Tag Archives: renovation planning

Plan Ahead: BILD president shares insider tips to ensure your renovation comes up roses

Latest News


Plan Ahead: BILD president shares insider tips to ensure your renovation comes up roses

Like thousands of people in the GTA every year, I just had a major renovation completed on my home. It was a great way to make sure that my home meets the changing needs of my family, and that it is updated with features and designs that match our current tastes. In doing so, I experienced first-hand the benefits of using a professional renovation contractor, and putting into practice what the Building and Land Development Association (BILD) and its RenoMark renovators recommend to all their clients.

By following our own recommendations, I didn’t experience any nightmare scenarios that unfortunately, are more common than anyone would like to think. The end result was fabulous, the project was finished on time and on budget, and while most renovations often have some bumps in the road, the process went relatively smoothly.

Here are some of our top tips:

  • Spend the time upfront to have a very clear picture of what you want to achieve. Know your budget, and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Chances are, as you proceed with your renovation, you will likely have to make some trade-offs between what you want and what you can afford.
  • Choose your renovation contractor carefully. Interview at least three. If you don’t know where to start, you can find a list of RenoMark renovators on the RenoMark.ca website with renovators in your city from coast to coast. The benefit of using a RenoMark member is that they are professionals, they carry all the applicable licenses and insurance coverages (including WSIB). Also, they will always provide a written contract, provide a two-year warranty on their work and continually upgrade their skills with ongoing education provided by the local home builder’s associations (HBA).
  • When interviewing potential renovation contractors, make sure that they understand your vision for the renovation and are able to work with you to fine-tune your project. Ask for references from previous clients and check them! Don’t just be satisfied with pretty pictures and a snazzy brochure. If they are not a RenoMark renovator, ask them to provide evidence of insurance and workers compensation coverage, ask about their warranty coverage and ask if they are members of the local HBA. Insurance and WSIB coverage are important because if the renovator does not have coverage, you, as the homeowner, could be liable in the event of an accident on the job site.
  • Make sure you have a comprehensive written contract with the renovator. This will make sure you get the renovation you want, and protects you in the event something goes wrong. Check our website for tips that outline some of the most common terms and features you will want to make sure are included in your contract.
  • As the renovation progresses, make sure to stay in regular contact with your renovation contractor. Book regular progress meetings. Changes are bound to occur with the project as you are working with an existing, and sometimes older, structure or home. When you do make changes, make sure to document them with your contractor in a change order.

Fortunately, my overall experience was a very positive one. I worked with a professional and was very happy with the end results. Remember: you wouldn’t hire someone off the street to repair your car; you would go to a licensed mechanic, so why would you risk the biggest investment of your life, your home, to a nonprofessional just to save a few dollars?

David Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, Facebook, BILD’s official blog.


SHARE  

Featured Products


rebecca_hay_video_jan6_fi

Video: Kick Start Planning Your Reno

Latest News


Video: Kick Start Planning Your Reno

By Rebecca Hay

It’s the New Year and we all have Resolutions and Goals for the year ahead. Goal setting has become a true passion for me and so I thought for my first video of 2018 I’d share my Tips on How to start planning your renovation. This is my first of the new weekly video series. Let me know if you like it and if you’d like to see more videos like it!

SHARE  

Featured Products


Five tips to help plan a home renovation

Five tips to help plan a home renovation

Latest News


Five tips to help plan a home renovation

MoneySense

New year, new renovation budget.

Now, before you go off on a rant about how foolish it is to renovate a home, stop. Not every home renovation project is a good investment — nor it is a good use of disposable income. But not every remodel project is a bad idea. That sort of black and white blanket statement just isn’t helpful, particularly when we all know someone who renovated and sold their home for top dollar.

http://www.moneysense.ca/spend/real-estate/renovations/5-tips-to-help-plan-a-home-renovation/


SHARE  

Featured Products


Reno Smart: Renovation Resolution

Reno Smart: Renovation Resolution

Latest News


Reno Smart: Renovation Resolution

by Robin Siegerman

Photography: Robin Stubbert

The success of any reno relies on detailed planning and informed decisions

Any home renovation can be a daunting prospect that too easily turns into information overload, much of it conflicting. It can be difficult to move past the dreaming stage without losing control.

DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS

The biggest worry homeowners have about a major renovation is the budget, and rightly so. Without detailed planning, costs can quickly spiral out of control. I talk about detailed planning a lot because the importance can’t be overstated. But what does “detailed planning” actually mean? It’s a package of information that creates a road map for the whole project.

Be prepared to discuss a necessary list of small decisions with your designer that need to be made before you can begin:

  • Trim, door and hardware styles, and finishes
  • Plumbing fixtures and faucets
  • Appliance equipment
  • Light fixtures
  • Flooring materials and coverings
  • Fabrics for upholstery and window treatments
  • Wall treatments—paint, wallpaper or special finishes
  • Furnishings, right down to the toss cushions
  • And be prepared for big decisions such as whether or not you need to move walls to achieve your design goals.

HIRING THE CONTRACTOR

Conventional wisdom suggests you get three different quotes before you decide who to hire. That’s not necessarily the best course of action.

If you do want to get multiple quotes, the drawing/specification package is essential so everyone bidding uses exactly the same information, and you’re comparing apples to apples. If you ask for estimates from a few different contractors with only a verbal description of what you want, you’ll be comparing apples to kumquats. Each contractor will interpret your verbal description based on his own experience, which may not be even close to what you envision, and the estimates can vary wildly as a result. A project information package details what you want and expect, with no ambiguity. As a result, the quotes should vary minimally. Next, choose a contractor you “click” with because a renovation can take months, and you need to feel comfortable with this person in your house, day in and day out.

Here is the other approach: Most designers work with one or two contractors regularly, so their recommendation usually means the contractor is well known to them and the workmanship has stood the test of time. It’s in your best interest to work with an established team, so when the inevitable job site challenges crop up, the designer, contractor and trades are working together to find the best solution with a minimum of finger pointing.

The designer is your advocate, knows the contractor’s strengths, and the contractor understands what level of quality the designer expects. There are so many moving parts to a renovation and there can be over 100 people involved in some way, even though you will never see or hear about some of them. A proven team leaves less room for error and miscommunication.

There are no shortcuts to a high-quality renovation. Detailed planning and an established team could be just the renovation remedy you need to get your project moving again.

Robin Siegerman is a 20-plus year veteran of the home design and renovation business, an international design award winner, conference speaker, and author of Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchen – Design and Remodel Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Wallet, Your Mind or Your Spouse.

For a free kitchen renovation planner, visit renovationbootcamp.com/free-kitchen-ebook

SHARE  

Featured Products