A home renovation can be an exciting and exhilarating time. You get to take all of the things that aren’t working for you and reinvent them to make your home one that you have only dreamed about, budget allowing. However, many of us don’t plan for the chaos that may ensure before the end result. There are many factors that affect the timeline and overall experience of the project. There are many things that can be avoided if properly planned out, but we also have to be prepared to deal with little surprises as they come our way. (And trust me there is always something) Here are a few things to consider before taking that sledge hammer to the wall.

Finances: Make sure that you have budgeted out the entire renovation, and decided on something that you feel comfortable with. Hire a team that can help you stay within your budget, and understands your goals. However, that being said, you are the one that needs to make sure that you keep things in check and refrain from making a lot of small chances. That countertop upgrade may seem like a small amount in the beginning, but when all of the “change orders” come in at the end of the day, a few small things can often add 20 per cent to your overall bottom line.

Timelines: Be realistic and flexible. Many times a renovation will go off without a hitch. However, the worst thing that you can do is plan to have a renovation end close to a large holiday or milestone. While everyone has the best intensions to get the labor and product to you in time, there are so many factors that make it out of their control. One delay can have a ripple affect across the board. For example, we once got caught in freight strike where many of the trains were not making their regular deliveries from the east. This left the trades with no product to install, and ended up delaying a renovation for weeks. Don’t plan your Christmas dinner in the new kitchen until the countertops are on, and the appliances are ready to take on the bird. It will only lead to heartache, frustration and major disappointment in the long run.

We always hope for the best, but can’t plan for things like natural disasters or personal issues. There may be things behind the walls like mold, structural issues or asbestos once you get underway. One kitchen renovation halted in the dead of our West Coast winter because Mother Nature decided to flood my client’s home. This ended up delaying us mid renovation, as they had to shift both their attention and finances to first disaster control and then restoration of other areas of the home.

All that being said, I hope that I haven’t scared you. Most renovations end in toast to a job well done, and life in their new dream home. Cheers!

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