Does not knowing how to get started scare you away from tackling your renovation?

Since you're just beginning to think about renovating a room, or several rooms in your home, you might be wondering where is the best place to start is?

My advice to you is to get in touch with a general contractor BEFORE you think about the design.

The struggle between your design dreams and the actual budget is real! That is why your contractor should be your first point of contact.

Instagram and Pinterest boards have you dreaming of countless design possibilities but the reality is every space is unique and ultimately you are renovating for practical reasons.

I suggest you get in touch with a general contractor to look at your renovation, he will be able to give you an indication of the costs to help you establish a ballpark figure. He can also warn you of possible obstacles that you could face during your renovation.

This conversation is always the most useful first step to take.

What will make your renovation worth the effort and cost?

Before we even get started on styles and finishes, consider the functionality of your room and what needs to change to make it work better for you.

Armed with the knowledge of how these decisions will impact the renovation budget, create a wish list of items that will make this renovation worth your while.

" When you start thinking about the types of finishes you want you will have a better idea of what you can spend to get the look you want. "

~ Laurette C

The biggest unexpected cost and how to plan for it...

The obvious warning you've heard is there are (almost) always unexpected costs. However, my real warning comes from snowballing, otherwise known as scope creep.

For example- do you put expensive countertops on top of rickety, old cabinets? Once you really start thinking about your project consider the possibility of doing more than you intended, and ask your contractor to point out areas of concern that he can see.

Have the conversation about his process and surcharges should you require additional work during the renovation.

Who should purchase the products?

I often get asked if the client, or the contractor should purchase the products for construction? I tend to think that since the contractor is expected to warrant the installation it makes sense therefore that he should make a small mark-up on goods. This is usually with the exception of appliances and decorative lighting.

When to start designing my room?

At this point, since you’ve already gained valuable feedback from your contractor regarding labour costs you have a baseline figure to work with.

When you start thinking about the types of finishes you want you will have a better idea of what you can spend to get the look you want.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or feel free to reach out anytime. I work with homeowners, as well as general contractors in assisting their clients with a design vision for their next renovation.


About The Author

Hi! I’m Laurette and I’m an interior decorator who helps homeowners create the home of their dreams. Forget exorbitant costs, I believe great design should be achievable by finding the best solution for a room. That means sometimes we use IKEA but mostly we shop local. Our community is better when we support each other and I love finding ways we can collaborate with friends in our area. Hang around a bit and I’ll share some local finds and ways to love your home.