While there is plenty of advice Amsted President Steve Barkhouse can give to homeowners who are thinking of renovating, when asked to narrow it down to his top 3 renovation tips, here are his key recommendations.
No. 1: Plan, plan, plan
You can’t spend enough time planning. Having no plan — or one that’s not detailed enough — is a recipe for trouble.
It’s so easy to spend too much time and money going in a wrong direction. It’s like getting in a car and not punching your destination in the GPS. How will you know the best and most efficient way to get from start to finish if you don’t have a “roadmap”?
Your plan is your roadmap. It will help clarify what you want, what you can afford, and set in place a timeline to make sure your renovation will be done on a set schedule.
You can’t spend too much time on planning, and it’s important to start your planning early. Even if you don’t expect to carry out your renovation right away, having a plan can help you with budgeting (and saving up for your reno). Besides, the more you can tuck away photos, links and other examples of things that appeal to you, the easier — and more effectively — your designer can zone in on the look, feel and functionality of your project to ensure you will love the end result.
No. 2: Choose your renovation team wisely
A successful renovation depends on a strong relationship between the client and the company. Your contractor, designer and trades will be in your home often, for extended periods, and redesigning the space that is closest to your heart. That means you need to work with good people you can trust.
Too often we hear the horror stories of home renovation disasters, where a homeowner has been left stranded and financially drained over a reno gone bad. The best way to avoid such a situation is to make sure you’ve got a quality team on your side.
Whether you’re looking at Amsted or not, research prospective renovators to make sure they have a strong track record. Ask for references — and check them! Don’t be shy about going to see their work to ensure it’s up to your standards.
NOTE: A great way to check out many of Ottawa’s top renovators is by visiting the homes on the annual RenoMark Reno Tour, which is typically held in October. It’s like a house tour of renovation projects, with homeowners and the renovators who did the work on hand to answer any questions. We are always on the tour; watch for updates.
Of course, you need to make sure they’re licensed (it’s even better if they’re registered with RenoMark, which means they adhere to a high-level code of conduct, with an emphasis on customer service). They should also have the proper insurance and worker protection and ask if they warranty their work. Do they spell everything out in their contract? And how will they communicate with you throughout the renovation?
At Amsted, we take pride in our Amsted Advantage, which means you’re getting our award-winning full-service and in-house design and build team, following our proven process for success, and with highly personalized service.
With the right team in place, your relationship should be a strong and trusting one, and your team will take you to the next level in your planning.
No. 3: Have fun!
Life is too short; you need to have fun. Yes, a renovation will be lots of work, it will be disrupting, stressful at times, and messy. But if you have fun, it makes it all worth it.
And if you have the right people in place, executing a well-thought plan, it will be fun!
Are you ready to take the next step? Give us a call!