Renovating your home can be a stressful endeavor. You need to plan exactly what you are looking to do, price out materials, hire contractors and other trades, prepare for a messy home for a while and most importantly, set a budget for yourself. That being said, when planned properly a renovation can give your house that facelift it so desperately needs, refresh the atmosphere in your house and above all, add a substantial amount to the value of your home. We have a few tips and tools to help breakdown the process for you and take some of the stress out of the project.
After going back and forth with the idea of starting renovations, you are trying to weigh the pros and cons of the investment. But where does one even start? Here is a quick checklist to help get you started:
- Are you financially prepared to take on this project?
- Will you be doing most of the work yourself or hiring out the majority?
- Are you planning to do a large area all at once (i.e the whole first floor or basement) or just an isolated area like the washroom, kitchen or a new patio?
- Is your home outdated? Was it designed 10-15 years ago and no longer upholds to today’s standards?
- Have you looked into other homes in your neighbourhood and their values? What separates theirs from yours? How does your value compare to theirs? Maybe consider an appraisal and talking to a realtor in your area who can help you compare against other places. This is usually a free service.
If you have answered yes to most of the questions listed above, then it would appear as though you are ready for a renovation. So how do you plan for something like this and where do you start? Make sure you do your homework before getting in touch with contractors. Knowledge is power.
MAKE A BUDGET. This is probably the most important step in the whole process. Once you have conceptualized the styles and products you will be using. Go around to stores and check online to find out prices. This may influence the choices you make. Countless times, home owners have started renovations and ran out of working capital, getting stuck with a half-finished project. Don’t get caught with your pants down, plan ahead. We have prepared an easy to use spreadsheet to help you breakdown each item and make your budget accordingly, click the link below to download your Reno-Worksheet.
Once you have done your due diligence as listed above, you are ready to start making some phone calls. Here is a list of some people we would recommend talking to, to help you determine time frames, labor costs and any other help you may need:
- Realtor – Realtors aren’t just there to collect a commission on your sale, they can be very helpful throughout your home ownership. Ask your realtor to do a quick inquiry on recent sales and listings in your area. Find out the range of values in your neighbourhood, what is the difference between the home selling for $400,000 and the one selling for $475,000? This may help you decide what to focus on.
- Designer – This is optional but can obviously take a huge load off stress off your shoulders. Designers are in touch on a daily basis with what is in, what is hot and what is going to be hot down the road. They can help you plan styles, colours and more.
- Contractor – A general contractor is basically a must, depending on the size of the project. On larger projects, a contractor will hire out and supervise the majority of the work being done. He or she will also have a wide range of skills necessary to do a lot of the odd jobs that are vital to completion. Call one up and inquire about price, timeline and advice. They will help you oversee the project, organize any demo work that needs to be done and handle disposal.
- Skilled Trades – Depending on the capabilities of your contractor, you will likely need to get in touch with some skilled tradesmen for some of the more complex work (i.e electrical, plumbing, HVAC) They are certified, insured and experience in their respective trades and will make sure it goes smoothly. Remember, you get what you pay for. If you skimp out on the plumbing or electrical, it could cost you big bucks down the road.
Be sure to do your homework and due diligence when planning a renovation. Whether it is a small or large project, a little knowledge will go a long way. A renovation can help bring new life, new atmosphere and increase the value of your home. Although you will spend a few dollars, investing in your home is never a bad idea. Just make sure you do it properly. Remember to check out and make use of our quick budget sheet below!
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