Planning Your Renovation

renovation planning concept computer laptop keyboard note pad coffee cup on table
 

Where do you start when renovating?

I assume by now you’ve already started the process of figuring out whether you’re going to use a contractor, designer or both. You’ve also got a pretty good idea as far as which space in your home you’d like to renovate and the budget you would like to spend. You’re doing great, you’re almost ready to open the doors to your renovation!

Isn’t that everything?

What else is there?

The next thing you want to figure out is how far into the renovation process do you want to go? This will help refine your budget numbers and give you some insight into what it will be like living through this renovation process.

Major Home Renovation Questions

If you’re getting into a major renovation, a consideration your contractor may or may not bring up to you is do you move out of the house during this time?

Sometimes it is only necessary to move out for a short period of time like the time they will be taking the roof off or underpinning which is for your safety.

Another thing to consider is, do you want to really live through all the dust, debris and of course inconvenience that is inevitable during the course of renovating? Even the best most courteous contractors still have challenges keeping the dust and debris under control. Depending upon the extent of your renovation power, water and gas may need to be shut off which also means potentially rolling Wi-Fi outages yikes! What would I do without Wi-Fi?

Moving out of your home during a remodel is something you should consider especially if you’re working from home.

 

The good news is if you’re doing a smaller renovation picking the right contractor will make all of these problems more manageable and organized. Your power and Wi-Fi may only drop every once in a while.

Moving out is also something to consider when thinking about the cost.

Sometimes moving out can reduce the cost of renovating if you’re not living in the home during the renovation because the guys will be able to move faster and don’t have to worry about your family living in comfort. Sometimes though it is worth the extra money to stay in the house because you don’t have to deal with the cost of moving out as well as finding somewhere else to go in the meantime. Believe me, consider living with in-laws temporarily a cost.

How Long Does a Full Renovation Take?

There are always many things that can come up and decisions to be made depending on the contractors’ process, but another big item to consider is the schedule you will have during this process.

  • What is the estimated time your contractor thinks the process will take assuming that there are no changes to the original scope?
  • Does this timeline work for you and will it get you finished when you would like to be finished?
  • Is this the right timing in your life to have this lengthy interruption?

Also, it’s important to ask your contractor if you have an important event like your parents are coming to town or you were having a baby. What are the chances the renovation will go over schedule?

Sometimes renovation can go over the allotted timeline and it is a pain for everyone involved but working closely with your contractor will usually help with anything resulting in delays.

Kitchen Renovation Planning

If you’re doing your kitchen you’ll want to factor in where you will cook or what is the number of your favourite restaurant as you will be trying to figure this out very quickly after your cabinets disappear.

Bathroom Renovation Planning

Bathrooms are another thing to also figure out in advance.

A big family will have a harder time moving into one bathroom during this time unless you have six other bathrooms which then you might be alright. There’s only one time I renovated a house that only had one bathroom where they didn’t want to add another bathroom. Then you have to decide whether you would like to move out, get the dreaded porta-potty and shower at the gym or you can go for coffee every time you need to use the bathroom, which all sounds inconvenient. I think the best one is finding a place to go for a couple of weeks.

Basement Renovation Planning

Some companies claim they can do a basement start to finish in three weeks or an addition to your house in three days.

Is this the real timeline?

Sometimes the companies just know all the tricks to get it done faster. Sometimes by TV magic, the shows you watch allows them to do a full home renovation in five days. For most of us, this is not a realistic timeline.

If you feel like your contractor is giving you an unrealistic timeline, whether it is way too long or way too short you should have that chat before contracting with them.

Design Considerations

I haven’t mentioned much about design so far but when planning your renovation one of the main things you should consider is design.

Your contractor may offer some sort of a package or you may have to reach out to a design company specifically.

Whatever it is you spend on your design, it will be well worth it in the end.

If you feel like you need someone to hold your hand during selections, lighting, soft fixtures or even furniture, talk to your interior designer. They would be happy to walk you through the process and as a result, sometimes you leave and save money. Your designer will normally have connections such as key vendors and suppliers they like to use knowing they can get a discount and even better service.

The experience can leave you with less stress when making these important decisions. Now it’s time to act. You got this!