You’ve made your plans, saved your money and you’re ready now to build that deck, add on a new room or simply redo the kitchen or bathroom. You’re about to take a hammer to the family home.
Before the first blow is struck don’t forget to do a couple of important things:
- check the references for your contractor, make sure they provide proof of insurance and confirm WCB coverage
- review municipal regulations and permits that will be needed
- take before and after pictures of the renovation along with in-progress photos just in case there are issues
- plan out workarounds and timelines if the area under construction impacts areas you use every day or items you just can’t do without like water and electricity
- be prepared for the unexpected and budget at least 30% above the original estimate, oftentimes one small project cascades into more, as problems or opportunities are discovered.
- look for innovative changes that are high impact but low cost like paint, lighting, accessories and even hardware for doors
Home renovations can be a source of savings too. Check with BC Hydro for energy-saving programs that help you replace older appliances with more energy-efficient options.
Before you buckle your tool belt, make sure that you talk with your insurance agent both before and after your renovations. A new alarm system or updated roof might result in lower premiums. Conversely a new pool, an addition to accommodate a home-based business or granite countertops replacing the kitchen laminate will require updates to your policy to make sure that’s covered. And last of all don’t worry, all of the tears and frustration of the reno will soon be over leaving you with a home with just a little more to love.