91 Whitney, a look before and after

Here is a Whitney Street Victorian cottage transformed. I sold this to my clients Spencer and Brit a few years ago. It was a big project, but well worth it. It helps when your dad is a talented architect and you are in construction management.

Houzz offers ten remodeling tips to those who are considering a home redesign. Here are a few of them, in no particular order:

  • Don’t change your mind too much. Keep in mind that every time you switch things up, you might as well pull some money out of your pocket and light it on fire. Even minor changes translate to added costs.
  • Don’t work without a contingency fund. Should the work you want to do exceed your budget, don’t be surprised – but don’t stretch the budget by eating into your contingency fund. If you work smart, you can probably have a 5 percent contingency with a good general contractor.
  • Don’t live in the home while the work is going on. Of course, many people ignore this guideline, since moving out of your home just adds to the expense of remodeling. Houzz suggests that if you can’t leave for the entire period of remodeling, try to at least do it part-time and find a clean and comfortable escape when it all gets to be too much.
  • Don’t serve as a distraction to the workers. If they’re busy talking to you, they’re not working on your house – and isn’t that what you’re paying them to do? This is not to say you should never speak to the workers, but for the most part, stay out of their way and let them do the job you’re paying them to do.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com