help figuring out what that vision will cost and how to balance out priorities. 

Many clients have found it valuable to consider how they currently use the space and then talk through how they want to use the space. What aspects are the most frustrating? What aspects of your house do you love? If you can express your motivation for making some big changes to your space, then you will have more clarity to help direct decision-making. With collaboration and clarity on your priorities, a design-build firm can allocate resources appropriately and deliver the quality you need within your budget. This is the first step toward developing your vision and a set of solutions that will ensure that your vision will be accurately conveyed to the team that will build your project.  

What are your timing and financial constraints?

Budget and timing are the two biggest hurdles we have to overcome early on when talking to new clients about potential projects. As a design-build firm, we feel it is really important to discuss this at the beginning of the project rather than at the end of design or halfway through construction. Before starting a conversation with a firm for the project, discuss the potential investment amount for the project with your family. Having a clear idea of how much you can invest in the project and relaying that to the firm you're working with makes it easier to design projects only to that budget.


The time in which homeowners expect the project to be completed is another tough conversation that often needs to happen early. Most reputable firms have backlogs and delays right now, so understanding not only your timeline by which this needs to get done but also the firm's next "opening" in construction is crucial. At Bellweather, we invest a lot of time and energy into the design and development phase of the project. This allows us to make sure we are carefully and thoughtfully thinking about the project, and it also reduces surprises in construction.


Starting a project is bound to stir up some emotions. We recommend that you openly communicate with your firm and allow them to thoroughly understand your concerns and reservations as you discuss your project ambitions. By conveying some of your expectations and feelings, it will be easier for the firm to design something that meets your expectations. 

How to define your style expectations and collect inspiration?

If you're having trouble clarifying your vision, don't worry; it's a common problem. Since design language and industry terms aren't necessarily self-explanatory, a collection of images can be a good place to start. Sharing your design aesthetics and preferences with your designer can provide a clear understanding of what direction your tastes are leaning. Also, any dislikes can help in setting up a successful design direction. You can communicate with your designer using photos from Houzz and Pinterest, and other sample materials to establish an effective path when selecting the styles, finishes, and products to be incorporated. 


If you're ready to start designing the space of your dreams, then it pays to partner with a design firm that shares your aesthetic. Do you want to restore historical details? Or do you prefer modern updates and amenities? Invested in custom features? If so, be particular about who you chose, after all, it's critical that your team is on board with your vision and goals. Finding the right firm can turn a great project into one that exceeds expectations.

Working with a Design-Build firm in Philadelphia

For simplifying your project planning, consider starting a conversation with a design-build company. We use the design-build model because the integrated process is the best way to ensure full ownership and delivery. Working with a single team that has your best interests in mind will provide reliable and efficient solutions and if the design-build firm is talented, then you can realize great advantages.


With a trusted design-build firm as your partner, they can address questions or concerns early while helping you identify priorities. Protecting your budget is important and regular check-ins ensure that design scope and renovation costs stay on track. This type of collaborative process allows you to focus on results while the design-build firm takes responsibility for all of the details.


Contact us to learn more about our design-build process and how we can help get you started.

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