What to Consider When Planning to Build or Remodel - June 1st 2009


What to Consider When Planning to Build or Remodel


Whether you're a relatively new homeowner, or have lived in the same home for decades, it's always an exciting thought to remodel, or renovate your home and give it a truly refreshed look. What is most important in a remodel or renovation of your home is to stay within budget and ensure that the outcome reflects your personality and style.

Renovations are at times overwhelming, and these feelings are most often due to poor planning and organization. Shell Busey, has some great advice on where to get started, when building a new home or a major renovation. The following are some tips on how to get going in the right direction:

1. Sit down with all concerned and produce a budget. Calculate a minimum and a maximum amount to be spent on the project.
2. Create a wish list for all the concerned parties. This defines a list of which items are necessary, and and which are additional or luxury items that can either remain or be eliminated easily from the planned budget.
3. Sketch drawings of your ideas, collect photos from magazines and books for examples of what you would like your new home or renovation to look like.
4. Hire an architect/designer once you have a general idea of what you want. Interview two or three potential candidates for the job through a referral network in your area such as Shell Busey's AskShell.com Home Services or your local chapter of the Canadian Home Builders Association. Note: review and contact all available testimonials or references.
5. Hire a contractor, builder or remodeler. There is a difference! Some builders will remodel, when the new construction is slow (not my first recommendation.) Please follow hiring and testimonial details in #4.
6. Get your 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.
7. All contracts including money disbursements must be signed by all parties and detail specifics such as:

- Agreed upon quote
- Deposits
- Disbursement of funds
- Changes to contract notices etc. (These are required for all changes from the original contract.)

8. NEVER HIRE CONTRACTORS ON A CASH ONLY BASIS
9. 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 as this will give the contractors more room, and allow you pice of mind.
10. Permits/Variances must be in order. Determine who is going to follow through with the process.
11. 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.
12. If you live in a strata or condominium, contact your strata council to check if you require permission for your renovation project.
13. Completion date should relate to original contract unless changed which should be included in a notice of change, within the contract.
14. When to get started? Proceed when everything is finalized.
- ETS (Estimated time to start)
- ETF (Estimated time to finish)
15. When looking to hire a contractor or designer, be sure to do your homework: check company references, visit previous work sites if possible.
Some links below that serve as great resources for those renovating for the first time, or building from the ground up:


It's Just That Easy!