Building as a second language // Intro

October 19, 2012
October 19, 2012 Karin Sharav Zalkind

At long last you found your “so near” to your dream home, in the perfect location, and now all you have  to do is just tweak it a bit to make it your own.

Or least that is what you think.

Flustered you call your realtor, friends, co-workers, long lost high school team mates, to better understand how to make it work. You read all the “how to” books and websites, flip through the latests magazines while shopping for groceries, and sign up to the most hyped design blogs…But like child birth you don’t really understand it, until you actually go through it.

Yes I’m talking about construction, that minor phase between signing on your closing papers to moving into your new home. Well, at least that is what most of my clients think. Going through construction/ renovation together with buying a house can be extremely stressful process that not all are aware of it’s complexities. There are myriad of, at times hard, decisions that need to be taken in almost split second times, and these are expensive decisions at best.

In the next few weeks I will attempt to guide you through this process with the tools and experience I have acquired during my years working in the Boston area.


When do you start? It’s hard to really know when is a good time to think about renovations, especially if you have not yet found your home (you could be buying a new construction house for all you know). But I think that once the search for a home begins, so does your search for a construction and design team should start. I find it amazing that people will spend so much money and time looking for the perfect home in the best location, but will call a designer 2 days after their papers are signed expecting the work to be done in 3 weeks time. People spend an average of 12-18 months planning their wedding, which still cost less than a house, but think that designers and General Contractors can whip their home into shape with-in a fraction of that time.

If there is one advice I’d like for you to take away from this it is this one – please take the time to find a good team you would like to work with. Construction is stressful and expensive, you will need the right people on your side. A good design team will be able to help you to figure out your budget, your timeline, and most important translate your needs and wants into your home within these constraints.

Most designers will be happy to meet with you even before you have bought a house, this will give you an idea who you are working with. Some will even do this kind of meeting for free or a symbolic fee, so why not use the time until you find a home to familiarize yourself with the world of construction?

Quick Tip: Like a house on your street? Call the homeowners, they can be a great resource in helping you find a good design team.


Karin Sharav Zalkind

Owner | Head Designer at NoBox Studio | Assoc. IIDA Karin is a guest blogger for Boston Real Estate blog. Karin will keep you in the know of the design world secrets. Visit Karin's website at NoBox Studio

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