In Our Element

Preparing to Renovate: A How-To Guide

April 3, 2018 | written by Neil

Why do we renovate? Why do we decide to undertake an expensive, inconvenient, stressful process? To be honest, there are more reason to support the argument NOT to renovate than to go for it. Can’t be bothered? I get it. But, for those with a vison of exactly what they want. They will tell you; it is absolutely worth the 6-12-month chaos as they bring that vison to life! The result is worth all it took to get there.

A vision, that’s how it starts. Then what?

Before we start on the journey, I always recommend these four things to every potential client:

 1. Identify scope, establish a budget

Which comes first, the old chicken and egg routine, does scope dictate budget or the other way around?

In my experience you need a good idea of your budget first. What does that look like? Is this your forever home or is this your 5-year home? Are you renovating this for yourself or as an investment? Answering these questions will help you define your scope and make decisions. This number will change as you gather information, but this is an important starting point.

Reach out to a professional. We have the experience and background to support you in understanding if your budget is appropriate for the scope you are considering. Once you have some understanding of what things will cost you will be able to refine the scope of work and align it with your budget.

2. Collect inspiration and concept images

Save yourself some money! Do as much homework as you can before engaging your design team. With tools at your fingertips such as Houzz and Pinterest, it’s easy to start an idea book and establish your style. The clearer you are on what you love, the easier the design process is going to be.

Our philosophy; design is driven by your influence and lifestyle. Each project is as unique as our client.  We put you in a position where its impossible to make a poor decision as your needs and desires are reflected every step of the way.

3. Interview potential companies

You have clarity on the style and outcome you are expecting and armed with a budget, defined scope, and idea book…. time to take the leap!

There are several professional renovation companies out there. Each boasting different design styles and influence, each with a unique signature and process. Your renovation requires valuable input from both the designer and contractor. Typically, design-build firms offer the most streamlined service for communication and coordination. Research what’s available and find two or three companies to interview.

Ultimately, its about relationships. Do you feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and feedback through the process both positive and constructive? Are you confident the firm you chose will act as your advocate throughout the process?

 4. Make plans for where and how you will live through the renovation.

Often clients over look how extensive the process of a remodel is. “we can work around the remodel, business as usual” No. We make a mess, we spread out, dust travels, its inevitable. However, we can support you in setting up a kitchen in the basement, garage or even on the upper floor. How we determine if this makes sense for you is dependant on the scope of work. A project that has a scope coving most or all the main living areas traditionally requires a full move out. This is important to understand as you need to consider it in your budget.

In addition to you moving out of the renovation space, we also ask that you move all your furniture and personal belongings out of the space. Yes, all of it. There is no efficient way that we can work around your belongings. There are moving companies that offer services to move out your furniture and store it for the duration of the project if you are limited on space. There are also companies like PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) where you can fill one of their storage containers and they will haul it away and store it for you. (See step 2 where I mentioned you will find your budget will change as your understanding of the process grows.)

Above all else, all the steps, all the decisions, all the excitement and chaos, is time. Renovations require a lot of it. Before you take the plunge, ensure you are clear and honest about the commitment required of you, and of the commitment you are willing to make
.

And when it feels overwhelming, when it feels like too much, remember in the beginning “The Vision”

It will be worth it.



Neil
Neil has been working in the construction industry for almost 30 years. His passion for planning and building has flourished over the last 18 years at LD&A. As General manager and partner, he is working on the vision and growing the business. And when he’s not at work, chances are he’s creating projects to do around the house. Always up for new experiences and adventure he has been diving with Great White sharks and most recently started boxing.

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