4 things to consider in your renovation project
06 Feb 2023

If you are a first time home buyer, you are now probably blown away by just how much money you just ‘spent’ in a single purchase. Gone are the days of our parents when they purchased a modest 3 bedroom home for around $50,000 and you just literally dumped $750,000 to buy the same type of home. All that money spent with the knowledge that you would need to renovate to bring it up to its full potential and make it into your dream home!  Now is not the time to make any costly mistakes with your investment. Our advice to you is that you don’t rush into your renovation plans without a clear vision and a start to finish plan. 

Here are some things to do (and not do)

1. Come up with a realistic vision

Most of you may not remember the show called Lifestyles of the Rich and famous, where the host would wrap up his show by wishing his viewers “champagne wishes and caviar dreams”, yet likely that is what each of us wants. We want our simple home to feel as grand as the mansions we see on tv and as comfortable and inviting as the places we see in movies. Well, to bring our home closer to that reality, we need to have a solid plan in place and a budget that we stick to. You need to decide what your biggest priority is and start working down from there. Many of us have gone and wandered through the mall with no intention of buying anything except the one item we went for only to come home with 3 bags of things because of a massive sale. 

In your renovation, getting steered off course could end up costing you more than you can afford, so don’t make that mistake. So how do you stay on track, you ask?

A vision board!

Sounds simple, right? Why bother you ask?

The single most important purpose of the vision board is that it gives you the chance to see the things that you would love to incorporate into your home and then you can start putting a value on them. If a kitchen built for a chef is the picture you choose for your vision board, then the realist in you might be able to relinquish the photo of the backyard pool in exchange for a patio entertaining area instead.  A vision board is visible proof to you of the direction you are heading in your renovation and will enable you to focus on your plan.  It can be as simple or intricate as you like.  Just don’t fail to plan because you know that old saying…..

Whether you are renovating your entire home, or just the kitchen or bathroom, finding some photos of the things you really like (or dislike) will help you search them out when you go shopping. It will also help others- like a designer- as they will be able to see what it is that you are hoping to achieve with your project.  Seeing is believing! Doing the work of creating the vision board will make choosing fixtures and fittings so easy in the end because it clearly shows your ‘end goal’. 

Do you have a vision board or photo ready to show our kitchen /bathroom designer so that they can start on a quote for you?‍

2. Always allow a margin for (budget) errors

Sure, you did your due diligence and stayed within your budget on the flooring. The one thing you didn’t consider in your plan was that the store where you priced your appliances in couldn’t fulfill your order and now you had to buy them somewhere else, and it cost you a lot more. Those hiccups happen all too frequently when you do a renovation. Items that were in stock when you started planning are no longer available and getting a similar one costs more. Bleck.  If you are getting quotes, make sure that you know exactly how long the quote is good for, and what a back up plan could be if that item isn’t in stock when you are ready for it. And always try to have a little extra funding so that you aren’t left with a half-finished renovation.

3. DIY or pay for tradespeople

Like that quote by Red Green- “if women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy”. You may be one of the lucky people who is handy enough to tackle most aspects of your renovation with accomplished ease and for that I 👏 you.  If you are more the ‘handsome’ type, then hiring trades needs to fit some tough criteria.  It is often good if the people you are hiring can show you photos of some of their previous work or give you references.  Can they supply you with a written quote that shows the length of time it may take them to complete the project as well as how long the quote is good for?  If they made you wait 4 weeks just for the quote, maybe they are too busy to fit your project into their schedule!  Do they have their own insurance coverage?  What is their expected payment schedule? How long have they been doing this business?  Sure, everyone must be a first customer for some businesses, but if you want to make sure that you are getting professional service, finding a reputable trades person with experience is often worth the extra cost. 

4. Some jobs require pro’s

No matter how good you are at some things- there are specialty things that require training.  Like plumbing.  You installed the kitchen of your dreams and thought you could hook up your sink and dishwasher yourself?  Now you find that you have flooded two floors of your house and damaged everything.  It’s a scenario that has been played out more than once, so don’t tackle more than you know you can handle. Leave those skills to the pros.  Last year we built a suite onto our home. Whilst we knew that we could do things like flooring and installing the kitchen (duh), there were things we left to the professionals. We hired plumbers, drywallers, electricians, architects, heating people, roofers, landscapers, siding people and more. Each one of them gave me a detailed quote in advance and as our build progressed, I kept all of them in the loop by email to let them know our progress.  Amazingly, by doing that, they all stayed on schedule- (almost) with the exception of the drywaller- but don’t get me started talking about that drywaller……. That could be an entire blog on it’s own!  

The budget that we had was hit pretty hard because we didn’t see that massive lumber price increase but we decided to spend more and keep the rest of our project on track.  Like we said earlier, you need to keep some extra funds on hand for things you can’t foresee.  Maybe your renovation wasn’t as extensive as our most recent project, but make sure you consider which parts you will need to hire a professional for.  

What we ended up with by hiring professionals for many of the jobs was high quality end results!  Sure, we could have done the siding on the house, but it would have taken my husband and myself 3 weeks to do vs 2 days for the pro team.  That would have been the equivalent of 6 weeks wages for us so the cost of hiring professionals outweighed our desire to DIY.  It was the same basic idea for each of the jobs we hired others to do.  Our time is worth money and paying others is often the most cost effective.  Only you can decide where your strongest skill set is when planning your renovation.

‍If you are ready to start planning your kitchen renovation, give us a call to get a prompt 3D plan and quote. #yourkitchenyourvision #kelownacabinets #kitchenreno #localkitchen #budgetfriendly