Neal Murdock

Do Your Homework Before You Start a Home Renovation

Homeowners can be optimistically gung ho on home renovations, visions of their glorious new kitchen or shiny bathroom galvanizing them to power through the mess and expense. But, as the pandemic has reminded us, it’s important to do your homework before pulling out the tools and getting started. Otherwise you may end up with inflated costs, poor workmanship or an unfinished project that will be even more expensive to redo later.

Before you even get to the planning stage, you need to decide why you want to renovate in the first place. Is it simply because you’re sick of looking at chipped paint or outdated wallpaper? If so, those are valid reasons to make a change. But more substantial reasons for a major remodel, such as raising your home’s resale value or improving your family’s functionality, require a thorough, careful assessment of your needs and the condition of your house.

Once you’ve done that, start by writing a list of your must-haves and your wants. Then compare that to your budget, and don’t be afraid to make cuts to keep the project affordable if necessary.

When it comes to hiring contractors, you’ll need to be choosy. Ask friends and family to recommend workers they’ve used and read online reviews. Ask for references, and if possible, check that contractors are licensed in your state. Those who aren’t will be less able to comply with local building codes and will probably be more costly than those who are.

Another factor to consider is the length of time you’ll need to complete your renovation. If you want to have the project finished by a specific date, it’s worth making a timeline for each aspect of your renovation and then talking with your contractor about any financial surprises that might come up along the way, such as unexpected fees or the need to replace aging pipes or appliances.

As you work through your plans, it’s a good idea to have some contingency funds set aside. You’ll also need to account for extra expenses, like a higher-than-expected utility bill, or the need to buy extra materials, such as lumber, if you run into unexpected challenges that will add to your overall renovation cost.

Finally, don’t forget to add on the costs of any permits or fees you might need to pay. You might have to apply for a permit yourself, or you might have to hire a general contractor to manage the process on your behalf, but either way, figuring out these extra costs upfront can help you plan accordingly and avoid any surprises down the line.

The bottom line is that while¬†home renovation Toronto can be a big job, it’s usually worth the effort in the long run. Taking your time, choosing reputable professionals and establishing a clear plan are the best ways to keep your renovation on track and minimize any headaches. By following these tips, you can ensure that your renovation project is as enjoyable as it is productive.

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