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Renovation tips

6 min read

How to Prepare for Home Renovations

Renovation tips

6 min read

How to Prepare for Home Renovations

Renovation tipsHow to Prepare for Home Renovations

Have you finally decided to start a full or partial home renovation to boost your comfort and living space or simply revamp your outdated home?

Keep in mind that a home renovation project is a planned endeavour, one that requires a certain discipline throughout. A renovation project must coincide with your priorities, budget, and expectations. 

As you’ll come to find out soon enough, it’s all about preparation, no matter the project. In fact, renovation work can translate into stress, hence the need to properly plan and prepare to efficiently manage multiple decisions at once as well as changes to your day-to-day life that will no doubt arise when undertaking the work.

Here they are—precautionary measures, tips, and pointers; nothing is left to chance—when considering a home renovation project. 

5 Go-To Home Renovation Pointers

1- Write a to-do list

Source: Canva

When it comes to a renovation project, the first step consists of getting a pen and a blank sheet of paper and writing down your priorities. You’ll come to see that renovating your leaky roof with insulation that’s far from great—ultimately useless during a winter storm—will outweigh your need for a new, dream-engineered and ergonomic kitchen

By establishing your list of priorities, you’re one step closer to defining your budget that’s based on your needs. As a matter of fact, this to-do list should only detail work that you can’t DIY (electrical wiring, plumbing, excavating). 

As for painting and installing a new bathroom vanity, surely you can handle it yourself, with the help of a friend. However, if your budget allows it, and you’re somewhat not especially DIY-inclined, then you can definitely add such work to your list!

2- Define your renovation needs

Source: Canva

Ever heard of Pinterest? It’s an especially useful tool for inspired home renovation ideas. Are you looking to make your living room more spacious, yet you can’t quite see it? Is your kitchen lacking practicality and you’re looking to modernize it? Pinterest is where it’s at. Based on your needs, you’ll be able to find hundreds of ideas for every room in your house, all of which can help you narrow down what you’re looking to achieve. 

If you’re planning a large-scale renovation, it might be wise to hire an architect or architectural technologist to design your plans. In most cases, municipalities will request certified plans by an industry professional prior to issuing you a home renovation permit. 

You may also want to hire a building engineer to ascertain the current state of your home. From there, you’ll have a professional’s opinion as to the required renovations and feasibility of the planned work. The hired engineer can also look over your electrical wiring, electronics, and sanitary installations to ensure they’re all compliant. 

3- Establish a renovation budget

Source: Canva

Don’t overlook your budget prep! Your budget is what will allow you to carry out the planned renovations. Prior to reaching out to contractors, you will have to establish your renovation budget. If you don’t have a budget set in stone, come up with a price range. Naturally, one can’t get the same work done for $10,000 to $15,000 as another could with $35,000 to $40,000.

This price range will allow you to determine what home renovations can be done short term. Furthermore, don’t forget to plan for unexpected expenses in your budget (between 10-15% more) based on your initial budget to cover any unforeseen fees. All houses seem to hold secrets and the older your home is, the higher the chances you may end up uncovering a not-so-sweet surprise that might just make your last bill skyrocket.   

Also, reach out to your contractor to get the list of materials they plan on using. Considering your financial situation, they could tag along and provide much-needed pointers. You can find the right materials to fit just about any budget.

To calculate your budget, you can consider your savings, your ability to self-finance, and if needed, a bank loan. 

Are you looking for pointers to establish your budget? Check out our article How to Establish a Realistic Renovation Budget or try out our cost estimator!

4- Find a contractor

Source: Canva

Once your needs and budget have been established, now’s the time to find a contractor. They will look over your request, and provide a detailed quote. Keep in mind that it’s always best to request three to four quotes from different certified contractors prior to making your final decision. 

So, forget about that handyman who remodelled your neighbour’s or brother-in-law’s bathroom, and hire a certified professional who’s an industry specialist. A genuine contractor is experienced and holds the appropriate licences to undertake the work needed (building permits go hand in hand with liability insurance). 

To help you make up your mind, check out our guide to choosing a contractor.

5- Mentally prepare

By jumping, head first, into a renovation project, chances are, you’re going to ride a wave of emotions: contemplation, anxiety, and enthusiasm, which are most often symbiotic with a bucket-load of questions. Did you make the right decision? Can you stick to your budget? Are you going to like the end result? It’s not easy, we’ll give you that.

Don’t go thinking the work and stress are no more as soon as the project gets underway; that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Carrying out home renovation also means acknowledging the fact that you’re going to have workers in your home on a daily basis. This oasis you once called a homestead for you and your family will be inundated by strangers, which will most likely disrupt your daily routine. A renovation project is exhausting, messy, and most especially, loud, for you and your neighbours. 

Pro tip: Breathe in, relax. Nothing’s worth you getting stressed over. Try to slowly change your routine by going out a bit more to get away from this worksite you once called your home. Remind yourself that there’s an end to everything, and you’ll soon have your renovated home to yourself, and it’ll be much more comfortable and inviting. 

For more pointers on the matter, check out this article (in French only).


Give our handy memory aids a try to organize your renovation project… 

To help you structure your renovation project to ensure it runs smoothly, we came up with a few memory aids. These articles have a great deal of information in terms of materials, step-by-step instructions, and different elements to consider. 

Here’s a list of our different memory aids: 

  • Your Go-To Kitchen Renovation Checklist

  • Checklist of Steps to Follow: Home Addition Project Guide

  • Bedroom Renovation Guide: Go-To Checklist

  • The Bathroom Renovation Checklist

  • Checklist of Steps to Follow: Basement Renovation Project

  • Checklist: Roof Renovation Guide

  • Checklist: Your Annual and Monthly Home Maintenance List

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Last modified 2023-11-14

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