Tips for Planning a Home Renovation

Tips for Planning a Home Renovation

Green Features

Thinking about sustainability right from the start is a good idea. There are the obvious things such as thinking about how your project can make good use of natural lighting and passive heating as well as what materials leave a lower carbon footprint. However, you can also go one step further and do things like reuse things like a kitchen counter could maybe be an outdoor kitchen counter or even chop it up and use it for tiling elsewhere.

Hiring an Architect

For your more substantial projects that require walls coming down then it is definitely a good idea to hire an architect. They can assist with the rules of where you live including what is code and what is not and can sometimes help with permitting. Things can get more tricky when you are doing more than just updating what is already existing.


Any scope of work document should include the costs that you may not even think about such as fees for dumpster rental or the like. If the builder’s estimate exceeds your budget, write down your hierarchy of needs and wants and ask your contractor if they can restructure things accordingly.


Older properties most often have more structural issues so it’s important to know this up front. If you share a wall with a neighbor, also known as a party wall, it is a good idea to get a condition survey of their home before work starts, especially if you are doing excavations. Be sure to do things like getting photographs, descriptions and measurements of any existing cracks or defects just to protect yourself down the road.


Changing your mind about fixtures and fittings can be expensive if work is already in progress.

For example, if you decide you prefer an engineered wood floor instead of the vinyl one that has been estimated for, it may not simply be the materials that cost more. It can sometimes be more involved where the concrete base underneath may need to be finished to a different requirement. Also, be cautious of big money payments required upfront. If the builder doesn’t give you a payment schedule, then don’t sign the contract. Make sure everything is spelled out clearly and shop around for what is customary for the area you are in.




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