Common Sense Blog

Common Sense Remodeling

Most homeowners get nervous when finally making the decision to remodel their home. Not only can remodeling be a significant financial investment, but when years of saving, dreaming and planning come together – renovating a home can be a very emotional process. 


Simply Common Sense

By Rob Mortell, Marketing Coordinator, Advance Design Studio, Ltd.

Typical renovation stories often begin like this:  A homeowner wishes to remodel their kitchen, maybe including other areas of the first floor such as the powder room, the laundry, and foyer. The project involves major alterations such as removing walls, soffits, and mechanicals, bumping out an exterior along with extensive flooring and mill-work changes. Step one is to usually look for a kitchen designer. Most homeowners will talk to the contractor their neighbor used last year. The contractor needs architectural drawings and a kitchen design to price the work. The architect estimates the construction cost without full knowledge of the still incomplete kitchen design. The homeowner isn’t sure what the project might cost.

Fast forward a few months… the kitchen design is complete, and the architect is completing the renovation drawings. The homeowner brings both plans back to the contractor, as well as has two more contractors price the project. After months of design and back and forth between architect and the kitchen designer; the homeowner receives three “bids” for the construction work. The end result they are surprised to see is three prices, 25%, 35%, and 50% over the original anticipated budget.

Having experienced firsthand the disconnect that nearly always occurs between architects, designers, and contractors, Todd Jurs embraces his role of one-stop coordination for homeowners.

“We’ve seen so many homeowners over the years embark upon this process, only to be disappointed before they even begin,” Todd says. “A smart planning process encompasses pre-budgeting within pre-design, and includes extensive consultation from all professionals’ right at the beginning of the renovation planning process.”

Contrast the typical homeowner remodeling process with what the Jurs’ consider a more common sense approach to remodeling: The homeowner plans the identical project above and meets with a qualified Design/Build team. The team’s kitchen designer and project manager review the project ideas. Together they create preliminary designs, and pre-budget the project to help the homeowner understand their options based on design considerations and complete product selections. Once a budget is established, design and construction drawings are completed and product selections are finalized. The project then transitions smoothly to field management by the same project manager, whose project construction team completes the project without surprises to the homeowner.

A comprehensive design process when tackling a home renovation saves homeowners time, money and ultimately heartache.  The completion of a new kitchen, the master suite bath, and even the whole house renovation will be much more satisfying when the process was a pleasure, the bank didn’t break, and all it took was a little common sense.

Project Profile: 

This 1930’s Barrington Hills farmhouse was in need of some TLC when it was purchased by this southern family of five who planned to make it their new home. The renovation taken on by Advance Design Studio’s designer Scott Christensen and master carpenter Justin Davis included a custom porch, custom built in cabinetry in the living room and children’s bedrooms, 2 children’s on-suite baths, a guest powder room, a fabulous new master bath with custom closet and makeup area, a new upstairs laundry room, a workout basement, a mud room, new flooring and custom wainscot stairs with planked walls and ceilings throughout the home.

Painted distressed cabinetry in muted shades of gray/green was used in the powder room to bring out the rustic feel of the space which was accentuated with wood planked walls and ceilings. Fresh white painted shaker cabinetry was used throughout the rest of the rooms, accentuated by bright chrome fixtures and muted pastel tones to create a calm and relaxing feeling throughout the home.

– Barrington farmhouse cottage bath

To find out more about 25 years of “Common Sense Remodeling” with Advance Design Studio, Ltd. visit us at AdvanceDesignStudio.com. With 25 years of experience, our talented, award winning design team can help you create the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams. Contact us today at 847-836-2600 or schedule an appointment to talk with us about that new kitchen or bath project.  

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