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Expert planning and management are key with major renovations

With housing prices what they are, many homeowners are undertaking major renovations or even complete rebuilds to turn their existing home into their forever home.

Regardless of the size on your project, if you’re thinking of renovating, work with a professional RenoMark renovator to ensure your renovation is completed properly.

BILD began the RenoMark program in 2001 to provide consumers with a resource for finding professional renovators and trade contractors. Program members must follow a renovation-specific code of conduct that includes carrying applicable licenses, providing a written contract, obtaining permits and government approvals, as well as offering a minimum two-year warranty on all work and having a minimum of $2 million liability insurance. Find a RenoMark professional in your area at

Be sure to hire a professional renovator early on for best results. They have the experience and knowledge to help you with planning and design as well as construction. Your professional renovator will manage each phase of the project and will act as your general contractor.

If you’re lucky enough to not have a restricted budget and also have the architectural drawings for your renovation, you can take the next step and tender your project to find the renovator that will turn your design into a reality.

Most of us do have budget limitations, and you may need to find a balance between what you want and what you can spend. Your renovator will help you create a plan that matches your budget.

You may need to be prepared for a lengthy process depending on how large your project is. Obtaining necessary building permits will be a first step, and while it can be complex and time consuming your professional renovator knows how to navigate through the process successfully.

The building permit process can take 46 weeks or more and that’s before starting any construction. Once your permit application is submitted your local municipality will review it to ensure that it conforms with the Ontario Building Code, municipal zoning and other applicable bylaws. These rules exist to so that any modifications made to your home are structurally safe.

Complexities that can add to the process are things like older homes that are not up to code or do not follow the bylaws because they may have been constructed before these rules were in place.

If you’re planning to renovate and want information about the process our next “Five Steps to a Successful Renovation” seminar will be held on June 20. Be sure to attend and hear from two experienced professional RenoMark™ renovators as they go through the essential steps to a renovation, offer useful tips and take questions. It is a free educational session which runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at BILD’s offices at 20 Upjohn Road in Toronto. For more information or to register, email us at

About the Author: Bryan Tuckey is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments. He can be found on Twitter (, Facebook ( and BILD’s official online blog (


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