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Getting Started with Home Renovation

Taking on your very first home renovation projects? Congratulations! This is going to be an exciting phase in your life as a homeowner. Whether you’re making a small upgrade to the powder room, or diving into a major reno in multiple rooms, here are 5 important things to consider before you get started.


home renovation

This is going to be the most important part of ensuring that you have a positive renovation experience. We’re not talking about communicating with your contractor (although that is also very important). This is about maintaining open lines of communication with your significant other, business partner, family member, or whomever you might be taking on this project with.

Things like your vision for the space, budgets, details, and frustrations over unforeseen repairs, etc. can all cause disagreements. That’s why it’s essential that you talk things out upfront and throughout the project.

Planning & Research

home renovation

Beginning your project with thorough research and a good plan is right up there with communication in terms of importance. While not everyone can fully visualize the outcome of their project, you can still prioritize and get a feel for the process of taking on a renovation.

Spend a lot of time visiting home shows and showrooms, browsing magazines and finding inspiration on sites like Pinterest. Look for design elements that delight you and take note of finishes and styles that you think would fit in with the look of your home as well as your lifestyle.


home renovation

Home renovations always cost more than you initially think they will. Side projects happen unexpectedly, you end up needing more materials than you had estimated, or you just can’t live without that gorgeous tile you saw online the other day.

When planning out your budget (making a project budget really is a must do) add to extra fields: contingencies and splurges. Allot some extra funds to each line item. This will help you be better prepared when the price tag starts to creep upward.

Estimates are exactly that. They vary from project to project and differ depending on where you live within the country, province, or even within the city. That’s one of the reasons why you can see complete gut job renos on those home improvement shows that come in at a fraction of the price you might find locally.

Project Duration and Deadlines

Speaking of timelines … home renovation projects almost always take longer than you’d imagined they would. The best thing you can do is to plan for a flexible timeline. Projects can start later than you’d expected, and they can take longer than your contractor had initially estimated. This is why it’s never a good idea to plan a reno right before a holiday or major event, such as a wedding or the birth of a child. Make sure you have a sizeable chunk of time between your estimated completion date and the event.

DIY or Hire a Contractor

home renovation

Many renovation projects will require you to hire a professional. Sometimes, even if you are relatively skilled at certain home improvement tasks bringing a professional in to do the job is the best decision. Here’s why. While you might have the ability to do a passable job, home renovation isn’t your fulltime job. That means you won’t have time to dedicate the major portion of your day to the work. Things will take longer, partially due to time constraints and partially due to lack of experience.

Bottom line: Unless you have extensive home renovation experience, the best choice is usually to hire professional.

Ready to find a contractor?

Take the next step and connect with local contractors in your area. You’ll find extensive listings here on for everything from general contractors to plumbers, landscapers, interior designers and much more. Our listing will allow you to read reviews, view galleries of past projects, and read informative articles based on contractor interviews. This really let’s you get to know each contractor to see if they’ll be the right fit for your project.

Once you’ve browsed the reviews, contact at least three contenders. Request quotes and additional information and then choose the best candidate.


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