Renovating? Follow These 5 Tips Before You Start

Find the advice you need to start your renovation with things to do and things to avoid below—trust us, we’ve done this before!

Your bathroom is too tight! For years, you’ve been scheduling your morning routine to the minute so you can leave the house on time without climbing over each other to brush your teeth or comb your hair.

Chances are you’re facing the same issues elsewhere in your home, whether it be your kitchen, living room, basement or even the whole home.

Enough is enough—it’s time to solve the problem and renovate. But where do you start? 

Find the advice you need to start your renovation with things to do and things to avoid below—trust us, we’ve done this before!


1. Communicate with Your Partner

You both agree your home needs an update—great, that’s step one, but what about all of the decisions to come?

Before you engage a renovation company, talk openly with your partner about these questions:

  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you have it saved or do you need to finance it?
  • What parts of your home need the most attention?
  • Do you have a style in mind? If it’s not the same, can a compromise be made?
  • Who makes the decisions? Does your team need approval from you both or will one of you manage it for your household?


2. Make a Budget & Contingency Fund

We see homeowners fudge the numbers to see how competitive a quote they can get, but what happens is, you get a quote that doesn’t accurately represent the scope of work you want. 

When we know the actual budget of what you’re willing to spend, we will help you separate the scope of work into three categories. 

  1. Must-haves – These are the reasons you’ve chosen to start the renovation, the major pain points you want to solve such as a first-floor laundry room or a larger ensuite bathroom. 
  2. Contingency – We do our best to quote as accurately as possible, but sometimes unexpected costs arise. For this reason, it’s best to set aside approximately 10% of your budget. For example, we might find a slow leak that’s compromised your sub-floor that now needs to be replaced.
  3. Wishlist – If there’s wiggle room left in your budget, we will do our best to incorporate these selections.


3. Involve Your Renovation Contractor Early

The next most common mistake we see is involving your home renovation contractor after your designer. It might seem logical to create your design plans and then enlist a team to help you execute them, but what if those beautiful drawings don’t match your budget?

That’s where we help. We review the plans and compare them to the actual costs of material, transportation and labour.

At the same time that you enlist our help, you could also choose to work with our in-house designer, who can better align the entire process with our team—all while delivering awe-inspiring designs.


4. Spend Your Money Where it Counts

While your wishlist may include your entire home, we’ll help you focus it on the areas you’ll see the most significant ROI from. And we’re not talking about resale value. We mean, spend it on the things that bring you joy. 

What do you like most about your day?

  • Do you enjoy kicking back and watching the game? If so, include an epic built-in to house your TV and sports memorabilia. 
  • Do you like to grow fresh herbs year-round? Enlarge your windows for more natural light. 

What could you save on and skip?

  • Do you prefer takeout instead of cooking? Don’t include a gas range. 
  • Do you use a laundry service? Keep your laundry set-up tucked away in your basement.

Those small (and big) moments in your day that bring you happiness are what we suggest you invest in. The rest can be upgraded down the line, but for now, make your home more enjoyable and easier to use

Need help narrowing down your wishlist?

Fill out our checklist.


5. Invest in These Upgrades

You know where you want to spend your money and the items that will make your home more enjoyable, but what actual pieces are worth a little extra?

  1. The kitchen – If you enjoy cooking or baking, there are specific items that can add ease to your processes, like countertops and cupboard placement.
  2. The ensuite – Bathrooms aren’t an inexpensive renovation, so why focus your time and attention on the rarely used downstairs half bath? Make an investment where you’ll use it the most.

While you narrow down your preferences, also consider your long-term goals. If you plan to live in this home for a while, make the investments that are most important to you. However, if you plan on selling in the next year or two, consider the demographic in your neighbourhood and what will appeal most to them when it comes time to sell. 


Involve Your Reno Company Early

Now that you’ve got these tips under your belt, and you’re ready to renovate, contact us. We’ll help you move through this process with ease from the get-go. 

Contact us.