Make Your Lists and Make Them Complete

Excerpted and edited from the the April 5th Oregonian, HomeĀ & Garden.



Designer Diane Plesset, author of “The Survival Guide: Home Remodeling,” advises the same initial approach.

“First and foremost,” she says, “is to think about the budget and range of investment that you want to establish, and be ready and willing to test the reality of it.”

Plesset, of D.P. Design + Associates, says many first-timers don’t have a clue about what renovations will cost, and the only way to begin is to make a list of everything you want.

And she means everything.

Instead of saying, “We want to remodel the living room,” Plesset says to frame it this way: “We want the remodeled living room to include …”

Tangible items can get realistic price tags, which start to establish your budget.

Also, Plesset suggests having some visuals to supplement your lists. And be specific with what it was in the photo that appealed to you.

Having photos can also guard against launching a remodel that might be too grand for the value of your home.

“It’s human nature to want the beautiful picture we see,” Plesset says. “But the neighborhood may not support that.”

A designer, Plesset says, will then be able to see what you want, but pull it to within your budget and the house’s value, which is a huge deal.

Additional comments from Diane:

“Not everyone is a “list person,” but making lists helps to clarify many things, especially if we take the time to prioritize the items. If the room being remodeled is used by the entire family, i.e., the living room, family room, or kitchen, everyone in the family should make a separate list, then allow time to discuss the lists openly before talking with a designer, so any issues can be resolved. All of us have had to be a family or marriage counselor as well as interior designer, because there were unresolved issues.

Another suggestion I make is for the homeowners (or the designer) to keep an accurate spreadsheet for all products and labor. Following my advice when we built our home, we stayed within 1% of the established budget for all products we purchased, and within 3% for all labor.”


Diane Plesset, CMKBD, CID #5818, NCIDQ, C.A.P.S.
D.P. Design + Associates
Look at my award-winning book:
“THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling”

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