Renovation projects take a great deal of planning to streamline the process. There are many moving parts, and variables that one should consider before getting started.

Here are our best practices to have you feeling confident to move forward.


1. Clarify the Details of What You Want

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While this may seem obvious, it’s essential in the planning phase and obtaining accurate trade quotes. Deciding what you want is key in avoiding confusion for both you and your contractor.

Work change orders are sometimes part of the process, but if you begin with a solid plan on what you want, it will help you navigate any potential unforeseen issues that might arise as the project unfolds, because everyone has a clear starting point.

Remember to have fun during the process. Whether you are working with a designer or not, it’s a great time to gather some inspiration! Browse online and collect photos of things that you love, considering all aspects of the design. This will help you feel organized and excited for the journey ahead to a beautiful new space.

For example:

  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Colour scheme
  • Floor planning
  • Textiles
  • Hardware

It’s as important to weed out things that you don’t want, as determining what you absolutely must have. The must haves can affect budget so be mindful of this when planning.

A positive outlook will truly change the way you feel throughout the renovation.


2. Timeline

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It’s important for you to figure out when the ideal time is to get your project started. For example: starting in September, at the beginning of a school year if you have children, is not ideal. Perhaps you entertain often in the summer months or have family members who come to visit and are staying with you. In this case, fall or winter may be a more ideal time.

You also must factor in the trade professional’s schedule. They may have availability right away or may be booking into the future. Either way, a conversation around timeline is essential.

Keep in mind that any number of factors can arise that can cause delays. So, plan to be flexible when considering the timeline.

Here are a few examples of what might cause a delay in your project.

  • Out of stock inventory
  • Shipment delays
  • Illness
  • Delays in your contractor’s current renovation projects
  • Vacations

Understanding that delays may occur, will help you determine your ideal start date, while managing your expectations for the project progress time.



3. Trade Quotes & Budget

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These two things go hand in hand.

You will need to assess how much money you have available to spend and set your max budget. This budget should also include a contingency plan should something unforeseen present itself during the renovation that was not part of the original the trade quote.

Any variables can arise for any number of reasons and are common enough that we advocate for setting aside money for incidentals.

Booking trade quotes would be your next step in determining what you can or cannot do within your max budget and if they can meet your timeline requirements.

At the time of your trade site visit, it’s helpful to have a plan A and a plan B to discuss with your trade professional to determine if your budget is realistic for either option.

If you are getting multiple quotes (3 is more than enough), be sure you are comparing apples to apples. You want to ensure that each trade is getting a comprehensive picture of what you want. In this way, one contractor is not under-quoting you based on lack of information.



4. Begin Ordering

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You are clear on what you want, you have your timeline and budget nailed down, and you have your design inspiration mapped out. Your next step is to get things ordered to be sure that they are on site for in time for your renovation.

Sometimes product shipments can incur delays even with the best of planning. So, be proactive by ordering your fixtures in advance of your project starting.

Plan to have a designated area for delivery drop off and a proper place to store your inventory. For example, flooring is often required to be in doors, and will need to acclimatize before installation.


5. Prepare Your Family & Home

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Simply, renovations are disruptive, so have this conversation with your family.

You will need to manage a new daily routine. If it’s a bathroom renovation, and you only have one bathroom, you might need to figure out a place to stay or another creative solution, like renting an outhouse. This is something to factor into your budget.

Learn when you can or cannot be on site during the renovations. If you can’t be at home, have a plan for where you will stay. For example, hardwood floor refinishing requires that you not walk on the floors for a specified period.

Moreover, you need to prepare the spaces in your home for the renovation. This might be relocating furniture, packing dishes or décor, etc.

Pets will also need to be considered. Strangers and loud noise can cause stress on our pets. If you have a pet that won’t cope well with the renovation, it might be better to isolate them to a safe space in your home or have them stay with a trusted family member or friend.

Either way, preparing your family to embark on a renovation will help everyone involved, including your trade professional. Trades understand they are disrupting your routine. Having a plan for them to park, set up tools and equipment, and have access to your home is a great way to ease any unnecessary stress.



In conclusion…

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A renovation is going to be challenging and disruptive to your lifestyle, family, and pets. After all, you are taking on a massive change. However, having an effective plan, knowing your budget, and taking the steps to be prepared is going to dramatically improve your state of well-being throughout this journey.

It’s also important to keep your eye on the prize throughout the process. While it may be stressful at times, and feel like it will never end, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It will all be worth it when you have a new space that adds more happiness and value to your home and life.

Happy renovating!