Do your research: Be sure to visit potential contractor websites to view their portfolio and arrange an in-person meeting to see if they would be a good fit. If possible arrange a time to see a home they've recently completed to view their craftsmanship and speak with the home owners. Always get two or three quotes but be wary of the different price points you may get. In this industry the cheapest or most expensive quotes may not always be the best option.
Hire ONE person to manage your home renovation: Hire ONE company who is 100% accountable for your project. It's always great to have one company take care of the design and build of your home. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Remediation: Asbestos was widely used in B.C. as a building material until the early 1990s, and it can be present in many areas of older buildings. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious long-term health issues and even death. If you suspect asbestos is present, hire qualified professionals to safely remove it before work begins.
Changes happen: This is especially true with any renovation. Be prepared to run into some unexpected surprises due to site conditions or city requirements that may require you to make changes.
Write things down & read sign offs: It's important to always read what you're signing off on and understand what you're getting. Don't ever hesitate to ask questions to clarify any details with your builder or interior designer. It's also a good idea to have a recap of decisions or follow up items after every meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page and that nothing gets missed.
You're likely to go over budget: Unfortunately, it’s true. Some things are going to be unexpected and out of your control, and some things are just going to end up costing more than you anticipated. Make sure you don't cut any corners if you're renovating your forever home, but be realistic by prioritizing what's important to you so you know where to spend your money. It's also a good idea to always have a contingency budget for any surprises that you may encounter.
Pay attention to the stairs: This is something to pay close attention to as it’ll impact the rest of your house. You'll have to take the time to think this one through, should you keep the stairs where they are now or should you move them? If you opt to move them, what are the costs associated with this and how will it affect your floor plan? Would it be worth the expense?
You won't always meet your deadline: We endeavor to make deadlines but there are a lot of factors that come into play for example, client decisiveness, product availability, weather, and even manufacturer delays. The important thing is to have a game plan on how to keep moving forward without creating further delays. This is the nature of the beast and it’s just one of those things you have to be prepared for.
It won't always be perfect: Sometimes, it takes a lot time, money, and effort to make something old, look new again. Understand that some "imperfections" may be present and is part of the charm of an older home and sometimes, that's okay.
Don't worry about being matchy-matchy: Don't be afraid of colour or doing something unique to give your home more personality!
Your house is going to be dirty and dusty for months after: Yes, even after a post construction clean, your home will be dusty and will take time for it to clear, this is normal for any new build or renovations.
We hope this shed some light for those who are considering a home renovation. For more information feel free to contact us to discuss your next project.