The recent increase in housing prices has shone a light on the fact that when homeowners have outgrown their starter homes, moving is not the only option. We spoke to Hussain Saffar of SNR Contracting for a professional’s point of view on the increase in large-scale home renovations.
Single room renovations are still extremely popular, particularly when it comes to kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. However, large-scale renovations are gaining popularity. Homeowners are adding floors, converting traditional layouts to open-concept, and renovating multiple rooms to better suit their needs.
“Renovating the current house has […] benefits vs selling and moving to another house,” Saffar tells us. “[For example,] homeowners can get a home loan against the current house to renovate, [rather than] buying another house with a bigger mortgage”.
If you’re considering taking on a large renovation project, keep these 4 things in mind before you get started.
Plan Your Project Before you Start
If the plan is to renovate multiple rooms in the house, it’s important to figure out what your priority rooms are from the start. Saffar suggests leaving bedrooms for last and starting with common areas like the dining room, living room, and kitchen, etc.
No matter which room you start with, always request quotes on a multiple-room project rather than one room at a time. “The cost could be higher for doing one room vs doing multiple rooms,” Saffar says.
Take Project Complexities into Account
When taking on a large project, such as an addition, an expansion, or even if you’re removing a wall, it will add complexities to the project that may not need consideration during a more simplistic renovation.
“[Expanding] the house footprint [by adding] an extension or addition will require drawings, permits and an approval from the committee of adjustment,” Saffar explains. “[Additionally] some walls could be load bearing walls [with] mechanical lines, wires and plumbing running through them”. This means that additional work may need to be done to ensure the safety and efficiency of the home…and that means higher costs.
Make Accessibility a Priority
If you plan to remain in your home beyond retirement age, or if you are renovating to accommodate a mobility-challenged individual, advise your contractor of any accessibility needs up front. There are many ways to make an existing home safer and more functional for those with mobility issues.
“Seniors or [those with special needs] can have a lot done in their home to make it [more accessible],” Saffar says. “[Ask about improvements] such as; walk-in tubs, converting a bathtub to a stand-up shower with a bench, adding wheelchair ramps, stair lifts and elevators, etc”.
There are also government programs available to help cover the cost of renovations specific to improving accessibility at home for seniors or those with special needs.
Work with a Reputable Professional
The most important piece of advice for anyone planning a large-scale home renovation is to work with a qualified contractor. Ensure that the contractor you’re working with not only has experience, but that they have experience working on larger projects.
“SNR Contracting has done many home renovations, extensions and additions in the GTA,” Saffar explains. “We always look into small details and only work with qualified trades professionals. [This allows us] to save our clients time and money”.