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Our office has completed many renovations projects for clients over the years. From kitchens, washrooms, additions, basements and everything in between we always look forward to working on a great reno. They offer the most transformation of space and can really impact the way a room looks and functions. However, along with a renovation comes a big mess, aggravation and stress. If you are planning a renovation or thinking about renovating, below is our best advice on how to survive the storm:
- Have all of your ducks in a row. Before the contractor steps foot through your front door, make sure all of the materials required for the project are on site. This is key to keeping the project moving. If the tile installer is waiting on a backordered tile, this will not only hold him up, but will hold up all of the trades that follow him. In the meanwhile, weeks may pass without trades working on the project and your space is left disconnected and unusable. Often the contractor may wish to start before you are quite ready, as he has an opening in his schedule. As much as you may be eager to have him start, don’t do it until you are ready. I promise, this usually never goes well
- Consider working with a designer. Not only will they help with the countless decisions that you will be forced to make throughout the renovation, you will have the confidence of knowing that the end product will be a professionally pulled together space.
- Have a budget in mind. This is important. Again this is where a designer can help. Most people perceive working with a designer as being quite costly, but they can actually help you stick to a budget. They will show you the items you can splurge on and the items you can save on, always keeping in mind the total value you have supplied them with. In such case, design fees should be calculated in this budget
- Be realistic. Know that most likely the project will go over schedule.
- Be prepared for last-minute changes. Plans always look perfect on paper. The fact is, when construction starts, and walls start coming down there are bound to be a few surprises. They will come up. It is inevitable. Take them as they come and keep an open mind. In the end, your space will come together and you will have some good stories to tell.
- Be patient. Having lived through many renovations myself, I know that this is easier said than done. All renovations are a process. One step needs to happen before the next can take place. The tile must go in before the cabinetry, the cabinetry must go in before the countertops can be templated, the countertops must go in before the backsplash and before the plumbing fixtures can be re-connected etc. etc. Each step has a specific lead time. For instance, stone countertops typically take about 2-3 weeks from the time they are templated to the time they are installed. Two weeks will therefore pass before your plumber will be back to re-connect your fixtures and before you will have running water again. Ask your contractor the lead times ahead of time, so that you will not disappointed.
- My last tip. Lots of good wine. Possibly the most important tip.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day when the job is finally complete and your space is everything you dreamed of, it really is all worth it.
Hang in there.