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Lin Lee's 10 Rules of Renovation

Kitchen View


  1. This is the time to do it right.  Make the changes that will allow you and your family to live in your home in this new world.


2)   Create a wish list.  Look through shelter magazines and internet sites for options that you like and do not like.  This is a visual business.  A picture is really worth a thousand words.


3)  If you can, live in the space first.  Before the construction starts, decide if you can live with the dust.  You may want to move out.


4)  Find a renovation team you genuinely like.  Renovation is a hard process, in some ways like a marriage.  Start with a partner you respect.  Check portfolios for the quality of the work as well as the diversity of styles.

Kit Looking forward

5)  The Internet makes us feel like we are instant experts.  Trust your design team first or you will probably regret your independent path.  A professional team is aware of pitfalls that exist in the market today.


6)  Look at the sustainable options.  Weigh the up front cost with the long-term savings.  Work with a team that has current knowledge.  This is a new frontier.


7)  You pay one way or the other.  Never go with the lowest priced contractor/design team or make your builder/design team choose the lowest priced subcontractor.  This creates a very weak pyramid, with your contractor/design team on top, precariously holding your job in their hands.


8)  Spend ample time on the plans before demolition.  Let all the voices be heard-architect, designer, builder, landscape designer.  Your project will be much stronger for it and run more smoothly.


9)  When you start your renovation, make sure to finish it.  If you never get to something when the walls are open and the dust flying, you never will.


10)  Always remember, this is your house.  It should always be about how you live.