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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

Managing Your Remodel: A Beginner’s Guide

Posted by Lane Cooper on Apr 11, 2018 7:31:00 AM

Let's assume that you are planning to hire a skilled general contractor or design-build professional such as COOPER Design Builders to manage your Portland home remodel or addition. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have plenty of managing of your own to do throughout the project. Here are some suggestions to help you make it through.

Choose Wisely

Whether you’re planning to hire a design-build company or use an architect/designer and a general contractor, be sure you select a builder you can trust to give you the home you’ve been dreaming of. Click here to learn more about what it means to find the best general contractor in Portland. 

Make a Plan

Although big remodeling projects usually involve some surprises, and homeowners have been known to change their minds about countertop and tile choices, do your best to nail down exactly what you want. In addition to having your professionals create a full set of drawings of your remodel or addition, also specify the finishes, the fixtures, the appliances, and so on. Decide on brands, models, and colors and research whether any of those items will require extra time for delivery.

And Stick to It

This is not to say that you can’t decide when you see the first few courses of flooring going down, that you really don’t like bamboo after all. But just be aware that changes in the midst of a project will drive up costs, and the best way to stay on budget is to stick with your plan.

Get Ready

You’ll find life easier to manage in a construction zone if you’re done some advanced work. Get the furniture moved out of the way, put away any valuable possessions, prepare a temporary kitchen if necessary, set up barriers to keep pets and children out of the way and be aware of the workers’ schedules so you can plan your days accordingly. Agree in advance where workers can go in your house and what areas they should stay out of.

Write it Down

Even though you’re not technically in charge of keeping all the balls in the air, you’ll want to have a way to keep track of the jugglers. Keep lists: of your designer’s and builder’s phone numbers and email addresses, of dates of appliance deliveries, of questions that you need to ask your contractor, and of anything else that will affect you as the project advances. Also keep at hand a copy of the project’s plans and material specifications, dates or milestones when you’ve agreed to make payments, and a list of the payments made.

Stick Around

While it might be tempting to flee the country for the duration of your project, it wouldn’t be smart. If you can afford it, you might want to move out during the roughest part of the demolition and construction, but if you do, you should stay close. You need to be checking in regularly on the work and talking with your builder.


Before the work even began, you should have agreed with your contractor about how often you would be meeting in person with the point person on your job and how often you’d talk on the phone. Be sure you have a phone number where your builder will answer calls or text messages. He or she should be available by email as well. Sometimes it’s a fine line between letting a professional know you’re engaged in the project and micromanaging. Don’t cross that line, but do keep an eye on things. It’s your house and your money.

Some contractors will use online tools, such as CoConstruct, to keep in touch with clients. This program features a dashboard where homeowners can see the construction schedule, access all the job’s documents, and trade messages with the builder’s team.


[ Read MoreWhy Hiring a Portland Design Build Company is All About Trust

remodeling starter guide

Topics: Home Remodeling