Starting a renovation project

Is it time to renovate your home? Depending on the size of the renovation there are many decisions that you will have to make before your project begins. Below is a list of a few major ones.

What is your budget? I always ask my clients when we first meet, what is the reason you are renovating? It could be cosmetic: you like to entertain, have dinner parties and just want to update an older house. Or you would like to improve function and flow of a room; this happens a lot in kitchens where people spend a lot of time moving around in. A couple other options could be to increase living space, like developing a basement, or to increase the value of the house. Once we know the route of issue it helps put a budget towards the solution.

The second decision is who will overlook the job? If it is a larger project with multiple trades I would recommend hiring a contractor to overlook your project. Majority people have busy schedules with work and kids programs, to manage a larger renovation and coordinate multiple trades could become overwhelming and stressful. If a contractor is hired, you need to talk to one person who will keep you up-to-date and address any concerns as they arise and more importantly make the transition a stress free one.

Third, what company to hire? This is the most important commitment when doing a renovation and it becomes more important when it’s a larger scale job. The first step is to look up contracting companies online, check out the website, read reviews posted, skim through their social media page, and are the affiliated with any associations? Have they won any awards? Talk to family and friends for recommendations as well. Narrow in on three and give them a call to come in provide an estimate. Most companies will come out and do this for free. Once an estimator arrives at your home ask yourself, are they professional? Have they addressed your concerns within a reasonable timeframe? Are they personable? Building a professional relationship is important, as you will need to feel comfortable going to that person with questions, concerns, add on, and anything that is on your mind when it comes to the renovation. Once you get the three quotes, make sure the scope of work is all the same, so you are comparing apples with apples. Review the prices but remember cheapest is not always the best, if the company you like is not within budget, call them and see if they can adjust their price. Then make your decision.

Fourth, are you living through the renovation? Most homeowners do, but you might not want trades to show up at 6am or working until 10pm, so coordinating and communicating throughout the transformation is important.

If you have any questions about the article or your renovation feel free to email [email protected]. Jason Zarrillo is CEO of Stand Tall Painting and Contracting Inc., a Winnipeg based renovation company that specializes in residential and commercial renovations.

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