Father's Day Special: Planning your renovation

Father's Day Special: Planning your renovation just right


Father’s Day summons images of funky ties and plentiful tool belts, BBQ dinners and…




We know, it’s a little early to be thinking about that sought-after winter haven, but

if you are getting serious about that long-talked about renovation, whether it’s an updated kitchen, addition to the back of your home, or the beloved Man Cave, it’s time to get planning!


Just like any other professional out there, General Contractors are busy. Once you have chosen who you want to work with, it’s most likely they can’t start tomorrow. There are layers of prep-work to peel through before anyone fashions a tool belt or takes the first sledgehammer swing.


Working with a thorough professional contractor, you can expect the first few visits to look like this:


1. Consultation—Contractors get an idea of what their client wants; what is the scope of work and the budget range?


2. Planning and Design—This is where an interior design and general contractor team put their heads together to finalize drawings and trades schedule.


Looking to add a room to the back of your home? Basement excavation? Building from the ground up? Moving load-bearing walls? Planning also includes time for structural assessment by an engineer, applying for and receiving permits and technical reports.


3. Budget Meeting—You will look back on this line-by-line examination of costs and be thankful you took the time. Get the straight story on what factors will affect the budget once a project begins so there are no surprises.  


4. Site Meeting—Once the plan and budget are in place, it’s time to meet your crew! Each contractor works differently. Diamond clients meet the people who will be working in their home at each stage of the project, from wiring and dry-walling to baseboards and finishing work.


5. Contract Signing—This last meeting before starting a project is an important one. Reading through the fine print to make sure everyone is on the same page is critical for a smooth project. Make sure all expectations are out in the open.


Your renovation schedule has a lot to do with the

contractor you choose.


One of our favourite renovators and contractors, Jim Caruk, says: do your homework! He suggests not just checking references and testimonials, but going to look at one of the jobs your potential contractor is currently working on. Talk to the client and find out if the job is running on schedule.


Also, if it seems like your contractor is over-promising on timeline from the get-go, they are. Something will fall short—either the quality of the work, or finishing on schedule.


A construction schedule will depend on the

scope of your project and material lead times.


Even a small job like your half-bath can take between 30-60 days of planning. THEN, the demolition and renovation begins.


Leave lead time for product arrival and pre-ordered materials needed before starting the job.


Also, take into account time needed for your own decision making—you may not be able to pick that perfect countertop you will be sharing with friends and family for the next 25 years in one day! Leave time for at least a couple of visits to suppliers to make those big decisions. If you have an interior designer on board, she or he can also help with those decisions, make the appointments and order materials.


Professionalism swings both ways. Being the right client includes being patient and making sure you keep on top of open, honest communication with your contractor so they can help you set those reasonable project timeline expectations.


And remember, a good renovation should never be rushed!


Your Man Cave awaits!

Happy Father’s Day to all the hard-working Dads out there!


We want to hear about your Man Cave wish list! Respond to this blog with your Man Cave must-haves.