Luxurious blue chairs in penthouse living room.

ANXIOUS ABOUT RENOVATING?

DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START?

HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED

Times have changed. We are spending 80% more time at home than ever before and the home has become the centre of the universe or, even more precisely—the kitchen. Finding a way to create multifunctional spaces, organize our belongings and decrease clutter is top-of-mind for everyone right now.

The thought of home renovation often causes anxiety and concern among homeowners and property buyers. We fear that alterations will turn into a bottomless pit and we will run into unforeseen problems or we simply have no idea where to start and the sheer thought of renovating overwhelms us. Below I’ve put together some of my top home renovation tips to make the process a bit easier!

1.PLANNING 

The key to a successful home renovation is planning the entire process section by section, like you would plan an event. In essence renovating is event planning. The most important question is: Is it possible to change what you want to change without creating a domino effect? What elements need to be considered before you can start making changes? For example, if you remove a wall, you need to figure out if it is load bearing. If the wall is load bearing, you have to take special precautions to support the structure during removal and will have to add a beam or another form of support in its place. 

2.THE VISION 

Preparing and researching for your renovation can take a long time. Creating a mood board so you can visualize your end goal is important. All you need is some space on a wall or a pin board. Start with a website like Houzz or Pinterest for inspiration and then you can begin pinning swatches of paint and fabric on a picture frame or a board. Folders or books also make great mood boards. 

As part of my planning process, I usually create an idea book so I can take it with me to all service providers.

3. FURNITURE STORAGE 

Where to put the furniture when renovating? If a room is to be completely renovated from floor to ceiling, the furniture must be temporarily stored in another room, of course. However, if only the ceiling and/or the walls are to be replaced in a room, the furniture can be pushed into the middle of the room and kept well-covered. If there is a possibility to set up temporary living in the basement, you are good to go. That being said, moving into a rental suite is the best solution for a larger home renovation.

4. FLOOR PLAN 

                                               

 

Make a simple floor plan of your existing space. Keeping the existing layout will save you money in the long run as relocating pipes and electrical is a costly undertaking—the same can be said for moving supporting walls. Before you start it’s a good idea to talk to a contractor as they will assess supporting walls, electrical and plumbing assets for you.

5. BUDGET 

It’s important to determine a budget for your project. How much money can you spend on this renovation? This is often a difficult question to answer. Setting a budget means doing your research and getting quotes from multiple contractors, as this will give you an idea how far you can go. 

Consider a 20% contingency on top of the estimated renovation budget to anticipate unforeseen costs.

6. THE FAMILY MEETING 

Before you start swinging the hammer you need to have a family meeting to make sure all the main players are on board. Appoint one member of the family to be the spokesperson when dealing with the contractor and interior designer to avoid any miscommunication. 

Keep a journal of hours worked and tasks that are “completed” and “to be completed”—learning this skill could be a whole course in itself.

7. SET UP A TIMELINE 

Typically the contractor will create a timeline, but it’s important for you as the homeowner to hold them accountable. Create a final deadline whether real or not and ensure everyone involved knows when the job needs to start and finish. 

Make it clear you have only a certain amount of time, set a deadline like an open house—invite some friends and order beer and pizza for the crew. This will keep everyone on their toes.

8. IMPROVEMENTS THAT ADD VALUE 

These are the improvements that should be highest on your list when trying to add value to a home:

  1. Basement conversions
  2. Loft conversions
  3. Converting your garage into a bedroom
  4. Adding a bathroom
  5. Creating an open concept space
  6. Larger windows to merge indoor areas with outdoor areas
  7. Deck extensions with outdoor kitchens
  8. Gardens and curb appeal

Remember to have fun planning and be inspired by the process!

If you have any questions about how you or your clients can add value to a home through home improvements, please reach out to me at uta@utanagel.ca or give me a call at 778-868-0424. 

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