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Your Renovation Road Map
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Setting Goals

What are your goals? What does success look like to you at the end of this journey? Generally, the impetus for a renovation is based on one of two factors: quality of life (QOL) and return on investment (ROI).

If you need additional space for an aging relative or the arrival of a new baby, then you’re likely going to be more concerned that your renovation delivers a better QOL. If you’re looking to update your home in order to maximize the selling price in the next few years, then ROI will be your main consideration, and you’ll want to focus on the spaces that will offer the largest impact (kitchens and bathrooms).

These two factors are not mutually exclusive, however. Even when considering a change in order to improve QOL, the ROI can (and often should) be taken into consideration. For example, an in-law basement suite can provide a good return if done right. A good craftsman will be able to guide you on the priorities of this job and maximize both your QOL and ROI. Take the time to think through your goals before you get started, and you’ll be happier with the end result.

Next, Decide on a Style

The best way to identify your style is to look around and see what you like.

Make a scrapbook of what appeals to you. Clip out magazine articles about design ideas -some will even tell you where to get specific products you may like. Set up a Pinterest board, pin any online images that appeal to you, and make a note as to why you like them. When you see something you like, take a snapshot and keep it on hand. Home design programs boost inspiration and have websites to help you find the products they’ve used on TV. Wander through a home improvement store to see what’s new in fixtures and finishes, and pick up paint chips while you’re there. Check out what your friends and family do to their homes.

You’ll be amazed at the clear sense of style that your scrapbook exercise will convey.

Set Your Budget

Until you have a final plan, this will have to be a range. Decide what is the maximum you want to invest, take 20% out for contingency, and work with the adjusted amount as your maximum budget. It’s tempting to use your contingency on upgrades, but hold off and save it for unexpected expenses. This is the number you should provide to your renovation construction partner. Go with smaller, higher quality improvements over a longer period of time, rather than a big overhaul you can’t afford to do properly.

As a rule of thumb, don’t spend more than 5% of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel or more than 3% on a bathroom remodel.

Find the Right Partner

The right partner is the most important ingredient for a successful renovation. This is the person you’ll be trusting to bring your dream to life. Choose carefully.

Set Your Priorities

Everyone has a unique value system. It’s important that your craftsman discovers as much about your values as the room that you want to renovate. Understanding this value system allows elements of the job to be prioritized, which means the plan will be customized to your needs.

You might get joy out of a well-organized drawer, while another homeowner is more enthralled with imported Murano glass knobs for their cabinetry. Alternatively, one client may value an opulent soaker tub while another may feel that natural stone flooring is a must.

Almost every project budget will dictate compromise. A value system will help you determine what items you’re willing to splurge on and which ones you’re not.

Finalize the Plan

With your budget, room dimensions, wish list, and value system in hand, your craftsman will develop your customized plan. The plan contains all the information you need to envision the end product. It includes drawings, color schemes, suggested fixture and finishes allowance, timeline, and budget.

Review this plan in detail with your renovation partner, and make sure you’re comfortable with all the details. Once you’ve signed off on a plan, any changes to it can and likely will affect budget and timelines.


A clear, well planned out timeline is a mandatory part of your renovation plan. However, there will always be unexpected delays, as we are all at the mercy of Mother Nature, not to mention unexpected delays in product delivery. The one thing you can control is ensuring you’re comfortable with all your decisions before construction begins.

Waiting until the last minute to order a faucet or fixture may hold up the project while the item is ordered. Some finishes take up to two weeks to get, and this delay will have a ripple effect on all the other contingent parts of the plan. If timing is a priority for you, try not to change your mind midstream. Swapping a sliding glass door for a French door may seem like no big deal, but a new door has to be ordered, and the door opening has to be changed. Make sure the change is going to be worth possible delays and change in budget.

Work Begins

Like any adventure, a home renovation will have its highlights and lowlights, and yes, eventually you’ll be able to laugh about the experience while you enjoy your beautiful new space. Akin to welcoming a new baby into your home, you quickly forget the sleepless nights, dirty diapers and exhausting schedule when you’re distracted by the joy they bring. For tips from our pros on how to survive as best you can, Click here.

Enjoy the End result

You’ve created a new, gorgeous space for you and your family. Put up your feet, pour a glass of wine, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Call us today for more information or Contact Us to schedule an appointment!



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