The Final Payment

The Final Payment

Bathroom renovation

Something weird happens to custom remodeling and custom home building clients when it comes time to make their last payment.  After getting through a renovation project most of our clients can’t wait to see us go so they can enjoy their new renovation.  Yet, the last payment is something they hold onto, waiting for what I don’t know, but I’ll give it a try.

Just incase something happens

Bathroom renovation

For most of my clients they have a fear that we as project managers will disappear the moment we receive our last payment. I suppose most clients think it is easy for us to change our phone, website, social media platforms, etc.  So they hold onto that last payment just to be sure that all of the potential punch list items have been found and repaired. Look, I get it, I would want to make sure my Naperville kitchen renovation was completed. However, there comes a time when the project manager that you hired needs paid out so their subcontractors can start on the next project.  Check your contract, check your warranty. Does your paperwork detail what rights you have if something happens after your last payment has been made? For our SG Home Builders projects we provide warranty work well beyond the time your last payment has been made. We look at warranty work as an opportunity to see our clients and come through with great customer service.  

The work isn’t complete

Kitchen Renovation

I’ll be the first to admit that contractors have a tough time completing their punch lists.  It may very well be the most frustrating part of what we do. Here is a great example, a client wants an outlet changed from one location to another.  Now we have to coordinate with electrician, drywall crew, and painter. All to make a 5 minute repair. The odds of getting all of them to show up one after another is not good.  So little details get missed when our project management team is not paying full attention. From grout repairs in your bathroom renovations, to paint touch ups in the staircase of your finished basement, the repairs at the end of the project, though small, can be missed due to poor project management.  My project management team will get frustrated with me for allowing clients to hold back their last payment, but unfortunately I believe it is the fair way to do business. We believe in finishing our job, then we get paid.


It always comes down to money.  Along the way some clients spend too much money on their finishes.  A kitchen renovation of $50,000.00 can easily turn into $55,000.00 if attention isn’t paid to the selection items such as countertops, appliances, and even backsplash.  If your project manager is not transparent with your cost analysis you are likely going to get a shockingly larger bill at the end. Make sure you are diligent and understand your costs for your renovation project so that you can manage the money details from start to finish and avoid making excuses to your project manager as to why you can’t make the last payment.

The last payment often doesn’t mean goodbye, it just means until another time.  As a homeowner have no fear in making your last payment and avoid issues by working with a project manager you know, like and trust.


How Important Are Your Light Fixtures?

How Important Are Your Light Fixtures?

beautiful kitchen remodel

One of the most overlooked parts of a custom renovation or custom built home is picking the light fixtures. It can seem like such a check list item at the end of a long project, especially when you are designing an entire home.  However, making the correct light fixture selections can make or break your entire project. Today I want to discuss with you the key features of selecting lighting fixtures for your custom construction project.


kitchen remodeling

Often when we are working with one of our custom home building clients they find themselves deep in an all night trance looking at every picture available trying to find the perfect home to replicate.  We as project managers often have to play the bad cop role and tell our clients why they cannot have the one of a kind twirly light fixture that has seven shades of colors. Ok, most clients do not go that far.  However, there is a certain amount of functionality that needs to be reviewed when selecting light fixtures over design. I preach to my clients to make selections based on the use of the light vs how pretty they think it is.  Is the dining room light with all of the fancy glass hanging from it going to light up your table or are you simply looking for appearances?

Another area of functionality to remember is the cost for installation. As is the trend for majority of our custom built homes for our Chicago and Naperville clients, our clients tend to try and outdo one another.  This means that hanging giant light fixtures about the open spaces and vaulted ceilings becomes more and more difficult. Keep in mind that the bigger and bolder that you go, the more time and care is going to be needed to install the fixture, just the right way.  More time = more labor = more money out of your pocket.

Last but not least is the maintenance for light fixtures.  You know the bulbs will go out at some point. Do you have a ladder that will allow you to change the bulbs?  No one wants to be that family that leaves their bulbs unchanged for years because they do not have a ladder to reach the ceiling.  



I always make sure to tell my clients that I am NOT a designer.  If you want professional help for light fixtures call Light Source Lighting in Plainfield.  They work with our remodeling clients in Naperville and in Chicago.  My feelings on light fixtures is that they should not be overlooked and should be incorporated in the design of the house.  I love the way that a house starts to come together at the end when the tiles are installed and the paint is finalized on the walls.  However, there is something special about walking into a home when the light fixtures are installed and lights are on for the first time.  

Light fixtures are meant to light up the room with their finishes and the artificial light.  A great selection of light fixtures can pull all of the details on your custom project together and leave people with a lasting memory.  One of our designer partners LC Interiors knows just how important light fixtures are and she is rarely afraid to bring in different metals and finishes together.  

Custom renovation and custom home building is an amazing opportunity to take on. From light fixture selections to the color of your trim paint, custom renovation and custom home building is always one decision after another.  Enjoy the process and reward yourself for all of the hard work you put in to make your home beautiful. If you are thinking about taking on a project of your own, please reach out to us and we would love to partner with you