• Cutting into structural components. “A lot of people don’t see how the weight of a house travels down from the roof through load-bearing walls to the foundation. If you interrupt that weight distribution, you can weaken the house, or even cause it to fall down.” We advise: along with the all-important building permit, have an architect or structural engineer look at your plans before you starts your home renovation. There are usually several alternatives that will maintain the structure safely.
  •  When making plans for renovations, be realistic about the amount of time it will take to complete the project. Also be realistic about costs; full cost quotes plus an additional 15% to 20% contingency fund for changes and unexpectedexpenses should be planned on.
  • If you will require the services of both a contractor and a designer, get them together as a team as early in the project as possible, so each party can benefit from the other’s experience and expertise. Not only will the project itself go more smoothly – but end result will be the best possible.
  • Great renovation starts with great contractor. When looking for a qualified contractor, use all available resources. Word of mouth recommendationsfrom others who have had similar work done recently, information from locallicensing agencies, and Internet resources like positive reviews are all helpful tools.
  • Don’t delay decisions. If you want your remodel to go well, the best thing to do is make every single decision before work starts. A good contractor can talk you through the list of situations that might come up on your job, but decisions about situations aren’t usually what cause delays. Instead, most of the issues are related to decisions about things like paint, trim and faucet selection. These may seem small, but when your faucet is two weeks late, plumbers have to be rescheduled and the medicine cabinet door hits the faucet when it’s installed, you’ll see how something small can balloon into a week’s delay on a five-week project.
  • Don’t change your mind (too much). Even though it’s inevitable that you’ll change your mind about something on your project, know this: Every time you change your mind, it’ll result in a change order. Although the change may seem minor, there are always added costs — even if it’s only the time spent discussing the change. Scheduling can be affected too. Everyone working on the job needs to be informed of the change so no one’s working on the old plan. Everyone makes changes, and that’s OK — just be aware of the potential to disrupt and delay the job.
  • Doors and windows showcase the outside of the home and require regular maintenance to keep them functioning properly and looking good. Even interior doorsmust sometimes be repaired or replaced. Most windows have moving parts, which need to be cleaned to keep the windows in good working order. Sealing windows for the winter and covering them with plastic film will increase energy savings. Exterior doors and storm doors are the first line of defence against the elements, as well as being focal points that can increase the home’s curb appeal. A well-appointed front entry door can tip the scales for prospective buyers.
  • Renovating a kitchen can be costly, but it’s a great way to add financial value and an eco-responsibility factor to your home. It’s important to plan these renovations very carefully, and above all to take advantage of your investment to make your kitchen healthier and more efficient. Now is your opportunity to make the best choices for cupboards, counters and floor covering, to protect resources and forests as well as your family’s health. The kitchen is also a crucial area where you can take action to reduce the quantity of waste that goes into landfill. And of course, renovating the kitchen gives you the chance to make enlightened, effective choices for appliances, controls and lighting, to save energy and water.
  • Transform the laundry is a great way to add value is to increase the facilities and amenities on offer. It can be expensive to construct an extra bedroom or living area, so look at how you can maximize the space you’ve got. For instance, have you got a large laundry? Why not convert it to a combined bathroom/laundry?
  • Although remodeling can be quite exciting, the unexpected, and sometimes inevitable, delays, snags and inconveniences can be very frustrating. This is one of the most important home renovation tips to consider. If you know what to expect, you will most likely cushion yourself to deal with the frustrations better. Working with a good contractor ensures that you know what to expect once the renovation project starts.
  • It’s tempting to think you will save money by doing some of the renovation work yourself. But unless you have past construction experience and are not working full time, it’s unrealistic. Even painting, which is easy, may be too time consuming if the property is large or you need to move in quickly