What You Really Need To Know Before You Renovate

Do you wish rooms in your home functioned better or were bigger, more updated? That’s how it all starts. Thoughts turn into dreams, dreams give way to research and inspiration. Next, you find yourself looking at designer’s and contractor’s websites, and establishing a realistic budget. So, here’s what you (really) need to know before you renovate.

Jane on site

Jane on site working with a contractor, planning the tile pattern.

Designers Play Well With Others

The process can be intimidating but working with the right team can help get you through it, correctly. Sure, I’d like to say it’s all about the design but it really is a team effort between your designer, contractor and the pros needed, depending on the scope of your project.

Jane renos a kitchen

Jane on-site as the kitchen is installed.

All Your Questions Demand Answers

The right designer will listen to your ideas, clarify the vision, determine the scope of work with you, draw up a plan and recommend contractors for the job. Or, maybe you’ve hired a contractor (after interviewing several and getting quotes) and they may recommend a designer. Either way, you’re going to have a lot of questions and together the team will help you set realistic goals to move forward.

How Many Professionals Will You Need?

You may wonder if your little bathroom renovation is going to require permits, an engineer, an architect, etc. Your contractor and designer will recommend those services depending on the whether you’re adding an addition, or just taking a wall out, whatever the scope of work entails. That’s when you’re getting into legalities so it’s important to do it right.

Your project will have to comply with Health and Safety requirements. Did you know if you hire a general contractor, they will be responsible to the Ministry of Labour to manage the safety and reporting requirements? If you hire two or more people to oversee the project, you, the homeowner will be responsible.

Trust the Professionals

In the GTA we’re fortunate enough to have high standards set to help homeowners on everything from the building code to the quality of your renovator. BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association) is the voice of the professional renovation industry. It’s professional renovators abide by the RenoMark™ Code of Conduct. When you see the logo, you can be confident in your renovation professional.

Kitchen reno

After You Get It In Writing Make a Plan

Once you get a signed contract in writing, it’s time to get a plan made. Your designer’s firm will produce detailed, computer-aided design (CAD) drawings for the trades to follow. It’s an added expense, but an important step to getting the details correct.

What else can you do to get ready?

1) Dream. Look at Houzz, Pinterest, designer’s and contractor’s bathroom and kitchen company’s websites and get inspired.

2) Design. Book a consultation with a designer who will help interpret what you want, and create CAD drawings that you can take to a contractor/builder.

3) Details. Have an idea for finishes and fixtures so your team can get a true estimate of costs, and plan the plumbing, lighting and electrical aspects of your project.

4) Due Diligence. Interview contractors, educate yourself on the process so you too are aware of your responsibilities throughout the renovation. Be available during the process to answer any concerns or questions or to make a quick decision.

5) De-clutter. Plan where everything will go during the renovation process. It will get messy so protect your property.