Many different issues may appear while in the middle of a remodel project. Zillow provides us with one of the easiest and unsuspecting ways a budget can change. It's called the Ripple Effect. It lurks quietly in the background. Just like the movements on the pond surface for which it’s named, The Ripple Effect starts out small and grows, expanding until it engulfs the entire project.
Pebble In The Pond
The Ripple Effect is the remodeling budget’s worst enemy and can wreak havoc on small and large projects alike.
A window replacement is a simple, isolated project, right? But the interior and exterior trim must be replaced and painted and the exterior siding may have to be reworked, especially if the new window isn’t the same size as the old one.
And that’s just the beginning. Once that window is replaced and the new window trim painted, the rest of the trim in the room looks bad by comparison and so you decide to paint that, too. A pebble’s been dropped in the pond, and the ripples have begun to spread.
What started out as a simple window replacement ends up as the refinishing of an entire room.
In new home projects, the ripple effect is more pronounced in open plan designs. With fewer walls to separate spaces, it’s difficult to make flooring transitions from one room to another so more expensive floorings often cover more of the house. The lack of interior walls also requires a more expensive structural system and makes the placement of duct work and plumbing more difficult.
Don’t Make Waves
But the ripple effect can be controlled if you take a moment to consider the impact one project can have on other parts of the house. The root of the problem in the window replacement example is that a new standard sized window won’t exactly fit the existing opening, necessitating the replacement of the trim.
But a custom-sized window, carefully installed, might allow you to reinstall the existing trim inside and outside, and avoid the ripple effect entirely. Sure you’ll spend more on the window but you’ll save everywhere else, and avoid the ripple effect.
And in a new home project, careful planning of the room layouts and space adjacencies allows flooring and other finishes to “break” where you want them to.
Source: Richard Taylor is a residential architect based in Dublin, Ohio and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with him at http://www.rtastudio.com/index.htm.
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