Make Your New Construction/Renovation Project A Success–Plan For It

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Make Your New Construction/Renovation Project A Success–Plan For It



You Made The Decision!

Upgrading the family accommodation is always a stressful situation. You have sat at the kitchen table with the family and tossed around a number of different ideas. With the new baby you can see the need for more space down the road and there are many options on how to solve this dilemma.  Do you renovate or do you sell and buy new (or new for you)?  So many choices, each with their own financial impact. After careful consideration you make  the decision  to renovate and then the question is “How to move forward from here.?”




Deer Caught In The Headlights

The process that goes along with this renovation project is one that is complicated and mysterious.  It takes a significant level of experience to plan and build a residential construction project. There are at least as many elements to a renovation project as opposed to a new build, the biggest one is that the design has to react to the existing residence.  Major projects require an architectural plan and a building permit. If a kitchen or bath remodel is part of the job, then a designer should be included in your new list of friends. You will need a general contractor who will then hire and supervise sub trades. You need to have materials chosen, decisions made that only a homeowner can make, inspections and here is a big one – BUDGET!  Unless you have had experience with major renovations, you probably feel like “a deer caught in the headlights”.




When You Fail To Plan

The definition of budget – “The total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose.” There are a couple of reasons why I have the graphic of Ben Franklin here. The first is to make another point about how important budget is (insert the word “money” every time you see the word “budget”) and how everything that happens on the job site is reflected in the budget. Every well planned choice keeps the budget in line and every mistake or poorly planned choice increases the budget. The obvious goal, then, is to reduce the number of errors or mistakes and keep the money from flying out the window. The next obvious question is “how do we do this?” and the second reason the Ben Franklin graphic is here is that he supplies us with the answer to that with his wise and often used quotation: “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” If you were to read through our website or read the first blog I wrote, you will see that our whole program is built around developing and implementing a plan for each project, all of which goes back to the budget. 




The Importance of Having a Plan

It’s not just me blowing the “planning” horn. The following is from an article published by the Canadian Home Builder’s Association.

“With home renovation, the secret of success lies in careful planning based on a solid understanding of what you want to achieve. This includes having a clear focus on what must be included in your project, as well as any other features you would like to include, if your budget allows.


In many cases, the final design and specifications for the project will be worked out with the help of a renovation contractor, designer or architect. However, the more information you can give them, the better they are able to provide you with good advice and accurate cost estimates.

What does this information consist of? Here’s the list that most renovation contractors recommend:

  • A clear description of what you want to change in your home and why, in other words, what’s the purpose of your renovation?
  • Specific goals for your renovation project.
  • A list of future changes you anticipate in your life that could affect what you need in your home.
  • A definition of priorities – which renovation items are must-haves, and which ones would be nice to have, but are not essential?

Once you have completed this pre-planning, you’ll be in a much better position to ask a professional renovator, designer or architect to develop specific plans for your project. The time and energy you invest in this renovation homework can make a real difference in terms of the success of your project and your ability to keep within your budget. Remember that most renovation problems are a direct result of poor planning.”



If you have any questions at all about a project you are planning, feel free to ask about it in the comments section or send me an email and I will give you my thoughts.

My next post will be the start of a step–by-step program that will help with organizing and planning your project.

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