If you are planning a major home renovation in 2014, it’s important to build in plenty of time in advance to plan the project in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Give yourself a good head start with the following guide:
1) Identify the changes or additions you need for function, then add a wish list inspired by magazine articles or web resources. Don’t factor in cost at this stage.
2) Consider how your project might affect other parts of the home (e.g. energy-efficient windows won’t be very effective if adjoining rooms are leaking air).
3) Before planning changes in structure (e.g. walls) or utility locations (e.g. HVAC, plumbing and/or electrical), engage the advice of a trusted professional.
4) Interview prospective contractors and their references. Choose the one most suitable, based on ideas, itemized costing, communication skills, realistic timelines, relevant experience and references.
5) Define a clear, realistic and affordable budget, leaving about ten per cent for contingencies.
6) Insist on liability insurance, licensed trade work, industry standards and inspections, material warranties and
guarantees (as applicable), as well as a contract with reasonable timelines for consultation, design, permits, material acquisition and completion deadlines – with applicable penalties if breached unreasonably.
7) Be flexible, but avoid changing plans mid-project, if possible.
If you'd like to know which renovation projects can really add value to your property, please call me.