10 Things To Consider When Renovating Your Home

1. Setting The Budget – Starting a renovation project without deciding on a budget, can be the single biggest mistake a homeowner can make. Only you know how much you want to spend, and when you come up with this figure you can find out exactly what you can get. Without setting a budget you start the renovation process with wonderful ideas and plans, but without the concept of cost. Coming up with a beautiful set of plans and design ideas can be disappointing when in the end you discover it’s not what you wanted to spend.


2. Deciding On The Right Scope Of Work – Your budget will determine how much work you can do. So it’s important that you spend your money in the right areas. If it’s large enough, it’s always better to do a full renovation properly, rather than a partial one; avoid renovating two many areas of the house if you don’t have the budget to do each one properly. For example, totally renovating your bathroom down to the studs is better than replacing parts of it. When remodeling, check plumbing and heating, the condition of studs and insulation, electrical and insulation. Upgrading the guts of your house is just as important as replacing finishes.


3. Hiring Professionals Vs. Doing It Yourself – There are lots of DIY’s out there, but the truth is there is no substitute to hiring professionals. From the designers to the trades, and the general contractors that oversee and organize their work, having professionals work on your home will ultimately save you money and create real value in your home.


Husband and wife paying bills on computer.


4. You Need A Properly Structured PlanEvery project needs a properly structured plan that guides the renovation process; a road map with details. RENOVATION PLANNING has benefits of having your project professionally planned, designed, and installed. The costs to properly plan are far less than the costs incurred by not planning at all; in most cases planning fees are set against the cost of your project. Getting “free estimates” for detailed projects can be a waste of time because the proper amount of time to evaluate design, materials, and actual labour costs is not carried out.


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5. Design Elements To ConsiderThere are various styles and designs to consider when renovating your home. You must identify what it is and how you want to incorporate improvements into the design of your house to maintain its character. From contemporary and modern, to traditional, these are the most common. You can mix certain styles, but avoid personal preferences for design ahead of the spirir of your house. Every element of your renovation will impact design, right down to the type metal finishes, to woodwork, paint colour, shapes, and flooring.


6. Making Sure The Work Is Done ProperlyRenovations are complex and require skilled trades people, that involve supervision, and communication with general contractors. Issues must be discussed as they arise, schedules must be organized, and the proper materials and installations need to be completed. As well, not only do the finishes need to be done properly, but the mechanical elements that precede them. Putting all this together requires years of experience, and the ability to anticipate problems before they arise. A good contractor will know when something isn’t done properly, and can handle of this. A homeowner just isn’t equipped handle the little ins and outs of construction.




7. Making Sure The Right Trades Are UsedRenovations have many tasks, and it is important that each of them is performed by the proper trade. Electricians should not be doing tilework, and tilesetters should not be doing electrical work. Renovators are the exception, as they have many skills and can perform them quite well. However, when tasks become large they bring specialty trades that do their ONE thing with precision and speed.


8. Is The Structure Sound?Everything in life requires a good solid foundation, and the same goes for you house. Whatever project you decide to take on, aspects of your home that are structural and mechanical in nature must be sound. Tiles laid on a rotting floor will crack, new faucets connected to old plumbing lines will leak, heating vents connected to ductwork that is not connected will not circulate air, walls painted over old cracked plaster will crumble, and electrical connected to dangerous wiring will create liabilities. Go beyond esthetics and make sure what’s behind the finishes will hold up over the years.


9. Investing In Quality MaterialsThere are lots of great deals on building materials out there, but be careful. In the end you get what you pay for. In some instances materials don’t really last, which is expensive in the end because labour is required to replace them. However, there are expensive materials that aren’t that great either. Speak to your contractor. They know what works and doesn’t. Harnessing their experience with products on the market is a valuable resource.


10. Attention To DetailsThis is what sets apart a good renovation from an exceptional one. Ever walk into someone’s house, and be inspired by their renovation, only until you start noticing some things just aren’t right? The painting lines aren’t straight; moldings are not put in properly, or cut well; things are not level, or plumb; cracks are visible in a number of areas; and so on. No renovation is perfect (even a professional one) but when you start adding up little details that don’t look that great, it can ruin the job. So what’s the answer?

YOU CAN’T LET THE LITTLE THINGS GO. Colours have to match up; elements need to be level, plumb, and proportional to the space being renovated; caulking needs to be neat and tidy; painting needs to accentuate the space, not detract from it; wood mouldings need to be cut properly and installed securely; fixtures need to be secure; and walls need to be smooth and void of imperfections and blemishes.

So take the time to make sure things look good. Nothing is perfect, but strive for excellence in the details.


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Mark Ashton

Kitchen & Bath Designer
AKBD, CLIPP, B.A., B.A.S. (Mgmt.)

For over 25 years, Ashton Renovations has offered an innovative and professional approach to home renovations. From kitchens and baths to whole house projects, we can transform any room in your home.