Start Planning Your Home Renovations Now

If you made some home improvement resolutions for the New Year, January is a great time to start planning. When renovating a house, there is a lot to consider. You want to add a deck to the backyard and redo the landscaping at the front of the house, just in time for summer entertaining. But perhaps the much-needed interior renovations should be done first. It is always a good idea to figure out your priorities and then make a detailed plan. It will help you to define goals and visualize a workable timeline.

Things to Decide Before You Begin

All at once: If you are planning more than one home improvement, you might wonder if it wouldn’t be better to do everything at once, then it’s done. When doing a kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom renovation or a combination of any of these three, expect to be inconvenienced and having to handle major disruptions to the household’s regular schedule for a period of several consecutive months.

One project at a time: On the other hand, deciding to tackle one project before going on to the next is easier in terms of ordering materials (less quantity) and reduces the possibility of having to move out while the renovation is being done.

High-end materials: High quality materials last longer and in the long run tend to improve the resale value of your home. Select materials that are easy to maintain to make your home even more appealing to future homebuyers.

Low-end materials: There’s no denying that cheaper materials are more budget-friendly. But there are other considerations than the total cost. Low-end materials will most likely end up in the landfill more often than quality materials.

DIY vs. hiring a contractor: As a general rule of thumb, most construction professionals advise homeowners who DIY to skip the projects that require permits. They also recommend leaving roof and siding installations to the professional contractors depending on how complex the roof configuration is and the size of the house and the type of siding being installed. If you are a DIYer and would like to reduce the cost of hiring a pro to do the home renovations determine what you will be able to have done before the contractor comes on site.

Create a Budget (& Commit to It)

When budgeting for home renovations, be realistic about what you want to accomplish and how much you want to spend to make that happen. Include the break-down for as many items as possible such as labour costs, materials, and having to re-do the landscaping around the new addition.

If you want your home renovations to go as smoothly as possible, create a budget that accurately reflects the total cost of the renovations. And then add 30%. Being prepared upfront for overruns, unexpected costs, and unavoidable delays will help reduce your stress level and keep the project on track.

Once you’ve created a budget, figure out how to finance everything on your home renovations checklist. If you need to save first before doing the renovation, how much do you need to put aside each month? Explore rebate options. Consider a home equity line of credit, other types of loans, and remortgaging only if it’s not going to result in putting too much pressure on you.

Hire a Contractor You Trust

Take your time doing research. Start with online local listings. Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations. Get a minimum of three estimates – it will allow you the opportunity for a comprehensive and detailed comparison.

Hire a contractor only after a face-to-face interview; check any relevant licenses and documentation. Never sign a contract without reading it first and knowing the terms and conditions you are agreeing to.

Go through this same process for every contractor you need to hire, whether it’s for installing a new roof including seamless aluminum gutters.

Have the Design Plans Drawn Professionally

Hire a professional home designer or architect to draw up the plans for your home renovations if you are adding a room(s) to the house, moving existing walls, or installing new walls in an existing room. In Vancouver and surrounding communities, these kinds of renovations need permits. During the permit application process, you or your contractor will have to submit plans for the proposed renovation.