• Winston Adrian Small

Things to KNOW and DO before Your home renovation

Updated: Jun 24

This may or may not be obvious to you, but it’s always a good idea to create a list of things to know and do before you embark on your next home remodel.


Things to KNOW


Project Management has two major components: the logistical or task management AND the people management.


The later bit is the trickier one. Dealing with people is volatile and knowing who you are dealing with is important. Have a chat with your trades person and get a feel of their temperament. Are they rushing through the estimate and is not engaged with you? Or, are they too chatty? Were they prompt?


These characteristics add up to what your next few weeks will entail. Which brings me to the next point.


Your tolerance for ambiguity – what is it? Prepare for the unknown like delays (sickness, strikes, weather, family emergencies).


*Tradesperson’s credentials. Liability Insurance, WSIB number (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board)




Patience, patience – this is definitely a two-way street. We always get more with honey than vinegar.


Timing – delays? Plan on it. The homeowner wants enough of the dust, mess, noise and constant folks comings and goings AND the tradespeople want to move on to their next project! So, we are all on the same page. Having said this, permits that are delayed, wrong product delivered all amount to delays.




Your Design Ideas. Be specific and commit to them. You will thank yourself at the end.

Your vision will match the outcome or exceed it.



What to DO


Contingency. The fixer upper reno shows don’t throw in unexpected problems with the homes to create some TV drama – it really does happen. It’s a good idea if you build in a buffer in your budget to ensure that you can cover the costs of the unexpected. For example, of late, lumber prices has hit a new inflated high (due to COVID and international trade).



Are building permits needed? Don’t assume anything. Just visit your city’s building permits website section on where permits are required. A clear list is always provided.



Clear out your ‘junk’. This will cut down on what you actually do have to store or move to another room.


Storage solution. Depending what/how long your reno, this is a good idea while - keeping only the essential handy.


Dust control. Vent cleaning, roll up carpets (they’ll thank you) get on top of the cleaning regularly. Spray down lightly the area which will limit dust kick up when you sweep.



Safe room for your pet. They tend to get spooked by various machine noises.


Reno your kitchen first. Homeowners often want to know in what order they should renovate a house. It’s best to start with the kitchen because these remodels add major value to your home. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, the average amount homeowners should spend on kitchen renovation is up to 10 to 15% of the overall value of their home.

Get Everything in Writing. Especially when there is ‘scope creep’. Sometimes, changes and extra work is required or requested. It’s always to put this in writing and signed off so that we are literally on the ‘same page’.





A few things to consider before scheduling your demo day!


*Applicable credentials for Ontario only.