A home renovation, whether it’s a single room or a total tear-down and rebuild, is an exciting time. Unless you’ve created a custom home then you’re going to inherit some design ideas that just aren’t you, and a renovation is the perfect way to remedy that. It’s also a potential disaster: some much can go wrong and end up costing you a lot of money. You can’t prepare for everything, but you can give yourself a solid foundation that can help you to avoid common pitfalls.

Design Ideas

Think of renovations as being 90% about you and 10% about the hypothetical person who will one buy purchase your house. Hopefully, you know not to get too out-there with your ideas, but your style won’t be everybody’s, and browsing a few style blogs and home renovation magazines should give you a good idea of what the current trends in design are and, from there, what should stay in style for the foreseeable future. These design ideas will be of serious help to your contractors when they’re designing your renovations.

A Realistic Budget (+20%)

You might be able to get a rough estimate of a job’s cost through research, but only getting several quotes on a job from contractors will give you a rough idea of how much a job will cost. Even then, rough means rough, and it’s always advisable to have a little extra cash, say 20% of the job’s total cost, saved up in case your contractors find that there are quirks to the job that you hadn’t anticipated when you put together your own budget.

Find the right home renovation contractor

It would be easy to say ‘just go with HR2’, but the best advice is always to shop around and get at least three quotes for any given job, then to make a decision based upon more than just price. Take a look at client testimonials (not just the ones on the company’s website- check their Facebook and Yelp profiles), their portfolio of work and listen carefully to what they have to say. It will always be a gut decision, but you can make it backed by a little knowledge or a lot.

Make Other Arrangements
If you’re installing granite countertops where are you going to prepare food? Will you eat take-out for a week or make a place to prep food that won’t be affected by what’s happening in the kitchen? Where do you sleep when your bedroom is being remodelled? If you or your family are going to be at home during the daytime, when renovations are happening, will they be willing to put up with power-tools and hammering? Think about how the renovations are going to affect your life and how you can work around them, which could be anything from buying noise-cancelling headphones so you can work in a home office while contractors are taking down drywall downstairs to uprooting to a hotel for a week.

Always Have An Exit Strategy

Hope for the best, plan for the worst definitely applies to home renovations. You never know when a contractor will drill into a water main or find asbestos in your walls. Any reputable contractor will have a warranty covering accidental damage (we have three), but that doesn’t mean that they can wave a magic wand and make everything better. Ask your home renovation contractor ‘what’s the absolute worst-case scenario?’ and work with them on what can be done to avoid them.

Luckily, the days of cowboy-contractors willing to do half a job and run are mostly over thanks to consumer awareness. You should be able to hire a professional home renovator who can get your reno done on time and on budget- but it’s always helpful to plan ahead.

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