Ask the right questions

Where to Begin Your Home Renovation Project

Tips to Help You Lay the Foundation for A Great Reno

If you are like many of my clients, you spent some time discussing the reno project you would like to do to some or all of your home, and some of you may have even decided to pull the trigger and start your project.

So, I think it would be a good time to talk about how to get started as this seems to be the biggest hurdle for a lot of people. Just where do I start if I'm looking to do a partial or complete reno on my house and who do I call?

But, before you call anyone, sit down and decide two things:

  1. What is it I really want to accomplish with this renovation and how far do I want to go? Basically, what is the scope of work going to be?
  2. What is my budget going to be? This is harder to calculate at the preliminary stage as many of you do not have demo or building costing knowledge or experience. But you should know what you are comfortable spending to demo, design, construct and finish your interior and/or exterior space.

Once you have made these decisions there are two routes you can go, both of which should require some additional getting started home work on your part. To start the discussions about your project and the realities of it, you're going to call either a professional interior designer for an initial consultation or a design-build firm who can handle everything. Calling builders at this time is not the best choice as you have nothing more than ideas and without proper plans or documentation you're going to get costs and opinions all over the map.

Start asking friends, neighbors and associates who have had work done for any recommendations and check with local building associations (Manitoba Home Builder's Association) and designer groups. Do your internet research and check out who has done projects just like yours in the past. However, don't be overly impressed with websites. Some are fantastic because they are great website builders more than they are great home builders and renovators.

Once you have narrowed it down to maybe two of the best candidates in either direction you have chosen, take the time to meet with them and get answers to all your questions. In the end, it really comes down to who you feel solid and confident with. Who listens to your wishes without imposing and insisting on their ideas. Who are you going to be happy working with, for what could be up to a year-long relationship, and do you feel good about the trust you have placed in them.

No build goes perfect but if you spend this time up front you will certainly minimize time and money on the project.

Good luck.

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