DO: Start by analyzing what you want, looking at overall design and function

DON’T: Start by calling a contractor

Many people begin the renovation process by calling a contractor. Wait! Instead, start by nailing down a new layout and select the finishes you want. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this is the time to engage a design professional. Put together you MUST HAVE vs NICE TO HAVE list, and add any PAIN POINTS you want to solve with your renovation. We will help you determine the right layout and finishes to meet your functional and aesthetic preferences. We can provide you with a scaled drawing of a proposed renovation plan, and help you determine a ballpark price for your project.with this, THEN, call a contractor to price the job using the exact finishes, materials and fixtures you want. This takes away the guess work from the standard budget allowances which many contractors offer.

DO: Be sure you have a reasonable ballpark idea of what your renovation might cost

DON’T: Expect champagne on a beer budget

Be sure your budget expectations are within a reasonable range. We’ve recently met with four couples who were all interested in renovating entire main floor areas. They had no idea what it would cost, but “guesstimated” way too low ($30,000 - $50,000). Most times, this is unrealistic. It’s best to understand what a ballpark cost for your renovation is in advance so your expectations are within reason. In my experience, most main floor renovations (which include a new kitchen) cost anywhere from $75,000 - $150,000 (varies greatly with finishing selections). We don’t like to sugar coat the price right off the hop. Think about all the components of your renovation... new flooring, electrical, plumbing, cabinetry, countertops, appliances, backsplash tile, paint, ceilings, railings, trim/new doors, etc. And remember, it’s not just the cost of materials involved, it’s the labour to install it. Generally, the labour to install costs about the same as the materials you select.

DO: Engage A Reputable Contractor

DON’T: Engage multiple contractors right off the hop. Develop trust & mutual respect with your renovation team to create a partnership. This breeds success!

With your layout and finishes in hand, call a contractor and ask for a price. If it comes back too high, then either (1) tweak your finishes, layout or adjust the scope of your renovation to reduce the cost of your renovation, or (2) ask for a competitive quote from another contractor to compare pricing. Be careful not to request bids from multiple contractors as it only creates tension. Regina is a small city and most times we are aware of who is working on/bidding on which projects. If contractors know you’re not invested in working with them because you’ve contacted 5 others, they won’t be invested in you either. You won’t establish the same level of trust and respect with ANY of the contractors you obtain bids from if they feel you are potentially wasting their time and looking for the absolute lowest price. Remember, you often get what you pay for. It’s best to select a few contractors you’ve heard good things about and invite them to partner with you in the project.

Once you’ve selected your contractor, they generally ask for a deposit which is standard. It can be anywhere from 10 - 25% of the total cost of the project. Then, there are generally interim payments to be made, which should always be tied to work being completed. Most often, there is an interim payment made once drywall is complete, and then a final payment at the end of the project.

Do: Be Patient

DON’T: Rush it. It will only create more challenges!

Many people are unaware of the process for a renovation and aren’t sure of the steps involved. Planning and lead time for your renovation may take as long as the renovation itself! Here is my recommended renovation timeline:

  1. Plan First

  2. Engage a Contractor/Arrive at a Final Contract Price/Provide Deposit. This could take 4 weeks to complete. Usually there is lots of detail to consider, subtrades need to be brought through the house and review the plans and specifications in order to price the job. This all takes time. Be patient – it’s worth it in the end when your budget and your invoice match!

  3. LEAD/WAIT TIME is required between engaging the contractor and beginning your renovation. This allows time for materials to be ordered, cabinetry to be manufactured, etc. This can be anywhere from 2-12 weeks. Many people expect the renovation to begin immediately upon signing on the dotted line, but it rarely does.

  4. Renovation Begins!

    • Demolition

    • New Framing of walls

    • Electrical and Plumbing Rough Ins occur

    • Drywall installed/painting

  • Interior Doors/Trim/Railings Installed and stained/painted

  • Finishes begin to be installed (flooring, cabinetry, countertops)

  • Finishing touches installed such as light and plumbing fixtures, backsplash tile, touch up paint

  • Final cleaning and window treatments installed

  • Furniture delivered and accessorizing occurs (we can help with this too!)

  1. Your Renovation is Complete!

Do: Enjoy the process and Have Fun!!

Don’t: Get weary and give up!

Renovating is a process of renewal and regeneration, kind of like spring coming into your house after a long, cold winter! That should be fun and invigorating, not stressful and terrible. If you need help, call or email me. We can help you ensure your renovation unfolds smoothly!

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