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Prepare Before Renovating

The time has come for us to embark upon our first major home renovation.  New bathroom, staircase, kitchen counter tops, roof, and hardwood on the second floor.  Here are some tips & ideas I’ve discovered to help make the process less of a headache and more efficient.

  1. Do up a preliminary budget on how much you can afford to spend for each project.
  2. Make sure you leave a 10 – 20 % margin for over budgeting.  Nothing ever comes in on budget in particular home renovations.  You never know what will be found when floors are torn up and walls removed.  Be prepared and expect the worse but hope for the better.
  3. If you can afford it, hire a designer.  Designer’s offer a variety of services ranging from choosing colour schemes to overlooking and managing the whole project.  Having someone looking after things will help to ease the burden and give you less things to worry about.  Just make sure it’s a good fit.
  4. Insist on permits.  With permits comes inspections and knowing that the work completed at least conforms to minimal building codes.  If someone tells you a permit is not necessary and you think it is, get a second opinion.  This can save you, although not guaranteed, major headaches and financial burdens down the road.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say no.  Don’t let contractors push you around and persuade you to purchase work that may not be necessary.  Do your homework and if you’re not sure, get another opinion.
  6. You don’t have to give answers immediately.  Think about things before deciding on them.  Remember you’ll have to live with that avocado green tile that seemed like a good idea at the time.
  7. Make sure you get more than 3 quotes and talk to your neighbours who have recently had work completed on their homes.  We were recently quoted $22 000 to have the roof re-shingled and repaired.  We got another quote and talked to 3 different neighbours who have recently done theirs and $10 000 was the more realistic amount that it should cost.  It’s easy to get ripped off by an unscruppulous or in-experienced contractor.
  8. Find out if you need to vacate the premises while the work is being completed.  Sometimes it’s less stressful to move out and do site visits instead while remodelling is being done.  Don’t forget to budget for this.

Happy Renovating!!!