Planning on building a new home or a major renovation, here's how to get going in the right direction:
Sit down with all concerned and produce a budget. Calculate a minimum and a maximum amount to be spent on the project.
Create a wish list for all the concerned parties to ascertain who wants what to be calculated into the budget.
Use hand drawings, photos, magazines, and plan books for examples of what you would like your new home or renovation to look like.
Hire an architect/designer once you have a general idea of the project. Interview two or three potential candidates for the job through a referral network in your area such as HouseSmart or your local chapter of the Canadian Home Builders Association. Note: review and contact all available testimonials or references.
Hire a contractor (builder or remodeler). There's a difference; some builders will remodel when the new home building industry is slow. (Not my first recommendation.) Please follow hiring and testimonial details in #4.
Get contract in writing. Ask for details from your local Canadian Homebuilders Association. They will make the guidelines available to you and we have included the link below.
All contracts including money disbursements must be signed by all parties and detail specifics such as:
- Agreed upon quote
- Disbursement of funds
- Changes to contract notices etc. (These are required for all changes from the original contract.)
For new or remodeling projects homeowners may require accommodations i.e.; a major renovation may require homeowner to temporarily move out during the renovation. Also consider moving furniture and other personal items to a temporary storage facility.
Permits/Variances must be in order. Determine who is going to follow through with the process.
Advise neighbors on all four sides of your home, including down your street and behind your property that may be affected by noise and parking issues. Distribute a card outlining and apologizing for any inconveniences. Include a time frame when work will begin, daytime hours of work and scheduled date of completion.
If you live in a strata, contact your strata council to check if you require permission for your renovation project.
Completion date should relate to original contract unless changed which should be included in a change notice in the contract.
When to get started? Proceed when everything is finalized.
- ETS (Estimated time to start)
- ETF (Estimated time to finish)
Finding the Right Pro
When looking to hire a contractor or designer, be sure to do your homework: check references, visit job sites.