Ann Milläng, owner/founder of the online boutique St. Barth’s Home, offers 6 home renovation tips to get the job done efficiently and economically.
6 Home Renovation Tips
• The most important thing is to get at least three bids on the job. It is not important to take the lowest or the highest bid but rather to know exactly what you are getting for your investment. That often ends up somewhere in the middle, but make sure everything is itemized and it is very clear what the final product will be. Taking the lowest bid can often be a mistake as there will be hidden costs, and it is better to take a bit higher bid knowing everything you are paying for and what the builders will be delivering to you in exact, itemized terms.
• We looked for deals with tile, wood building materials, plumbing fixtures and flooring in areas selling wholesale. Every city has an area like this. I also went to wholesale nurseries for the planting materials.
• If possible, being your own contractor is advantageous as that gives you control over the process and budget.
• Always look for sales online and in newspapers as you can find just the right flooring or tile you need as well as bathroom fixtures that were overstock for another project.
• It’s good to have a Microsoft Excel document to keep track of the budget, bids and final cost. This keeps things in control, as it is easy to let the excitement of completing the project overshadow your plan to keep within a certain cost.
• In the end, taking the time to find things at a discount by doing research is more satisfying than just going to a high-priced design studio. It’s fun to determine your design style and keep a notebook with you of clippings from magazines and notes so that you can find the things you need when you’re in a building-supply center.
By Meryl Schoenbaum
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel