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What You Need to Know Before You Start Renovating Your Home

Posted by premierottawa on August 18, 2023

You’ve been saving and dreaming, and now the time has finally come to renovate your home! Creating a beautiful new living space that functions better for you and your family can be an exciting yet stressful process. If you’ve never renovated before you may not be aware of just how many details and decisions are involved. While we could never cover everything there is to know in just one article, there are a few things that you should be aware of before you begin. Here’s what you need to know before you start renovating your home to ensure a successful project.


Never Renovate Without a Plan

You can fix a lot of things you don’t love about your home with good decorating. But new carpet and a fresh coat of paint won’t make your home function better. If you’re going to go the expense and effort of renovating, make sure you know what you want and have a detailed plan before you start. Changes also cost money, so the more accurate your plan is the more accurate your budget can be.


Always Overestimate Your Home Renovation Budget

Unless you’ve been through a major renovation before, you’re probably underestimating how much everything will cost. Depending on the size of the room and scale of the project, a bathroom renovation in Ottawa can run anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for standard upgrades. Likewise, a typical kitchen reno ranges from $20,000 to $45,000 and beyond if you want to incorporate luxury finishes and appliances.


Those prices can climb even further if there are unforeseen complications with the project. When undertaking any major renovation, surprises are very common so always be sure to have a contingency fund of 10-20% for the unexpected expenses that arise.


Work with Trusted Professionals

You may be tempted to try to manage your renovation on your own. But this can lead to stress, overload, missed details, and problems you don’t have solutions for. Bringing in a general contractor at the start of the project can save you time, money, and endless headaches. Imagine trying to coordinate multiple trades, stay on top of ordering all the supplies, getting permits, and managing the budget all while trying to do your own job and take care of your family? It’s really not feasible or sustainable.


It’s also helpful to consult an interior designer to help with the many design choices that will come up. A designer will ensure all the elements in your home work together to create a cohesive look that’s exactly as you imagined. They’ll also have answers for all the design dilemmas that you may never even have considered.



Have a Realistic Renovation Timeline

Renovations almost always take longer than expected. Even with the best planning, supply problems and staffing shortages can cause unforeseen delays. It’s not uncommon to find surprises like mold, bad wiring, or plumbing problems once you start opening up walls. These kinds of complications will not only add to your budget they will also extend your timeline.


Talk to your contractor and/or all your tradespeople to get their timelines and then plan accordingly. If you’re doing the planning, always leave some time in between trades in case there are delays. You don’t want to lose an important worker because they have moved on to their next job before you’re ready for them to start.


Know Where to Spend and Where to Splurge

It’s so easy to get carried away with all the purchase decisions that come along with a renovation. But if you splurge on every item, you can blow your budget pretty quickly. Instead, try to approach it with a high-low mindset. Choose a few special or important items to splurge on and look for economical options for the rest. Spend more on things you use every day and save where you can on less important items.


See Everything in Person Before You Buy

Between online shopping, sourcing items at different stores and at different times, and the extensive amount of hardware and finishes that all need to work together in a major renovation project, it’s no small feat to coordinate everything perfectly. The best way to ensure everything works well together, is to see them all together.


Even if you have to pay a little, obtain large samples of all your finishes, and view them all together. You don’t want to find out your bright white countertops make your off-white cupboards look dingy after they’re all installed. And whenever possible, go to the store or warehouse in person and get hands on with furniture, appliances, and textiles.


Renovating your home is a big undertaking. But careful planning and thorough preparation before you start can help ensure a successful project!

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