Tag Archives: Bryan Tuckey

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Industry Report: Building Industry Continues to be Undervalued by Government

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Industry Report: Building Industry Continues to be Undervalued by Government

Despite considerable efforts, we have not succeeded in achieving a full, public understanding of the reasons why housing prices are so high

Writing this — my last column for HOMES Publishing Group — conjures bittersweet feelings for me since I retired from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) on January 1.

What brought me to BILD was the desire to have a positive impact on public policy. I thought this industry should have a voice that is heard by government decision makers. I wanted to elevate the debate that public policy is contributing to the cost of homes in the GTA.

As the president and CEO of BILD, I had the constant support of the members, the board of directors and BILD staff, all who allowed me to tell the industry’s story and do what was right. Their patience allowed me to persevere and to execute my vision, while having fact-based discussions.

I am proud of the progress we have made over the past five years. However, my biggest frustration is how undervalued the industry continues to be perceived by the province of Ontario and many municipalities.

Despite our considerable efforts, we have not succeeded in achieving a full, public understanding of the reasons why housing prices are so high in this region. Housing affordability and the ability to own a home are important components in quality of life, which — along with livelihood — are at risk for our future generations.

The residential and land development industry is one of the most regulated in the country and the prices of homes reflect the policy our industry must follow, and how those policies are implemented. At some point, policy makers will have to say “our policies are creating outcomes that are not in the public interest,” and they will have to listen to the experts that are responsible for building communities. Because what the development and building industry wants to do is to build homes people can afford to purchase — especially first-time buyers.

I have advocated for a streamlined approvals process, shovelready land with proper infrastructure and to update out-of-date zoning bylaws. It is time for all governments to show a true commitment to their promises to make things happen and enact policies that meet the challenges of the rapidly growing population. With that, housing people can afford to purchase may continue to be a reality.

I want to leave this message for young people and new residents who choose to make their homes in this great region: No matter how difficult the situation may seem, continue to maintain the dream of homeownership.

Looking back, what I am most proud of is that BILD has never been more stable from a business perspective with the purchase of the home shows in the GTA. This will enable the organization to be a champion of the industry and have an impact on public policy in Ontario for years to come.

Another important advancement for the building industry occurred on January 1, 2015, when our advocacy efforts were rewarded when the provincial government approved the construction of six-storey wood buildings. It will take time to see the true impact of this policy change, but initial results are very encouraging.

In closing, the best part of my five years has been the amazing people I have met and the wonderful relationships I forged. We really do work in the best industry, in the best city, in the best province and in the best country in the world.

BRYAN TUCKEY is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments. He can be found on Twitter (twitter.com/bildgta), Facebook (facebook.com/bildgta), and BILD’s official online blog (bildblogs.ca).

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Industry Expert: Conquering a Winter Renovation

Industry Expert: Conquering a Winter Renovation

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Industry Expert: Conquering a Winter Renovation

The woes of a winter renovation are vanquished with proper planning and working closely with a professional renovator

Winter might seem like an unusual time to undertake a renovation but, with the right knowledge and a bit of preparation, it can be a great time to add value to your home. “The secret to a successful winter renovation is good planning and working closely with your renovator,” says Sam Lapidus, RenoMark renovator and chair of BILD’s Renovation and Custom Builder Council. Talking to your renovator in advance about potential challenges can help you save time and money in the long run. Snow and cold weather are two of the biggest factors in a winter renovation and they require precautionary measures so nothing is left to chance.

photography: bigstock.com
photography: bigstock.com

CLEAR THE WAY

Major renovations often require you to move out of your home for a few weeks. To ensure that your contractor has easy access to and from your home, you’ll need to make arrangements for shoveling snow and salting steps in your absence. Some renovation companies may offer the service but you’ll need to discuss it in advance. It may come at an added cost, so make sure it is noted in your renovation contract.

WATER HAZARD

When you move out of your home, it will likely cool down significantly even if the heat is still on. This increases the chance of water freezing inside your pipes, which could cause them to burst. To minimize the risk, have a plumber heat the water line coming into your house, or call your municipality to shut the water off at the street side.

BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR

Homeowners doing a winter renovation in semi-detached houses or townhomes need to be mindful of how it may affect their neighbours. These types of homes have shared walls, and if the temperature in your home drops significantly, it can affect the comfort level of those living on the other side of the wall. If the shared wall is not properly insulated, talk to your renovator about installing some temporary insulation to prevent heat loss. This is another issue that should be discussed in advance as it may result in additional fees.

FLAT ROOF SAFETY MEASURES

Special precautions may be required when renovating homes with flat roofs. Major renovations or additions may compromise the structural durability of the home. Snow can build up on the roof, and if your home is not structurally finished, it may not hold up the weight. For an added fee, your renovator can have someone shovel the snow or have an electrician install a specialized heater. After the renovation, you can choose whether to remove the heater or leave it to prevent snow permanently.

It is very important that your contract outline the full scope of work and all associated costs. Avoid renovators who urge you to forego a written contract. It’s a sign that you are not working with a professional. Verbal agreements make it hard for you to hold your renovator accountable for sub-par work, and you will not have a point of reference if there is a conflict over payment.

Make sure you always work with a professional renovator. There are hundreds of them across the GTA. A good place to find one is at renomark.ca — home of the national RenoMark program. All RenoMark renovators agree to abide by a code of conduct, which holds them to a number of obligations. In addition to providing a written contract, they offer a minimum two-year warranty, are covered by at least $2 million worth of liability insurance and carry all applicable licenses and permits.

Your home is your largest asset, so it deserves a professional, no matter what time of year it is.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.

Follow him on Twitter @bildgta, facebook.com/bildgta, and bildblogs.ca.


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BILD - Building Industry and Land Development Association

BILD names David Wilkes to post of president, CEO

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BILD names David Wilkes to post of president, CEO

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of David Wilkes to the position of president and chief executive officer effective January 3. Wilkes takes over from Bryan Tuckey, who has been at the helm for five years.

“We are thrilled that David will join BILD and lead it through its next period of growth,” said Darren Steedman, chairman of the board of directors. “This is the culmination of an extensive search process. We are pleased to have found an individual with the background, skills and leadership to take BILD to new levels of advocacy.”

“This is an exciting time for BILD and I am delighted to be taking on the role of president and CEO,” said Wilkes. “I’m ready for the challenge of leading an industry that employs over 197,000 people and brings $30 billion in investment value to the Greater Toronto Area.”

Wilkes was most recently the senior vice president of government relations and grocery at the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) where he provided leadership to a national team that was responsible for RCC’s government relations activities at the national, provincial and municipal levels.

In 2011, he established RCC’s Grocery Division and the unique CEO-based forum known as the Grocer Manufacturer Collaborative, both of which were precedent-setting initiatives.

Wilkes brings more than 25 years of senior management experience and has provided strategic leadership for the retail industry as a passionate spokesman, appearing in front of parliamentary committees, senior cabinet ministers and industry groups.

Wilkes has a longstanding commitment to volunteer activities and currently serves on the Ryerson School of Retail advisory board and the Ontario Curling Association board of directors. He served on a variety of industry boards and committees including GS1 Canada Grocery, Foodservice and General Merchandise Boards, Toronto Food Incubator Board of Directors, George Brown College Board of Governors and Ministerial Advisory Committee on Underground Economy.

With more than 1,450 member companies, BILD is the voice of the homebuilding, residential and non-residential land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders’ Associations.

http://www.bildgta.ca/

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Record October 2017 for new condo sales

Record October 2017 for new condo sales

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Record October 2017 for new condo sales

Average price for available new detached homes rises to $1,548,888

New construction home sales soared in the GTA in the month of October, primarily driven by sales of multi-family homes, condo apartments in highrise and midrise buildings and stacked townhomes, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) announced November 24.

There were 5,377 new homes sold in October, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. About 91 per cent of them (4,884 units) were multi-family homes and only 9 per cent (493) were lowrise single-family homes such as detached and semi-detached houses and townhomes. Condo sales for October were 81 per cent above the 10-year average of 2,697, and the highest October yet recorded, while lowrise sales were 64 per cent below the 10-year average of 1,388.

As of the end of October, 39,476 new homes have been sold in the GTA in 2017, 82 per cent of them condo apartments in highrise and midrise buildings and stacked townhomes.

“October data shows that the new homebuyer is left with very little choice when it comes to purchasing a new home,” said BILD president and CEO Bryan Tuckey.

“Provincial intensification policy has our members building more high and midrise dwellings making housing choices a challenge. The cost of a single-family home is out of reach for many consumers pushing them to buy a condo over a house. As a result we are seeing record-breaking condo sales and higher prices this year for new lowrise homes.”

While supply of new housing increased again in October and reached 12,500 units, it is still well below what is considered a healthy level. Supply of new housing is typically measured by the number of new homes available for purchase in builders’ inventories at the end of the month. At the end of October, there were 9,308 multi-family homes and 3,192 single-family homes available in the GTA.

“Demand for newly-built condominium apartments is being fueled by three key buyer groups – small investors who have become the de facto providers of new rental housing supply in the GTA; end user buyers who might prefer a single-family home but are seeking out more affordable options; and the more traditional end users who value the lifestyle and amenities of well-located projects,” said Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice president of research consulting services.

Prices of available new homes in October increased slightly for both single-family lowrise homes and multi-family homes. The average for available new single-family homes was $1,217,428 up from $1,204,829 in September, and 29.8 per cent above last October’s average price of $937,689. The average price for available new detached homes was $1,548,888 and the average for available new townhomes was $995,571.

Meanwhile the average price of available new condo apartments in highrise and midrise buildings and stacked townhomes was $677,456 in October, up from September’s $661,188. The average price per square foot was $791 and the average unit size was 857 square feet.

October 2017

Highrise

Lowrise

Total

Region

2017

2016

2015

2017

2016

2015

2017

2016

2015

Durham

15

97

26

209

329

325

224

426

351

Halton

158

375

199

75

514

246

233

889

445

Peel

89

203

174

62

178

486

151

381

660

Toronto

3,994

1,509

2,307

2

22

66

3,996

1,531

2,373

York

628

687

573

145

625

695

773

1,312

1,268

GTA

4,884

2,871

3,279

493

1,668

1,818

5,377

4,537

5,097

Source: Altus Group



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Industry Report: Lack of Missing Middle Making real estate Increasingly Unaffordable

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Industry Report: Lack of Missing Middle Making real estate Increasingly Unaffordable

Shortage of shovel-ready land is impeding GTA’s ability to build complete communities

The GTA is in danger of becoming the next London, Hong Kong or New York City — highly desirable cities but unaffordable for most people.

Much of the dramatic increase we have seen in the prices of new homes, resale homes and rentals is the result of supply being outstripped by demand. The population of the GTA has grown significantly, but housing supply has not kept up.

An answer to this supply crisis may lie in building our way to affordable housing much like Tokyo has. The Japanese city has made home construction easy; zoning laws grant landowners greater flexibility to do what they want with their property, allowing them to use their land with little pushback. With a growing population of 13 million, builders constructed more than 142,000 homes in 2014, making it possible to purchase a detached single-family home near the city core for $300,000.

Housing options for people living in the GTA have been either large expensive lowrise dwellings or smaller highrise condos. What we’re missing in the GTA are townhouses, triplexes and midrise buildings.

Montreal has embraced the power of this “missing middle.” Developers are building lowrise dwellings, mostly three-storey flats and midrise apartment buildings within the city and in the suburbs, making Canada’s second-largest city more affordable than Greater Vancouver.

The homebuilding and land development industry wants to design and build homes and communities much like Tokyo and Montreal that meet the housing needs of the GTA. That is our business, that is what we do — but it is getting harder as challenges grow in number and scale. Complicated and restrictive government policies, already lengthy yet still worsening approval processes, a shortage of shovel-ready and approved land on which to build, escalating land prices and the growing issue of NIMBYism (not in my backyard) are impeding our ability to build homes and communities.

Excessive red tape and increasing delays in planning approvals are another huge challenge. Across the GTA it is taking longer and longer to get the go-ahead for projects. A typical new lowrise development can take a decade or more and highrise projects can take up to seven years.

The approvals process is further delayed due to zoning bylaws in many GTA municipalities that have not been updated for decades. All new development applications must conform to area zoning bylaws to get approved but unfortunately many municipalities are operating with badly outdated bylaws that don’t align with provincial intensification policies.

It’s time for government to take action to address our housing supply problem. Across the GTA, the planning approval process needs streamlining to remove red tape, pre-designate and prezone land and approve all outstanding environmental assessments that relate to critical infrastructure. As well, zoning bylaws need updating to support intensification policies — policies that need to be supported with public education.

This is not a time for small plans. It’s time to work together and address our housing supply crisis so that today’s new homebuyers and future generations have somewhere to live.

Bryan Tuckey is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments. He can be found on Twitter (twitter.com/bildgta), Facebook (facebook.com/bildgta), and BILD’s official online blog (bildblogs.ca).

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Industry Expert: Professionals Prosper

Industry Expert: Professionals Prosper

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Industry Expert: Professionals Prosper

by Bryan Tuckey

How to set the wheels in motion for a successful renovation

The keys to any successful renovation are thoughtful consideration, preparation, and working with a professional who executes that plan.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

The first consideration is to understand why you are renovating. Are you renovating to improve the value of your home for a quick sale, or are you doing it to improve functionality and increase the enjoyment of your home?

Another critical step early on in the process is to hire a professional renovator. The easiest way to find out is to ask prospective candidates if they are part of the national RenoMark program. BILD created the RenoMark program in 2001 to help GTA homeowners differentiate professional renovators from underground contractors. The program has been so well received that it is now used to distinguish professional renovators in nine provinces and more than 40 municipalities across Canada.

Photography: bigstock.com
Photography: bigstock.com

PROFESSIONAL & PROACTIVE

RenoMark renovators abide by a renovation-specific code of conduct, which includes things like providing a written contract, offering a minimum $2 million in liability insurance, providing two years warranty on all work, and having all applicable licenses and certificates.

Many renovation projects require you to obtain permits, which can be a complex process requiring several months. A professional renovator will know what permits are required for your renovation, and they will know how to get them.

Some renovations require architectural or design services, while others require an engineer. Such services are necessary to obtain building permits and should be factored into your budget. Your renovator will know what services you need, and give you a pretty good idea of what the rough costs of the project would be.

CONTINGENCY BUDGET

When it comes to budgeting, set aside 10 to 15 per cent of the project cost as contingency. Changes during the process are not uncommon, and they can impact the cost and timing of the job. Just make sure you and your renovator agree on how potential changes will be handled.

A detailed written contract is vital to a successful renovation. Your contract should clearly outline the scope of work, project timelines, payment schedules, warranties and how to handle any changes. If you don’t sign a contract, chances are that you’re not working with a professional, and will have no legal recourse should you receive substandard work.

AU COURANT

Professional renovators also have legitimate business licences, they are insured and offer warranties on their work. They regularly attend educational seminars and courses to stay ahead of the curve and keep their knowledge and skills up to date. That means they know about any changes to building codes or municipal requirements.

Talk to several renovators and interview them before deciding who to work with. Find out what kind of experience they have doing similar work to what you want done. Ask for references, and if they are members of a professional association.

Your renovator is your partner in realizing your vision for your project, and you need to work with someone that is right for you. Visit renomark.ca to find the right RenoMark professional for your project.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.

Follow him on Twitter @bildgta, facebook.com/bildgta, and bildblogs.ca.



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Home Builder: Communities Should Work Together

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Home Builder: Communities Should Work Together

To maximize transit infrastructure

Imagine a prime piece of land near a GO Transit station in the GTA. What should be built on it? It’s an important question, especially when you consider that our region is growing by about 100,000 people a year.

An intensive pattern of development near transit hubs is just smart planning for smart growth. Giving people and businesses easy access to transit means more people use it and we maximize our public investment. BILD has long advocated for higher densities in transit station areas and along transit corridors, and has urged the province to require municipalities to update their zoning bylaws accordingly.

Recently, young professionals from the building industry gathered to discuss ideas about what they would build on such a site. The group looked at a piece of land just under 6,500 square feet in size, located at Wellington Street West and Centre Street near the Aurora GO station. Because of its proximity to a major transit station, the area is required to meet minimum density targets outlined in the Ontario Growth Plan. Yet the maximum building height permitted on the site by the Town of Aurora’s Official Plan is only six storeys.

The builders’ two creative proposals for the site aimed to fill the void known as the “missing middle,”which is the lack of midrise, townhouse and stacked townhouse housing options in the GTA. They proposed townhouses, stacked townhouses and midrise buildings of eight and nine storeys. Unfortunately, these proposals exceed the six storeys allowed in Aurora’s Official Plan.

One proposal, presented by Tyler Grinyer, a senior associate at land use planning firm Bousfields, included a three-storey townhouse on Centre Sreet and a nine-storey midrise on Wellington, with retail and a daycare on the ground floor. Grinyer’s proposed outdoor amenities included a playground and a dog run and wash station. A coffee shop with a patio was suggested for a converted heritage house on the site.

Grinyer proposed eliminating resident parking spaces — while offering on-site ride-sharing — to allow for family-friendly, three-bedroom units at lower price points. However, eliminating parking is also not permitted under Aurora’s Official Plan, which requires a minimum of one parking space for every unit.

Another proposal, presented by Barry Gula, vice president of development and engineering at Freed Developments, stayed closer to Aurora’s zoning bylaws to minimize complications in the approvals process. Gula’s project featured four-storey stacked townhouses on Centre Street and three-storey townhouses on all sides of the base of an eight-storey midrise on Wellington. It included a gym to attract GO riders as well as residents. Due to a lack of foot traffic in the area, Gula chose not to include any retail spaces.

Aurora Councillor Tom Mrakas, who participated in the discussion, explained that Aurora tries to strike a balance between revitalization and retaining its unique small-town flavour. In order to be comfortable with taller buildings, he said, local councillors and residents need to understand how greater density benefits the community.

In the GTA, we need more transit focused density to maximize the investments we are making in the infrastructure. That means working together to educate residents and local decision-makers about the importance of having more people live near transit.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on: Twitter.com/BILDGTA) Facebook.com/BILDGTA YouTube.com/BILDGTA and BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

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h_oct2017_home_builder_fi

Home Builder: Survey Finds

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Home Builder: Survey Finds

What new homebuyers really want in their house

What do new homebuyers really want in their new house, townhouse or condo? Lots of storage, energy-efficient features and a great kitchen, according to a survey by BILD member Avid Ratings Canada.

The 2017 Canadian Home Buyer Preference National Study, completed for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, compiled the responses of 2,775 recent new homebuyers from six provinces, including Ontario.

The survey found that the Canadian dream of owning a single-detached home is very much alive. When asked what they wanted their next home to be, 41 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted a single-detached, two-storey house and 24 per cent wanted a single detached bungalow. New homebuyers’ desire for single-detached homes has increased over the past few years. In 2015, 55.7 per cent of respondents identified single-detached as their preferred next home purchase, whereas this year, 65 per cent of respondents stated that preference.

New homebuyers across Canada said they are willing to make trade-offs to be able to afford their next home. The study found that almost 23 per cent would be willing to accept a smaller home and 20 per cent said they would be willing to live further from work and amenities to make their next home more affordable. Eighteen per cent said they would be willing to accept unfinished spaces in the home and 17 per cent said they would accept fewer community features.

The study also compiled a list of respondents’ top 10 must have home features. Survey results specific to the GTA showed that, not surprisingly, storage was a prominent theme with new homebuyers wanting plenty of space to park their belongings, from clothes to towels to cars. Walk-in closets were at the top of the top 10 must-have home features, and linen closets and two-car garages also made the list.

The kitchen was another key theme on the list. New homebuyers in the GTA said they want a kitchen that connects with living and dining areas, and they placed open-concept layouts and kitchen islands on their wish list. The majority also said they want that kitchen island and other counters to be topped with quartz rather than granite.

Energy efficiency was also important to new homebuyers in the GTA, according to the study. Among their must-haves were high-efficiency windows, energy-efficient appliances, certification by a designated program such as Energy Star and an overall energy-efficient home. As well, LED lighting and solar power generation were found to be growing in popularity.

When asked what motivated them to seek energy efficiency, only 16 per cent of new homebuyers across Canada cited concern for the environment. The majority, some 60 per cent, said their main motivation was lower utility costs. Fifty-eight per cent of survey respondents said they would be willing to spend an extra $3,000 to $5,000 on their next home to save $1,200 per year on utilities.

Surveys such as the Canadian Home Buyer Preference National Study are part of the extensive market research that the new homebuilding industry undertakes regularly. This research helps builders understand what new homebuyers are looking for, so they can build it.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on: Twitter.com/BILDGTA) Facebook.com/BILDGTA YouTube.com/BILDGTA and BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

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Home Builder – Choose Your New Home’s Upgrades With Care

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Home Builder – Choose Your New Home’s Upgrades With Care

Do some homework and have a clear understanding of the standard features and finishes your builder is offering.

So you’ve bought a new home and are thrilled with your decision to buy one that is yet to be built. But when the time comes for your colour and upgrade appointment, your chance to make the decisions that will make your new home perfect, you find yourself both exhilarated and nervous.

It is not surprising that you may feel some anxiety, given that your home is probably the biggest single investment you will ever make — and you don’t want to get anything wrong.

So, to minimize any nervousness, do some homework and have a clear understanding of the standard features and finishes your builder is offering. As well, know where and what you want to upgrade.

If you’ve bought a single-family home, such as detached, semi-detached or townhome, you may have many options for structural changes — both big and small. According to BILD member Joseph Bozzo of Spectrum Realty Service, simple changes include adding pot lights, electrical and cable outlets, decorative moulding, upgraded flooring and enlarging closets.

There are more complicated changes that can be made, including moving bathrooms, enlarging windows and finishing basements, Bozzo adds, but they require new architectural drawings and will be priced accordingly.

Designer kitchens with all the toys always add to the resale value of the home, but, if possible, you should think about structural changes that improve ease of lifestyle, Bozzo says. Those include larger closets, semi-ensuites that can be shared by siblings, rooftop patios, backyards complete with amenities such as gas hookups for your barbecue, wine rooms and large kitchens for entertaining.

Exterior changes are rarely allowed since they are architecturally controlled, including garage doors and entry doors.

Condos are a lot trickier to change. Kitchen and bathrooms are locked into place because of the plumbing and ventilation stacks, and any load-bearing wall cannot be moved. Bozzo also points out that changing a three-bedroom to a two-bedroom unit, for instance, will affect resale values, so it’s best to stick with three bedrooms.

There are some upgrades that can easily be made to your new condo, including the addition of pot lights (depending on ceiling height) and extra electrical and cable outlets, says Barbara Lawlor of Baker Real Estate, another BILD member. Making closets bigger increases storage space but be aware that you will lose floor space. Redesigning your kitchen is possible as long as you don’t move the plumbing.

Of course, all of these changes will add to the price of your home — usually about 3 to 5 per cent of the purchase price. You should also know what your payment options are. If you plan on adding the upgrades to the final cost of the house, you will probably need permission from your mortgage holder. If you plan on paying for the upgrades separately from your mortgage, find out if the builder wants it all up front or if you can stagger the payments.

Finally, don’t wait too long to order your structural changes. If your house has already been framed, then it’s too late to change wall locations. And if the plumber and electrician have been through, it’s too late to add outlets, pot lights or move bathroom fixtures.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on:
Twitter.com/BILDGTA
Facebook.com/BILDGTA
YouTube.com/BILDGTA and
BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

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Industry Expert: Prepare to Succeed

Industry Expert: Prepare to Succeed

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Industry Expert: Prepare to Succeed

by Bryan Tuckey

Preparation is key to managing disruptions during renovation

Almost every renovation project will come with some disruption to the homeowner, but there are a number of things that you can do to minimize the disarray.

Some people don’t want to live in an active construction site and opt to vacate their homes and live elsewhere for part of, or the duration of their renovation. However, for most people, living elsewhere for several months is not financially viable, so they must find ways to live in a home under renovation.

Planning ahead and preparing your home, your stuff, your family and yourself, are important steps you can take to minimize the disruption.

As part of the overall planning of your renovation project, work with your renovator to devise a project plan that best accommodates you and your family, and always be sure to work with a professional RenoMark renovator.

BILD created the RenoMark program in 2001 to help homeowners differentiate professional renovators from underground contractors. RenoMark renovators abide by a Code of Conduct, which includes providing written contracts that carry at least $2 million in liability insurance and offer a minimum of two years warranty on all work. You can find a RenoMark professional at renomark.ca.

Photography: bigstock.com
Photography: bigstock.com

Talk to your renovator about your household’s daily schedule, any vacations that you have planned, or any special circumstances that need to be accommodated so that they can be factored into the work plan and schedule for your project. That way, particularly disruptive or messy parts of the project, such as refinishing hardwood floors, can be arranged for when you are away or can make alternate, short-term living arrangements. And busy on-site work times can be aligned with your family’s schedule so crews won’t be hammering away while you are trying to feed your kids breakfast.

Make sure you discuss which parts of your house will be impacted by your renovation project. Depending on factors like plumbing and wiring, your renovator and work crews may need access to more than just the immediate area being renovated.

Clean out the areas that will be impacted by the renovation and consider temporarily removing valuables such as art, from other parts of your home that could be impacted by vibration. Depending on the scale of your project, you might want to rent storage space nearby, or bring in a portable storage container. If you are storing things in boxes, be sure to label the boxes with an inventory. That way when you need something, you can find it.

Make a plan for how you will live in your home while it is under construction. Kitchen renovations can be especially challenging. Figure out where your temporary “kitchen” will be and what you need to make it work for your family.

Plan and stock up on meals that can be easily prepared in your temporary kitchen. Look at how you might be able to utilize your small appliances and your BBQ when you don’t have access to your oven. You will likely be without running water in your short-term kitchen, so make sure you consider how you will clean up after food preparation and wash dishes.

When you encounter trying moments, and you probably will at some point when you are living in a home under construction, just think about how great your remastered space will be or what it will be like to cook in your new kitchen.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.

Follow him on Twitter @bildgta, facebook.com/bildgta, and bildblogs.ca.



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