Planning For a Renovation

Renovations are a lot of work but can be very rewarding if done right or costly if you cut corners.  It’s an opportunity to make a space exactly the way you want it, in functionality and look.  It can be a lot of fun but it’s important to be mindful, patient and smart about how you plan and execute your project.  Here are my top 5 tips for planning a home renovation.


During the early stages of planning, it’s important to create a wish list and outline everything you want to include in the renovation.  Such things like scraping your ceilings, heated flooring, a coffee bar, a new kitchen layout and the list goes on.  This list will be a great starting point to understand everything you want to accomplish and help with that quotation process with your designer and contractor.


Be realistic with your budget and do your research.  The best way to start is to itemize the major things you will be purchasing and begin a spreadsheet that will tally your costs.  Estimate your appliance purchase, potential flooring (cost per square foot x square foot required), lighting, furnishings, etc.  If you are unsure of the current price points for such products, do some comparison shopping online to gain a better understanding. 


Yes, I am a professional and this isn’t a sales tactic, it’s likely the best advice I can give you.  Any renovation or design project, big or small, requires the right people to ensure it is don’t properly.  Professionals have the experience and access to the right trades that they have aligned themselves with to ensure a successful end result.  Do the research to ensure who you hire is a good fit for you professionally and personally.  It is your home and you will be seeing a lot of them throughout the process so being a ‘good’ fit is very important.  


Planning, designing and executing any renovation takes time.  I find that once a client decides they are going to renovate, the preference is that it is completed asap.  The fact is, the planning and design development can take months to finalize so everyone has the time to build, revise and finalize the best options.  Contractors, the good ones, are typically booked up and you will need to secure your spot early on and normally months in advance of when you want to start.  


Once the plans are final and all your trades are booked, it’s time to prepare yourself and think ahead on how the renovation will disrupt your life (for a short while).  

  • Set the timing so it works best for your family, even if that means waiting.   
  • Begin to declutter and purge early so you aren’t dealing with this at the last minute.
  • Determine how you will function without a kitchen.  Are you setting up a temporary kitchen?  Will you plan on eating out or ordering in?  Likely a balance will be required but having a proper set-up will make things easier.
  • Will you be able to ‘live’ in the house while the renovation takes place or will you need to look at renting.

It’s an exciting time, something you have likely waited for and saved for.  Enjoy the process and ensure you create something that you love.