Navigating Your Renovation
April 10, 2018
Going through a renovation can be a trying experience as a homeowner. No matter how many times you’ve done it, there is always a surprise or two along the way. The key is to expect the unexpected, and to do your best to take each day as it comes, challenges and all.
We’ve been installing countertops in kitchens, bathrooms and basements for over 50 years and have managed to learn a thing or two in that time. With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate your own renovation process.
1. Keep moving forward.
Renovation indecision is one of the biggest hurdles that homeowners have to overcome. It can be difficult to envision the final product when you’re in the thick of it. Second guessing your decisions is natural, especially if this is your first time. Try to remember that the devil is in the details and not to let fear and indecisiveness prevent the project from moving ahead. Constant communication with your designer, contractor or any other professional involved is a great way to ease your mind throughout this journey. They have (hopefully) done this hundreds of times before and are a great source of knowledge and reassurance that you’ve made the best choices for your home.
2. Changes is gonna come.
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry…BUT this isn’t always a bad thing. Changes happen for many different reasons and more often than not it ends up working out just fine. It can be as simple as a paint change or as plan-altering as a layout overhaul, but odds are it will be worth it in the end. Try your best to roll with the punches and minimize costs by being flexible and open minded to any compromises you may need to make.
3. Perfection is overrated.
There honestly is no such thing as a perfect project. No matter how hard you try, there will always be something you’re not entirely happy with and wish you would have done differently. But that’s okay! Every project is a learning experience and an opportunity to take your new found knowledge to the next job.
4. You won’t always meet your deadline.
Deadlines are a tricky thing as they set expectations both for how long your project should take and how much money it will cost. Typically more time equals more money. Referring back to #1 and #2, we know that indecisiveness and unforeseen changes to the project can have impacts on the overall timelines of your renovation. The best thing you can do is take a breath and forge onwards. Think of your deadline as a guideline rather than a static finish line and you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration.
5. Write everything down.
Even professionals make mistakes. Miscommunications happen from time to time, and people sometimes interpret what you say differently than how you meant it. We’re all human after all. Documenting conversations, keeping warranties and up-to-date plans, and saving emails are just easy ways to safeguard yourself against these things. Not doing this can easily end up costing more money and time along the way.
6. It’s messy.
Dirt and dust are a very unfortunate but very real part of the renovation process. Your contractors will do their best to contain the mess and clean up after themselves, but some spill over is inevitable. This is another one of those situations when there isn’t much to do but grin and bear it and know that the inconvenience is worth it in the end. Just keep in mind what you’re working towards to help make the day-to-day inconveniences more bearable.
7. Live in it.
So your project is ‘done’ and you are in analysis mode. You wish you would’ve chosen the warmer wall colour, or gone with the brass hardware. Whatever the things are that you’re second-guessing, live with it for a while. Make adjustments down the line once you’ve given yourself some breathing room from the reno. You may come back around once you’ve lived with it for some time. Finishing touches take time and getting to know how your family uses the space is essential to getting what you want out of it.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it is a very practical approach to renovation projects. The fact is there is rarely a ‘good’ time to begin a renovation. But regardless of the ups and downs along the way, managing expectations is the key to a successful project.