The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Renovation: Habit 5 - Understand and Be Understood

Part 1: Be Proactive
Part 2: Begin With an End in Mind
Part 3: First Things First
Part 4: Think Win-Win

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand Then be Understood

There is a saying that the strongest part of your home renovation design is your constraints. First try to understand the constraints, then you can better understand how to solve your design problems.

Some typical constraints are:

Budget: Try to understand your home improvement budget  from a re-sale point of view as well as a cash flow standpoint.

Time: Time constraints can be a blessing in disguise in that they help lend focus to the project.

Zoning: Zoning constraints will define the legal barriers of size, and dimension not to mention the use of the addition.

Site: The site will have certain characteristics which may dictate what you can and can not do within your budget or time constraints. These may include any slopes on the land, sunlight direction, proximity to neighbors, etc.

You will start the renovation process with a list of needs and you will want them to be understood, but as you move into the design stage you will become aware of how these needs will be facing constraints not only of cost and time, but also with zoning and site issues.

It is important to work WITH your architect and your builder in addressing these constraints. Remember, they are on your side. Listen to your architect and try to understand what they are telling you during the planning and design phase and then seek to be understood.

When this dialog is underway the process starts to become truly collaborative which leads us to the topic of our next blog, Habit 6: Synergize