Preparing for Your Home Renovation

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Now that Christmas and New Years are well in the past and you have had time to pay off all those credit card bills; it’s time to start preparing for that renovation that you have been planning.

If you are planning on doing any renovations for this spring or summer, you’ll want to start planning and reaching out to contractors to obtain estimates NOW! The best contractors are booking projects well into April and May – so you better get moving.

I want to share with you a few important tips that I think home owners should consider when it comes to planning a renovation:

Hire a Professional

Joe Palazollo of Jota Designs Inc. is a designer and project manager that I have had the privilege of working with over the past 8 years. He has always expressed that one of the most important pieces of information any homeowner should be aware of prior to moving forward with any renovation project is not to settle for the cheapest quote your receive and to understand the scope of work that you are being quoted on.

“Knowledge is free, experience is not. “ Jota Designs Inc.

Being in this industry for years, I have dealt with numerous home owners who have hired a second contractor to fix and complete a renovation project because they originally hired a contractor who had the cheapest estimate and clearly was unqualified and did a horrible job.

I always stress to home owners that they should obtain a few estimates and properly qualify the contractors. Speak with your family, friends or professionals in the industry to see who they recommend. I have personally worked with many different contractors over the years and am always able to provide clients with a few companies to contact, ranging from mid to high-end pricing.

Remember: You get what you pay for! And if the price is too good to be true – it probably is…

For more information about hiring the right contractor, click here to read my post “Can We Really Trust Contractors?”

Understanding the Value of Your Home

If you are planning on renovating, take into account the total cost of the renovation and how that will add to the overall value of your home. It is recommended that you don’t exceed the value of your home, unless you are planning to stay there for a very long time.

I always tell my clients that they need to answer this one question… Why do you want to renovate your home? Are you renovating your home for resale to make money? Or are you looking to improve your home so you can enjoy it for years to come?

“If the value of your house exceeds the average market value in your neighbourhood, your renovations will not yield much return. But if your house value is below the average, you can recover a larger part of the renovation costs.” The Appraisal Institute of Canada

You want to avoid any renovation projects that will set your house apart from others in your neighbourhood. Do your research and look at the homes in your neighbourhood. Determine what you can sell your home for before and after a renovation.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that the amount spent on your renovation projects should be relative to the value of your home. For example, a $30,000 renovated bathroom does not belong in a $100,000 house.

5 Renovations That Can Add Value:

  1. New or improved kitchens and bathrooms
  2. Low-cost improvements such as: new paint, new wallpaper, or new carpets
  3. New windows or doors
  4. Basement renovation
  5. Investments in more efficient use of energy

Understanding the Importance of Permits

Depending on the scope of your renovation project, you’ll need to do your homework and educate yourself about what permits, if any, will be required before starting on any project.

It is important to remember that some renovation projects will require renovation permit, even if you are doing the work yourself. Renovation projects, especially anything that affects a load-bearing wall or changes to windows or doors, will require building permits.

Below are just a few examples of renovation projects will will require a permit:

  • Finishing basements
  • Updating plumbing
  • Updating electrical
  • Basic replacement of windows or doors

The process of obtaining renovation permits may be time consuming and a bit of a hassle, but it is very important. Building permits ensure that renovations are done properly and will keep you from having to pay expensive fines. It is also very important, if you are planning to sell, that the real estate information is up to date as any changes made need to be recorded and tracked for tax, insurance and resale purposes.

An inspector will check on the progress of your renovation to ensure that you are following the plans. This is important because you want to ensure that the inspector is satisfied, and you want to make sure that everything is executed smoothly.

“The reality is that renovation permits are in place so that everyone keeps up with the latest health and safety standards.” Trusted Pros

Here is a link to the City of Ottawa to help you determine what building permits are required for your project: Hopefully these three facts have provided you with some useful information to help you when it comes to planning your next renovation.

If you are in the beginning stages of planning your renovation and are looking for contractors to provide you with estimates, just send me an email and I would be more than happy to provide you with a list of excellent renovation companies which I work in partnership with.

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