Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pump up your Home Remodel with a Renovation Coach

Pump up your Home Remodel with a Renovation Coach

Browsing the news, a phrase caught my eye - “Renovation Coach“. What a marvelous idea! Personal coaching & training has been all the rage. So now you can get a coach for your home improvement projects?

I imagined a “Renovation Coach” as someone who calls you early on Saturday morning to get you back on the renovation horse when you’ve fallen off or have an unpleasant maintenance job to do. Or gets you up at 6am to go to Home Depot for those needed materials. Or trains you with that nifty new nail gun before you hurt yourself.

Well … not really. A Renovation Coach is the same as a “Renovation Consultant”, which although less catchy is every bit as useful. In 2007, the Renovation Coach or Consultant is an idea whose time has come.

Previously, I wrote posts about the rising number of DIYers needing to be bailed out by professionals. And interviewed online “Electrical Coach” Wayne Gilchrist. But it’s not only the DIYer using and needing this type service. People who are going to hire someone to do the job are also discovering the benefits of a little “renovation coaching”. This Old House goes so far as to call them “a new breed of therapist “.

“The thing about home renovation is that very few people have been able to practice for it,” says Irving, who honed his skills working on 33 whole-house projects in his 17 years with the show. “They get wound up and ner­vous, facing this potential money pit, and it doesn’t have to be that way.”

I second that emotion. An experienced Renovation Coach can help with …

setting goals or developing a vision for your large home renovation
determining the return on your renovation investment - Cost vs. Value or Move vs. Remodel - to help you decide
identifying the professionals you will need (like an Interior Designer) for a quality renovation
giving you a ballpark figure against which you use in evaluating quotes from contractors
navigating the building permit maze
a wealth of experience about products & approaches, pros and cons
negotiating or communicating with contractors during the process
planning and project management
Quality Assurance to ensure a job well done and up to code
mediation in disputes with contractors
And yes, he or she can even go shopping with you for building materials and supplies if need be.

Although they work on an hourly rate, and they usually don’t come cheap, the benefits of using a Renovation Coach or Consultant are numerous. They bring planning, project management and experience to both flesh out and ground your renovation ideas. The result? More understanding for you the homeowner. More control over the process and your budget. A successful project. An empowering DIY experience. And of course, a beautiful renovation. All you need to be “home improvement happy”. And put in that context, well … maybe they are therapists after all.

1 comment:

Reiner Hoyer said...

Kelly Project
I'd been thinking about renovating my kitchen for a long time, but I kept putting it off because I was so intimidated by the complexity of the process and the horror stories I'd heard about finding and working with a contractor. When I saw an ad for Reno Coach, I thought it sounded like a service that might help set me on the road to a successful kitchen project. My experience with the company more than bore that out.

In the initial consultation, Mr. Hoyer was able to spell out for me the scope of my project and help me understand the components that would be required, all in layman's terms that made the entire process a lot less intimidating, and well within my ability to handle. He assessed my budget in very realistic, concrete terms, and suggested strategies for staying within it while getting done what I wanted. He reviewed how to look for a contractor, how to spell out the scope of my project in talking to potential contractors, and advised me on a timeline for the process. He followed up the consultation with an excellent written recap of our planning session, including a site analysis that noted the structural issues in my kitchen that I should make sure were addressed in any bid, and a possible budget based on what we had discussed.

As a result of working with Renovation Coach, I considerably revamped my plans because I now had a much better understanding of the remodeling process. My discussions with potential contractors were fully informed by all that I had learned through my consultation with Mr. Hoyer, and it was easy to make a decision about which firm to hire for the job. Best of all, I felt totally in control of the entire process, and my intimidation was a thing of the past. The session with The Reno Coach was invaluable, and I would - and have! - recommend it to anyone thinking of a major remodeling or building project.
~M. Kelley