The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, May 27, 2015, Page 17, Image 17

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    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
Keys to a successful home remodeling project
By Jim Cornelius
News Editor
Even a relatively simple
remodeling project has a
major impact on your life.
Your home can be disrupted,
and if things go sideways, a
project that was supposed to
enhance your quality of life
instead gives you headaches
and heartburn and costs more
than you ever expected.
Such problems are read-
ily avoidable if you focus on
a few key elements of a suc-
cessful remodel.
“Absolutely most impor-
tant is to have a realistic bud-
get,” says architect Wendy
von Kalinowski of Studio
69217 in Sisters.
“Every project big or small
has a budget; it is not about
how much you spend, it is
how it is spent. If you don’t
have a budget determined,
then don’t start a project with-
out spending time identifying
one’s needs.”
Your budget will deter-
mine the scale and scope of
your project and what level
of quality finishes are within
“Some homeowners can
do this on their own, but it is
better to have a design profes-
sional provide this service, to
walk them through the whole
process as there are both hard
costs and soft costs involved
and they are part of the proj-
ect’s total budget.”
Hard costs are actual cost
of construction — finishes,
appliances, etc. Soft costs can
include design/architectural
services, contractor fees, plan-
ning and building fees, and
consultant fees if required.
“As a project progresses
you will want to have budget
reviews and updates,” von
Kalinowski says.
Bruce Merrell of Laredo
Construction concurs with
that advice — and offers
another key: You need to
establish your timeline.
“A lot of people have an
event they’re working toward
— ‘we have a wedding in
June…’” he says. “We can
work backward from that.”
Having a detailed and real-
istic discussion of timelines
with your contractor can help
ensure you get what you need
when you need it — even if it
means doing part of a project
and deferring the rest till after
the event. That’s not at all
uncommon,” Merrell notes.
“Sometimes we have an
intermission on a job,” he
says. “We clean it up nicely
and you can use it.”
Both the contractor and
the architect agree that clear,
consistent communication is
vital. Merrell suggests that
prospective clients put a pre-
mium on good communica-
tion. If a contractor is taking
too long to get back to you
with information, that’s not
likely to get better as the proj-
ect progresses.
For von Kalinowski, the
question is, “Is your designer/
architect listening to your
needs and requirements? Do
they understand what your
final goal is? Do you feel
that you will be comfortable
working with this person for
the duration of the project?
Remember, the architect/
designer is your personal
advocate and the better the
communication you have with
them the more successful the
project will be.
“If you select a contractor
early in the project then the
communication between you,
the architect/designer and
contractor should be equally
consistent and well-defined
— it is a team effort.”
photo provided
What was this...
photo provided
Can be turned into this — with good communication.
That’s on you, too. You
need to make sure you’re
available and communicating
effectively with your profes-
sionals from your end to give
them every opportunity to
meet your needs successfully.
A solid, realistic budget
that takes all aspects of the
project — hard costs and soft
costs — into account; clear
lines of communication estab-
lished right from the start; and
a well-defined and agreed-
upon timeline can make
your remodeling project go
smoothly, leaving you happy
not only with the results but
with the road you took to get
spring is time to remodel
sustainable design and construction
innovative solutions for healthy homes
St udio 69217, LLC
Studio 69217 of Sisters is the synergy of two pro-
fessionals with over 60 years combined experience
in the design and construction industries — Wendy
von Kalinowski, LEED AP, an architect/designer;
and Mark Smeltzer, a licensed building contractor.
Studio 69217 is a husband-and-wife design-build
team where we merge our skills to provide seamless
and complete services excelling in innovative design,
quality construction and responsible construction
management, as well as sustainable solutions in every
Our designs have been awarded Home of the Year,
Kitchen of the Year and Bath of the Year.
Through membership in 1% For The Planet,
Studio 69217 gives back to the community through
Deschutes Land Trust; Water Watch of Oregon;
Oregon Wild; Center for Biological Diversity and
other environmental groups.
“We are thrilled with our remodeled
kitchen. Wendy and Mark were great to
work with and helped us create the new
modern kitchen we envisioned.”
— Pam Bird and David Hewett
Studio 69217, LLC
Wendy von Kalinowski
AIA, LEED AP, Architect
CA. Lic. C31037
Mark S. Smeltzer CCB190468
General Contractor
Sustainable Building Adviser
We can capture the best views for
your next remodel or new home
Fireplace screens, tools, andirons
and grates. Handforged hardware,
handles, hinges, lighting, gift
items and much more!
Structural Steel • Welding Repair
CNC Cutting g • Machining • Fabrication
541-549-1575 • CCB#194489
Sisters Industrial Park
CCB# 87640