Many times the key to a successful renovation project is advance planning. Careful consideration should be given to the value the renovation will add to your home in comparison to the cost of the renovations.
As a general rule, the following renovations will add value to your home:
- kitchen upgrade
- bathroom upgrade
- addition of a second bathroom, particularly an ensuite
- family room or sun room addition
Renovations that generally do not result in an increase in value are:
- addition of a swimming pool or hot tub
- installing a central vacuum system
- expanding the size of a bedroom at the expense of reducing the total number of bedrooms
- improving the driveway surface, with paver stones for example
Once you have determined the project is viable, you should start putting your plans on paper. Read books and magazines for ideas. Talk to building supply companies for their input, many times they have staff on hand who are more than willing to help you with your plans and their advice is generally free. This will help you get a clear picture of the work you want to complete and will help you make sure nothing is forgotten. The more time spent in the planning stage, the more likely the project will be a success.
Our online Estimating Worksheet will help you work through your project to determine the cost.
You should now determine how much you can afford to put towards the renovations. This can be done with available cash, a loan, a new mortgage, or by increasing the existing mortgage on your home. You may also wish to investigate if you are entitled to any Federal, Provincial, or Municipal grants relating to the proposed renovations.
If you determine you don’t have sufficient cash to complete the project you should contact a lender to make arrangements for financing immediately. League Savings and Mortgage will be pleased to discuss your options.
It is now time to confirm the cost of the project. If a third party will be completing the renovation, it is wise to seek at least three quotes. All the quotes should be very close in price. (See our online Sample Contract.) If they aren’t, you should ask for clarification on the costs to ensure nothing was overlooked by those who tendered the lower bids.
You should also research the contractors being considered. Talk to their previous clients.
It is also critical to determine if the proposed renovations meet municipal zoning regulations, and ensure that requirements for building permits are taken care of.
Once you have decided who will be doing the renovations a contract should be drawn specifying the work to be completed and the payment terms. It is a good idea to also determine an acceptable completion date.
Once the work has commenced, you should regularly check on its progress. Note any concerns about the work being completed. These concerns should be addressed immediately with the contractor.
As work progresses, payment should be made in accordance with the contract, making sure that an adequate amount is withheld for a mechanics lien. It is best to consult a solicitor in this regard.
Once all work has been completed to your satisfaction and the mechanics lien expiration period has passed, you will be in a position to release the final payment and begin to enjoy your improved home.