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4 Considerations Before Attempting A Home Renovation

Posted by Luke Hancock

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Aug 14, 2013 5:33:00 PM

Many home renovation projects are big undertakings.

To avoid a Tim "The Toolman" Taylor–style incident à la Home Improvement, you'll need to adequately prepare before you pick up your hammer. A lot can go wrong over the course of any home reno project, but these four considerations of researching, hiring, budgeting and cleaning could mean the difference between a beautifully finished project or a DIY home disaster!


Do Your Research

You know you want to undertake this home reno project, but can you envision the final outcome? Before you hammer or cut anything, you need to flex your imaginative muscles and picture what will be the payoff of your hard work. Ask yourself:

  • Do you know the size of the project?
  • Do you know when you want it complete?
  • Do you know what you want it to look like?

Everyone involved needs to be on the same page before the project starts so you avoid missteps along the way. A good idea is to start with the end in mind and collect images, colours and comparisons to use for your project. Make sure everyone, from partner to contractor, agrees to the project’s commitments and requirements.

Be Realistic About Your Capabilities

Often for larger projects, requirements go beyond the capabilities of the DIY’er; this is OK and expected. It’s important to discover early what you can complete on your own and what requirements need professional help. Even if you like to Do-It-Yourself, recognize there are times when a professional is needed to ensure the job is done properly and safely. It could be very costly to fix mistakes. Here’s a quick three-step guide to hiring help.

  1. Stick to hiring one contractor, it's easier for you to manage
  2. Always check their references and request to visit projects they have completed, with the consent of the homeowner
  3. View portfolio of past work and talk to past clients to get a better sense of whether the contractor would be a good fit for your needs

Besides, discovering your capabilities and what you need help with early, will allow you to plan the financials of your project.

Negotiate a Fair Budget and Timeframe

It’s very easy to get distracted by all the wonderful upgrades and details that may be beyond your budget, but you need to establish what you can realistically afford. Most contractors will work with your budget and help you get the look that you want, at a price you can afford.

You will avoid the stress of creeping costs when you develop a financial plan and set a budget at the start of the project. It’s also vital to not enhance your budget when enticed by upgrades that you cannot afford. Some changes that seem minor can end up costing you more in the long run.

Clean Up

When your project is complete, you’ll immediately want to enjoy the fruits of your labour, but wait, your job isn’t completely finished yet. You’ll notice that garbage dump-like pile of extra materials and debris collecting in your garage or yard. As much as we’d like to think we could wiggle our nose like Samantha of Bewitched and the mess would disappear, it doesn’t; you need to consider the mess your project will make and how you’ll dispose of it.

There are plenty of options that include dumpster rentals, junk removal and making frequent trips to your local dump site. Decide on the best solution for you and make sure to dispose of your waste when the project is completed because a cluttered home is a stressful one. 

Are you planning a DIY home renovation project this year? Have you accounted for these considerations? Do you have any other considerations to share? Please leave your comments below. 


Insights and Ideas within this blog have been exerted from the trade work experience of Adam Grabar, master carpenter and lifelong entrepreneur.