In recent years, the housing crisis in Canada has caused many homeowners to look for ways to increase their home’s value and make it more attractive to buyers. Others are turning towards renovations as an alternative to buying new, given the rising costs and the limited availability of suitable properties.

Whether they’re looking to improve their house before selling or simply want to refresh their current place instead of buying a new one, Canadian homeowners are increasingly taking on projects like remodelling kitchens and bathrooms, updating flooring, or painting walls. Renovating can be a great way for homeowners to get the most out of their property without breaking the bank.

In order to make sure that the renovations are done right, homeowners need to be prepared and have a clear plan of action. This article will provide tips for homeowners looking to renovate their homes in order to increase its value or simply to give it a fresh look. By following these steps, you can ensure that your home renovation goes smoothly and yields satisfying results.

1 – Create a Plan

The most common mistake homeowners doing DIY renovations make is not taking their own renovation project seriously enough. It’s an understandable mistake to make; this is your home, after all, you’re extremely familiar with every nook and cranny.

That familiarity often makes renovating feel like it will be easier than renovating an unfamiliar space, so homeowners often underestimate the scale and complexity of what they’re planning to do.

Of course, the complexity and difficulty will catch up with them eventually, usually in the form of unexpected costs, irreversible mistakes, and lengthy delays, as unforeseen problems demand high-stakes decisions to be made part-way through the process.

Fortunately, the worst of these can be avoided by proper planning and preparation. Before you cut, break, remove, or buy anything, make sure you have some kind of plan. Here are some questions that might be helpful in developing a plan:

  1. What is the scope of the project? Is it a minor adjustment to a single feature in one room, a full remodel of an entire floor, or something in between? What’s changing? How does it look right now, and how do you want it to look after the project is complete?
  2. What comes first? And after that? Think about what you’d need to do first, and then map out each successive step in brief so you can get a sense of what needs to happen in what order. Depending on the complexity of your project, you may need to rewrite this plan a few times to get the most efficient order, so keep it general at first.
  3. What do you need to buy? What’s getting removed? Figure out which elements are staying the same, which are changing or being replaced, and which are being removed altogether, if any. Estimate a price point for each new tool and material you’ll need to buy, and see what those prices total out to.
  4. What can you do, and what can’t you do? Another common mistake in DIY projects is not knowing your own limits. The fact that costs, benefits, and schedule are all up to you and primarily only affect you can make some handy homeowners feel too comfortable trying to do certain steps they aren’t qualified for. While contracting a specialist can be expensive, pushing yourself beyond the limits of your capability can risk cost efficiency and personal safety if something goes wrong.
  5. What are you allowed to do? Just because it’s your house doesn’t mean that building and fire codes don’t apply. Whatever changes or additions you make will need to be compliant, or you could face consequences, not to mention putting yourself and your safety at risk.

2 – Get Organized

Another risk of not taking your project seriously enough is becoming swamped in a sea of documents, research, and invoices. While this is not likely to be a big risk for smaller projects, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Before you get started, make sure that you have a way to keep track of the relevant documents, emails, and research so that you’re always able to find what you need with ease. If you don’t have one already, consider creating a personal business Google account to keep files and emails with contractors all in one place, separate from your other email(s).

3 – Prepare for the unexpected

No one plans to get injured, lose money, or cause damage to their property, but unfortunately, these kinds of things happen all the time. Planning ahead can help reduce the risk of being blindsided by a setback, but no plan is perfect.

If you can, hold off on starting your project until you have enough funds to tide you over in case of an emergency or a setback. Large projects are notorious for going over budget, and you don’t want an unfortunate turn of events to bankrupt you or force you to abandon your project.

Additionally, working with others gives you redundancy if one of you gets injured or becomes too ill to work on it, as well as expanding your collective skill set and experience and keeping you safe by keeping at least two people working within earshot of each other at any given time.

Speaking of safety…

4 – Stay Safe

If this advice is cliche, it’s for a reason. No project is important enough to be worth permanent injury, so make sure you’re staying as safe as is (reasonably) possible. Try not to work by yourself when doing any potentially dangerous tasks, don’t do tasks you’re not qualified for, and try to be mindful of the risks involved in each step of the process.

We can help…

Bilt has been providing construction and renovation services for projects big and small for years, and we’d love to give you a hand. Whether you want someone to handle the whole renovation process for you, a single step in the process, or just want some consultation, we’re happy to help turn your vision into reality. Contact us today to get started!