The very thought of renovation divides people. For some it's an opportunity to create and improve, while others see dust and mess and a drain on the budget. If you're on the fence about whether to renovate, these tips might help you consider the pros and cons and make a decision.
Budget, budget, budget - Do lots of research and get several quotes to compare the prices to make sure you are getting value for your money.
Find the right contractor - We've all heard the horror stories (and we have certainly been witnesses to a few of them). My usual recommendation is that the best contractors can be found through word of mouth. Make sure you get several referrals before you sign any agreements!
Be realistic - Dreaming is the start of any good renovation, but to have a good experience, you have to be realistic about what you can accomplish based on your budget, resources and your existing home.
Do your research - Talk to friends who have renovated. It's really important before you embark on the renovation rollercoaster that you have a clear understanding of what to expect. Plus, you need to make sure that you bring your thoughts and research to the table. Clip photos out of magazines of rooms that you love. Scour shops and the Internet for the latest and greatest. Have a general idea of how you want the space to look and feel.
It's all in the details - Thinking big picture should be commended, but we know that details are what can make or break a renovation. So make sure you have a list (or multiple lists for each room), and make sure that you confirm and reconfirm that everything has been ordered, has been delivered, etc
Get advice - Now that you've talked to the experts, gotten referrals and drawn up your plans, have one more chat with friends or family who have gone through the reno experience. Try to be as thorough as possible-you'll thank yourself later. I have saved thousands of dollars by having good friends take a look at my plans and assess them from an objective point of view.
Have fun! - It's not all doom and gloom. At the end of the day, there's nothing more rewarding than watching a space be transformed by good design decisions and great workmanship. Better still is the day when the work is done and you can enjoy the results in the peace and quiet of your new space.