An upcoming home renovation conjures a cocktail of emotions. On one hand you are happy and excited and on the other you can’t shake off that feeling of dread for what unexpected issues the project may turn up.
A home renovation is an opportunity to finally fix the features you have always hated about your house. That boxy layout, low ceilings, and the old windows made the house so inefficient, and the leaky roof that ruined your walls and furniture.
With the excitement also comes the apprehension about the size and complexity of the task that lie ahead of you. Make no mistake, a home renovation is a big, costly project with implications beyond just the look of the property.
To set yourself up for a successful renovation, planning is everything. Without a detailed plan on how the renovation will proceed, the key skills you will need, and how much it will cost, there is a real prospect for disappointment. Answering the following questions will give you a better sense of what you are signing up for before you order any materials:
Are You Renovating Or Remodeling?
Toronto is currently experienced a home renovation boom, principally because of the Covid pandemic that has forced many of us to spend a lot of time at home, either locked down or working from there. But are we all renovating?
There is a difference between a home renovation and a remodel and knowing it will help you make the right planning decisions. To renovate a house is to update it. This can either ne through a fresh coat of paint, siding repair, window or door replacement, changing tapeware, sanding and resealing your wooden floors, etc. It typically makes cosmetic improvements and maintains the overall structure of the house.
A home remodel on the other hand makes a structural alteration to the house. The goal is usually to turn an old house into a new one. It may enlarge or add a room, replace the roof, knock down walls to improve layout, and rearrange the plumbing and electrical wiring.
So knowing the scope of the work involved will help you plan properly and to know what permits, if any, are required. It also informs how you word your contracts with contractors, which helps to prevent disputes.
What Is The Goal Of The Home Renovation?
Home renovations take different forms. Some are a simple matter of sprucing up the exterior with a lick of paint. Others give the property a complete facelift, with a fresh paint job inside out, new floors, a brand new kitchen or bathroom, and new built-in cabinets. The latter is more complex and will require careful planning and budgeting.
Knowing the goal and true scope of the renovation will ensure that you set a realistic budget and timeline for your project. As well the time it takes to do the actual renovation, factor in the time it takes to order materials and have them delivered. A custom bathtub order for example can take a few weeks to close.
Do You Need A Building Permit?
Typically, a renovation does not require that you pull a building permit with the local planning authority. But it may entail knocking down a cracked wall, replacing a door or window frame, repairing the foundation, and other works that may affect the structural integrity of a house.
Some of that work may require that you pull a permit with the City of Toronto’s planning department. You may also need to have the work passed off by a building inspector before you proceed with your project. All that adds to the cost and time it will take to complete your home renovation and needs to be planned for.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Some renovations are such that you may not be able to live in the house while the renovation work is ongoing. Paint fumes, dust, and noise can all make it unsafe or uncomfortable to live in the house.
If you have to seek alternative accomodation for the duration of the renovation, you will have to make arrangements in time. So it is critical that you know in advance how soon you can return home. Again, it is important that you set a realistic timeline for the project.
Underestimate the work involved in the renovation and you may find yourself stuck between your unfinished new home and the old one that you must vacate. A costly hotel stay may be your only option.
Will The Renovation Affect Vital Services?
Will the renovation interfere with the plumbing or electrical wiring? If so, you will need specilist skills. For any electrical work especially, there are extreme safety risk with the DIY option. Unless you have opted for a turn-key home renovation service with a contractor, you will need to hire fully licensed and insured electricians, plumbers, and builders.
If you will be living in the house while it is under renovation, it is possible that you may have to survive without your municipal water or electricity for some time while technicians fit new hardware or instal equipment. You have to prepare and budget for this.
Do You Have A Plan For The Demolition And Clean-Up?
When setting a timeline for a home renovation it is quite easy to miss the demolition and post-renovation clean-up as two important parts of the project. While renovations aren’t usually as messy and disruptive as remodels, some involve a bit of demolition work that you have to plan for.
The post renovation clean-up also takes time and resources and will, thus, need to be planned for. Do you have the transport for the rubble disposal? If you don’t, that’s another cost you need to budget for. And even if you have a truck that you can use for this, you will need fuel for it and some manpower for the work. It will also mean that you may not be able to move in as early as you envisage.
How Much Of The Work Will You Do Yourself?
Are you taking the DIY route? Doing so may save you some money, but be sure you are not biting more than you can chew. Painting, updating cabinet door and drawer handles, and other light decor stuff are fairly approachable projects if you’re a keen DIYer. But roof, siding, electrical, plumbing, and floor repairs may be out of your wheelhouse.
Attempting tasks for which you lack skills or equipment are best assigned to professionals. To avoid plunging your project into chaos and failure, be ruthlessly honest when assessing your DIY skills.
So where can you find experienced home renovation contractors in Toronto?
Search Souqh For The Best Local Home Renovation Contractors in Toronto
Horror stories abound about home renovation projects that went off the rails because a property owner hired an inexperienced contractor. And with a renovation project that may entail hiring several different tradesmen, there’s always the chance of making one bad choice.
Souqh is where homeowners in Toronto are turning to for finding trusted local contractors. We are a free-to-use real estate and home services marketplace where you can search, compare estimates, and connect with local contractors. You can vet contractors based on their location, specializations, experience, average response time, and reviews.
Whether you are looking for a builder, plumber, painter, tiler, roofer, or all of them, Souqh is where you should be. Find a qualified and experienced local contractor and get started with you home renovation with confidence here.