5 Things You Should Know Before You Renovate

Dec 21, 2018, 13:41 PM
A home renovation is anything but simple with numerous moving parts and possibilities of disaster and costly mistakes at every turn. Take advantage of the Ask A Renovator booth during the Winnipeg Renovation Show from January 11-13, 2019 and ask local expert renovators for advice! Need some help now? Fear not, the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association has five valuable pieces of advice for every homeowner before they begin a renovation project.


1. Know why you want to renovate. 
The why behind your renovation is the most important. It’s the backbone of your plan, ideas and decisions. Ask yourself what problems you’re trying to solve and what the purpose of your renovation is. Only when you’re clear on the reason can you begin on your plan. To create a dialled plan, you need a clear focus on what needs to be included in your project along with any other features you’d like to include if your budget allows. What are the must-haves and which ones would be nice to have but aren’t essential? Keep it simple by consulting with a professional renovator on the impact of the design, construction and budget you have planned.

2. Choose your renovator. 
It’s best to look for a professional RenoMark renovator as the RenoMark symbol tells you your contractor has agreed to abide by the local home builders’ association’s code of ethics and renovation-specific code of conduct. Before deciding, grab some references from the renovator and check them out. If they have design professionals or architects they work with, contact these professionals for a preliminary sketch and general indication of the quality of the materials and workmanship you seek, a budget estimate and a timeline to finalize the design, obtain building permits and other approvals.

If you’re happy with the reference checks, it’s time to sign on and start your renovation. Always get a written contract that includes the scope of work, exact pricing including a schedule of payments, a reasonable timeline for completion of the work and any instructions for protecting parts of the home not under construction. It’s important to avoid any significant changes during construction as it may cause delays and add extra costs. Avoid renovators that offer to do work without a contract. Often, they may not carry adequate insurance that could leave you at financial risk.

3. Set a realistic budget. 
Decide early how much money you want to spend. Speak to your lender and discuss the amount you can reasonably afford and the most suitable financing options. It’s important to remember your budget should cover everything that may result from the renovation, such as draperies, blinds, furniture and appliances!

4. Building permits
A building permit is generally required for renovations that involve changes to the structure or systems of your home. This includes new additions, reconfigurations of space by moving or removing walls, new windows and door openings and other similar renovations. Luckily, re-roofing and painting are two things that don’t require a permit!

5. An energy efficient renovation
Renovations offer many opportunities to make your home healthier and more energy-efficient. It’s important to consider the options during the planning process, from saving water and energy to improving air quality. A few examples include energy-efficient appliances, low flow toilets, shower heads and faucets, programmable thermostats, energy-efficient lighting, automatic timers and dimmer switches and energy-efficient hot water tanks.

Feeling inspired? Be sure to take into account these important tips from before you plan to after you have all the details and sign a contract! Get even more advice by visiting the professionals at the Ask a Renovator booth, presented by Manitoba Home Builders’ Association during the Show. Click here to buy your tickets online and save $3, courtesy of All Canadian Renovations!

Winnipeg Renovation Show Logo

JANUARY 11-13, 2019.