Proper planning, budgeting, and communication are key to successful renovations. You will keep your costs down and get much better building results if you do some preliminary work before engaging a builder.
Use the following checklist as you get started:
1. Define Your Vision
What is it you are hoping to accomplish by building?
What are your “must haves?”
What are your dreams?
Designers and architects will be more efficient in working for you if you put some effort into defining what you want before you meet with them. A good designer/architect will save you thousands of dollars by designing space wisely, and will also contribute ideas that will make the end result much more pleasant and functional.
2. Set a budget
“Square foot” pricing is, by nature, somewhat vague. But it can be helpful in establishing initial budgets. If your architect and builder know your (approximate) budget, they can advise you early on as to whether your dreams are realistic. Some considerations are site development costs, engineering requirements, and scheduling.
3. Secure plans
Proper plans and job specifications are required to price your project, and your contractor can only “guess” at pricing without them. If you want accurate pricing and results that match your expectations, plans and specs are crucial. You will need professionally done scale drawings and a clear schedule of finishes.
4. Due Diligence
When choosing a builder keep in mind how important your home is to you. When you hire a contractor you are inviting him into a very important area of your life – your home! Pay attention to “the little things”. Do you communicate easily with him? Does he listen to you and show respect for your ideas? Are all your questions answered to your satisfaction? Can he provide references for similar projects? Does he respect his sub-trades and building officials, or is he dismissive of others? Would you be completely comfortable with him being in your home, even when you aren’t there? Is he accountable through professional affiliations (like Better Business Bureau and Canadian Home Builders Association), or is he a lone ranger?
5. Sign the Contract
Contracts (written or verbal) are legally binding. Well written ones help projects to run smoothly, while bad ones lead to confusion and added expense.
This is home that went under a renovation for a young professional family. They were looking to have a face lift to a beautifully located home. Priorities were to have a modern, clean, crisp and useful flow to their newly purchased home in beautiful Nanaimo. Have a look through these pictures to see the full of effect of the Pheasant Hill Homes finished product!
This 1912 heritage home renovation focused on energy-efficient ‘loft-style’ living space hidden within charming heritage exterior. The entire home went through a deep energy retro-fit as well as being lifted 2.5 feet to achieve a liveable accessible suite. Certain original features were preserved throughout a complete reworking of the floor-plan in order to create a charming efficient craftsman style home.
This oceanview home went under a renovation inside and out and ended up winning Best Single Family Kitchen Renovation over $50,000 at the 2015 Vancouver Island Building Excellence Awards. A clean and crisp living space was the direction this renovation focused, in order to facilitate an efficient lifestyle amongst the busy-ness of daily family activities.