Are there any tips or practices that readers should know about in planning a project of their own?
Jean Brownhill Lauer: “Sweeten was born after I tried to renovate my Brooklyn townhouse. Even though I was an architect by training, the process was overwhelming. We've had more than 4,000 projects posted, and know that with renovation, being organized is essential. First, itemize your scope of work, writing down what you'd like to accomplish starting with the floor and working your way up. Research costs to set a realistic budget (Sweeten produces pricing guides) and understand that moving a gas line or plumbing requires extra permits and more specialized labor. Finally, find a general contractor that not only has the requisite licenses and insurance, but comes with solid references for a similar type of project you’re doing, a high standard and no attitude!"
Once a renovation is underway, what are the keys to success?
Vida Chang: “It's all about balance. Keeping priorities and overall project goals in mind are key, down to the smallest decision. Successful renovations where budgets and move-in dates are at the forefront will inevitably require decisions negotiating cost, quality and lead times. Be smart about where to keep things simple and cost-friendly and which features and moments in your space will have the most impact to invest in and enjoy.”