Apr
28

Planning and Prep for Home Renovations

Posted by Peter Brooks in Renovations on Apr 28th, 2009

Let’s talk renovations. I’m going to skip the part about how to hire a contractor/renovator only because I think that can be easily answered by a quick Google. Just remember to get references and look at past projects!

Lets assume then that you’ve hired your designer, who by the way can handle your contractor/renovator for you along with bringing in all of the design elements to the project. I have to also assume that you have a written agreement with as much detail as possible about each stage of the renovation including cost and timeline along with any note on what may come up that may change cost or plans.

On that note anytime we get involved renovating an older home, things will come up and you will have to be prepared to adapt. Sometimes the unexpected will show up and it will turn out to be a great element to your renovation plans. Take for example that hidden mechanical or support column that you find just too costly to deal with that just changed your open concept plans. Well, by adding another column beside it and installing glass shelves between the columns with some puck lights overhead just turned what was an obstacle into a feature.

Prepare yourself.  Renovation day is approaching:

1.    Start packing. Pick up all of the boxes that you will need from your local moving store along with labels and tape. You might need a wardrobe box.

2.    Cover everything. Most ‘good’ renovators will take great care in protecting and covering your things before work gets started, however, the more that is covered and protected the less clean-up at the end and less worry during the process. You can pick up very inexpensive clear plastic at any home help centre and start covering, even if the renovation is restricted to the main floor kitchen cover as much as possible throughout especially the room below the project. Dust will find its way everywhere.

3.    Move out. If there is any way that you can find a place to live during the renovation I would strongly urge you to move out. Living with your in-laws or friends in tight quarters is far better then trying to live through a renovation. This will also make it much easier on the contractor/renovator who will not have to worry about work hours and equipment clean up as much.  You can also search out short term furnished rental options.

4.    Finally and I think most importantly have as many of the fixtures chosen before you begin.  There are items that can be bought and paid for a delivered on the same day however there are many that may require an order time.  Tiles may be 1–6 weeks on order, certain bath or kitchen fixtures.  Kitchen cabinets are typically 6–8 weeks from order date to delivery date.  It isn’t just the in stock time it also goes to the design time.  If you are still choosing while the contractor/renovator is waiting this will cost time and time in a renovation is money.  Lots of it.

Live Your Life by design
Peter