Whatever your reason, choosing a renovation that increases your home’s resale value and at the same time increases your personal enjoyment of the place you call home is a worthy investment. But a home renovation comes with a long list of tasks, decisions and interactions. From the design stage through to hiring a contractor, purchasing materials, accepting delivery and scheduling installation, as a homeowner you have to keep track of, and deal with, a multitude of variables. So here’s what you need to know before starting your next renovation project.
When planning a renovation you want your imagination to run wild. But not your costs. If you do, you may soon find your renovation dream turning into a nightmare of mounting expenses. With any renovation you conceive, execute, and complete, the emphasis at every stage must be on planning. Enthusiasm can drive a project some of the way, but it’s proper planning that will ensure your renovation is a success.
SET A BUDGET
Setting your budget is the first thing you should do when planning your renovation. You may want something, but can you afford it? Creating a budget helps you prioritize your needs and identifies how much you can afford to spend. Even with a budget in place, however, it can be easy to exceed it during the renovation process unless you stick to your original limit. The best way to keep your renovation on budget is by making sure you plan out every detail before the actual construction begins.
DO IT YOURSELF
If you’re planning to do the renovation yourself, make sure you know what exactly what you’re doing and contact your local building authorities to make sure you’re in line with all the relevant regulations. If you’re unsure how to proceed, an experienced and professional renovations contractor can offer you all the advice and expertise you’ll need.
HIRE THE PROFESSIONALS
Dealing with a professional renovator is absolutely essential in getting the job done right. A professional renovator will carry workers’ compensation, liability insurance, any licenses required by your province, and will always encourage a written contract, because they know this to be an indispensable part of good business practices. It protects them as well as you.
WRITE IT DOWN
Even the smallest job needs to be detailed in a written contract. As soon as you have decided on your home renovation and have found your contractor, it is time to write out the details of what you want and how the contractor is going to provide what you want. A written contract is a vital component to your renovation experience: it is a legally binding document that ensures your renovation unfolds according to plan and offers you protection in the event it veers off course.
CURIOSITY IS KEY
The more you plan and understand about your renovation the better decisions you can make throughout the project. Start by asking your renovator a lot of questions (no amount is too much) and continue to satisfy your curiosity throughout the renovation. Never be afraid to ask a question you need an answer to.
THE FEES AND FINE PRINT
Ask your renovator for a detailed breakdown of all their fees. Make sure they include all costs for labour and parts, as well as any applicable taxes or delivery costs. Keep track of all of your expenses before and during the renovation. This will help you stay on top of the details and allow you to react fast and decisive if something goes wrong.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Most people generally have a timeline in mind before they start a project. For some it’s Easter or Christmas or a birthday party or family gathering. For others it’s just ‘as soon as possible!’ Be warned, however, that it is not a good idea to go into a renovation project with a high-pressure deadline. Unexpected surprises can and do occur, however much you plan against them.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Life isn’t about absolutes, and sometimes even a well laid plan can sometimes go awry. Setbacks or delays can and do happen, and you’ll want to make sure you plan for them in your budget by creating an emergency reserve equal to about 20% of your total budget. Also keep in mind additional expenses like accommodation costs if you have to stay somewhere else during the construction phase. A construction permit may also need to be purchased, or an electrical inspection completed if electrical rewiring is required.
There are many different ways to use recycled or recyclable material in your home renovation. Lumber is easily ground into landscaping wood chips or donated to furniture makers; bricks and stone can be used on other construction sites; and you can find and use reclaimed furniture or appliances from auctions or even demolition yards. It is certainly possible to find quality recycled products that are considerably cheaper and look as good as new materials.
Whatever your renovation, one thing’s for sure, and that is you need to conduct it with the full understanding and consideration of all your options and costs, so that you can make the decision that’s right for you and your family.
To help you with that Accent Renovations is an award-winning renovations contractor specializing in bathroom and kitchen remodelling, basements, decks and patios. We are more than a general contractor: from beginning to end we deliver quality results on all residential and commercial building and restoration projects and make a considerable effort to source materials from local companies and environmentally responsible manufacturers. If you are looking for a reliable, trustworthy, and professional renovations contractor, we have you covered. Contact us today to discuss your next renovation project.