Last week, we had a showcase at the 2016 GTA Home & Reno Show. We spoke to so many people interested in starting the home remodeling project of their dreams. They had lots of questions for us about what we do and how we do it, but many of them also came to us for advice on how to start and how to ensure a successful finished product. The same questions began to emerge, so we’ve compiled a list of the Top 3 Questions asked at The Home & Reno Show, and how we answered them.
The first step is to identify what your goals are for this particular space. Start by asking yourself and being clear about why you’re remodelling this particular space in your home. This needs to be communicated to the remodeller in order for them to accurately visualize what the new space could look like and account for feasibility factors.
The next step is to find a reputable contractor. This is not a step that can be nickel and dimed–the most reputable contractors are never the cheapest. Hiring the cheapest on the market will only cost you more money down the road as quality suffers and cutting corners affects other rooms in your home. Check that the contractor has WSIB and liability coverage; it’s also a good idea to hire a Renomark Certified contractor or a local home builder association member because they strictly adhere to industry and ethics guidelines and standards. Remember, Home renos get uglier before they get better. You have to be able to trust the renovator enough to decimate your home or room and make it worthless–before they make it better, newer and worth more.
Assess how much of the “painful stuff “ you want to do yourself – i.e. design the space, pick and source everything, find prices, get the permits, etc. This is relevant because this information should be communicated in the quoting stage in order for the quotes you receive to be an apples to apples comparison.
If this is overwhelming – and it often is – then is it best to consider working with a design /builder/remodeller.
A design/remodeller will have the resources and expertise to take on every part of the project, from identifying goals, design (floor plans and elevations) clear scope and deliverables, timelines, permit procurement and municipal involvement, subtrade quoting and budget development that leads to a fixed price construction contract.
The main take-away is that the majority of the work takes place before any construction starts in a successful project.
Do some serious soul searching before you start a DIY project. In some cases, it’s a weekend project that you’ll enjoy tackling, but in other cases, a project done incorrectly can be financially (and emotionally) taxing.
We typically ask you to answer the following questions:
Have you done anything like this before?
Do you care about the aesthetic, or what it looks like upon completion?
Do you have the skillset required to make this an investment in your home–or will it look “DIY”
We also commonly give this advice to anyone asking this question:
If your project involves moving a wall, it’s more than likely too big for a DIY.
Never do your own electrical – always hire a licensed professional because of insurance implications.
Do I have to hire my own contractors? Apply for a permit? Find a designer? A design/remodeller will take care of absolutely every detail–we do it all! However, clients are typically involved in the process. A designer should work with their client to design a space and specify finishes that suit their budget and their taste. A Design/Remodeller works in the project budget development to match their client’s investment level where possible. You can be involved every step of the way but not burdened by the process whatsoever.
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