Construction and renovations have a relatively small season and trying to negotiate the planning and permit process while in fact starting the job during the same season can be difficult. Depending on the renovation, generally speaking most home renovations are big projects and many homeowners are not properly prepared to take on the project. In the end, this leads to high costs and in many instances, low-quality work. This is why it is important to plan ahead before taking the first step, hopefully this should help protect your money and possibly your mental health.
On with the plans
The basic rule is simple, just as in traffic, avoid the rush whenever possible. The first thing to avoid is January, as a very popular month to start home renovations, time is scarce and cost is higher. To get a project to a permit-ready stage there are many decisions to be made.
Designing a floor plan is just the beginning and while most homeowners believe they can tackle this part of the project, often our clients find that working with a professional designer changes perceptions. Material selection, building considerations, appliance alternatives, plumbing and electrical fixtures planning, etc. is time-consuming and not accounting for them can lead to issues down the road. Working with a professional home renovator to help you design and advise you will help you make the best possible home renovations plan.
Making it work
Like many big purchases, planning a renovation is a large shopping experience. Take your time to research the materials you like, review your choices, find sales, talk about your project with friends and family (who may have ideas and experiences), and lastly, call or even visit the references provided by your home renovator. Shop around without the rush.
Contractor selection and Permits
Another luxury of having time is that you can actually request and review project bids. Shop around, call different contractors, review their proposals and check references.
Renovation projects need to have an approved permit from the city. With time you can review the permit process and begin the permit application, in fact, a reputable home renovator usually takes care of processing the permits for you.
With bids and permits at hand, what’s next?
Are you taking a loan to pay for the reno? Do you have the money saved away? How are you planning to pay for your renovation? Does the lender have to review the plan and make a decision? Did you consider the loan officer’s two-week vacations? Prepare for every detail, think about Murphy’s Law. What happens if your contractor has taken another job and can’t start yours for another 6 weeks? Can you wait?
These situations can arise before and during the renovation. Do everything you can to stay ahead of any possible situation before it even starts and your home renovation should go smoothly.
If you are planning your home renovation, contact us. We can help you find the best materials at the best prices, plan your reno and get the permits in place.