What You Need to Know If You’re Planning a Home Renovation


Planning a home improvement project is very exciting but can also be incredibly stressful, between all the coordinating that needs to be done and decisions that need to be made. Without proper planning, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and even overspend. On the other hand, creating a well-thought-out plan will help ensure that your project is a success. Follow these best practices to set your home improvement project up on the right path.

1. Create a Design Plan

This may sound obvious and fundamental but first you need to decide exactly what it is you want to do and take the time to create a detailed plan of exactly which elements of the space you want to modify.

For example, it is not enough to say, “I want to remodel my kitchen.” Think about all the details. You may choose to keep your kitchen backsplash but replace the cabinets and countertops. You may also want to upgrade your lighting fixtures and incorporate custom built-in organization for your pantry. Making a list of “must-haves” versus your “nice to have” items is useful if you have an ambitious plan.

Creating a detailed plan forces you to think about the full scope of your project and leads to a more accurate estimate of what it will cost. Along the way, gather images for inspiration to refer to and share with your contractor(s). If you are undertaking a major renovation project like adding an addition, breaking down walls, or finishing a space for the first time, consider investing in having professional drawings or blueprints done to visualize your project.

2. Set a Budget But Be Flexible

Based on the plan you decide on, you can establish your home renovation budget. MyHomeUpgrade.ca offers a free renovation calculator tool that provides an on-the-spot estimate for your home improvement project. The more details you can provide, the more accurate your estimate will be.

Keep in mind that finishings can vary greatly in cost based on quality and style, but you can research prices and anticipate what your chosen materials might cost, or at least what price bracket they fall into. You may realize during this process that the high-end countertops you initially envisioned make up a good chunk of your budget, leaving little room for other upgrades—based on this, you can adjust your plan and your budget accordingly.

Being flexible during this process helps to manage expectations. That being said, you may not have to compromise on your dream renovation project. MyHomeUpgrade.ca offers flexible and affordable financing options to stretch your budget even further, so you can still get some (or even all) of the elements you really want.

3. Research Your Contractor

Even if you have a rough estimate of what your home renovation costs might be, labour costs are an important piece of a quote that can vary widely. Having said that, cost alone should not be the only consideration when choosing a contractor. Whether you get quotes from local GTA contractors, larger companies, or a referral from a friend or family member, you should consider multiple aspects before deciding if they’re the right fit for you. Some other important factors to consider when choosing a contractor are:

  • Years of experience
  • Reputation in the industry
  • Licensed and insured
  • Strong communication skills
  • Fair prices

MyHomeUpgrade.ca has a proven network of recommended contractors across Canada to help get the job done right.

4. Have a Realistic Timeline

When deciding to begin a home renovation, it is important to know when you can expect your project to begin and how long you expect to be under construction. For instance, some contractors in the GTA and other busy areas may not even be able to immediately begin working on your project but can give you an estimate as to when they will be available. If the contractor you want to work with is booked solid for the next few months, you may be forced to choose another contractor or delay your renovation.

Ask your contractor how long they anticipate the project to take from start to completion, keeping in mind that there may be some unexpected delays along the way. The pandemic has created supply chain issues that have caused shortages and delays for material across many industries. Many companies also continue to experience labor shortages, which can also extend timelines.

If you have a hard deadline for your home improvement project, be sure to budget enough time to account for any unexpected delays. For instance, if you need your kitchen renovation completed before the holidays, planning to start just a few weeks before won’t provide enough lead time—you should be starting the process several months in advance.

Key Takeaways

Designing and planning your home improvement project should be a pleasant experience, not a stressful one. Investing some time to consider these things ahead of time can help you avoid headaches during the renovation.

  • Failing to think about the scope of your project and create a realistic budget can lead to frustration and disappointment.
  • Research your contractor to be confident your renovation will be completed on time, on budget, and to your satisfaction of quality of work.
  • Plan to have your home out of order for a short (or extended) period of time. Estimate your project timeline, providing some buffer for delays.

By following these best practices, you can avoid unanticipated surprises and execute a flawless home renovation.

MyHomeUpgrade.ca provides you with everything you need to renovate your home like an expert. In addition to the free renovation calculator, network of recommended contractors, and flexible and affordable financing options, our team of expert advisors are also here to help you every step of the way!

You May Also Like

7 Major Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid


Any major home renovation will be a costly exercise, but the expense can quickly spiral out of control if the project isn't carefully planned and competently carried out. The first step toward achieving home renovation success is to avoid these seven common planning mistakes that can greatly increase the cost and hassle of any project,…

7 Tips to Easily Renovate Your Bathroom on a Budget


A bathroom renovation can make a huge difference in your home, but it can also be an expensive home improvement project to take on if you’re not careful. Because of the potentially high cost, many people delay upgrading their bathroom and miss out on all the extra comforts and convenience that a remodel can provide.…

6 Ways to Personalize Your Kitchen Renovation


If you're planning a kitchen renovation, there are countless design ideas available online to use as inspiration. Using a pre-existing design is a great way to save money on your kitchen renovation. However, your kitchen should be an expression of your tastes and personality, so relying too much on someone else's ideas can lead to…