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Making All Decisions Before Construction/Remodel Starts

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In our previous blog, we discussed common areas in a home remodel or new home construction project where the client often delays, for reasons discussed, tackling the decisions related to the finish elements of the construction endeavor.

We at TRC Residential, LLC have developed a checklist that addresses each and every aspect of the client’s project.  It is titled “FINISH SELECTIONS CHECKLIST”.  It informs the client of every consideration on which he or she must decide and establishes a deadline for each decision.  As such, the checklist accomplishes two things. One, it provides a tool that enables the client to make timely selections thus removing last-minute panic decisions and two, the client is aware of all costs related to his or her project early in the construction process.  The FINISH SELECTIONS CHECKLIST is specifically tailored to each new construction project. To view a representative checklist, click here. 

Many finish selection decisions need to be made prior to the start of construction as some “rough-in” components need to be installed during the early stages of construction.  An example of this is plumbing fixtures.  In order that all faucet, bath and shower trim components match as desired, the appropriate shower valve, which is installed during the early stage of construction, is determined by the make and model of the finish plumbing fixtures.  Use of the FINISH SELECTIONS CHECKLIST informs the client of such thus enabling him or her to make such an important decision in a timely fashion.

In most cases, even with the assistance of the checklist tool, the client might find him or herself thrust into an unfamiliar world that will soon overwhelm.  In our next blog, we will discuss additional tools that will enable the client to make important decisions with confidence and turn a potentially stressful process into a pleasurable experience.

Custom Home, Home Remodel Planning Process

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We often get requests to quote new home projects or major home remodel projects where the client provides us with professionally prepared architectural plans.  We are grateful that the client has given merit to thoughtful planning but, architectural plans, though absolutely necessary, may not provide some necessary information with regard to many of the finish details.  By details, we mean: electrical and lighting plans that consider furniture placement, accent lighting preferences and daily activity; a well-planned telecom system that will address the client’s entertainment preferences, computer uses and telecommunications requirements; cabinet styles and finishes; finish woodwork styles and finishes; finish fixture selections including plumbing and lighting; flooring and tile selections; interior and exterior finishes and textures and appliance selections.

Though, from the architectural plans, we are able to provide the client with an accurate cost projection for the construction of his or her project, for the above-noted items, we can only provide an estimate on our grasp of costs. The assignment of allowances then, renders determination of the final costs of the project undetermined until all selections are finally made.

Planning the construction of a new home or a home remodel can be a rewarding yet stressful challenge for the client. Due to the stress induced by questions yet to be answered, the client often delays the finish selection process until the project begins to physically take shape. It is at this time that the client’s thinking begins to shift to such details.  The danger of delaying such decisions, of course, is that, until all selections are made, the client must endure the stress of not knowing the ultimate cost of his or her project.

There is, of course, a better planning process that gives the client the tools to confidently and comfortably plan his or her project from start-to-finish. Such a process allows the client to determine all costs before the construction begins. He or she can then live each day during the construction process content in the knowledge that the finished product will be exactly what was hoped for and that it will not cost more than was anticipated.  The “Planning Process” will be explained in our next entry.


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On a recent extensive home remodeling project in Denver, CO, we were faced with many design challenges, one of which was providing for our client, in the most prominent location in her home, a fireplace surround and mantle.  Our client kind of knew what she wanted us to build but, could only describe it to us with an out-of-focus photograph.

Using the photograph as a starting point, we collaborated with her and the interior designer who we brought in to assist her in making decorating and color coordination decisions. 

The mantle and fireplace surround represented by the client’s photograph was immediately discarded out-of-hand by the interior designer and replaced with a concept that was more consistent with the design theme established by the architect.  The designer’s initial concept went through two or three minor refinements and a final design was agreed upon by all.

The fireplace surround and mantle that is the result of the collaboration is constructed of solid cherry and is stained and lacquered to match the stained woodwork and cabinetry in the rest of the house.  It is accented with remnants of the polished granite used on the kitchen island.  Its allusion to Craftsman-style architecture is consistent with the architectural design theme of the home and our client is thrilled with the results.

The successful results are attributable to the reconciliation of the Client’s vision with the design professional’s inspiration and the construction professional’s knowledge of fabrication options and costs and his ability to see the task to its successful conclusion.


mantel before copy

mantel after copy


Contact TRC Residential, LLC

TRC Residential, LLC
588 US HWY 287
Suite 202
Lafayette, CO 80026

  • Phone: 303-543-6075
  • FAX: 720-387-8443

Colorado Service Areas

Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Erie, Gunbarrel, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, Niwot, Superior, Westminster, Colorado


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