4 steps to take before starting your renovation

by | Jun 7, 2023 | Home and Living

It’s no secret that renovations take a lot of planning. Whether you’re updating a deck or gutting the whole home, you need a careful plan. Here are four key steps to take before you get to digging, demolishing or do-it-yourself-ing.

  1. Make a budget
    This tip might be obvious, but it’s crucial. Look carefully at your overall budget, how your savings stack up and what the ideal version of your project could cost. Set your expectations and your spending limit, and then plan how you’ll stay within them. Remember to include a contingency amount that keeps within the total cost that you can afford, or prefer, to spend. This provides breathing room for the inevitable surprise expenses that can occur with any renovation.
  2. Apply for permits
    If you are building or redoing a structure on your property, you may need a permit from your municipality, and the process can take a while. Fines for not obtaining one can reach $50,000 for a first offense, so it’s not worth going without.

    While the municipality has a set timeframe to review your application, that doesn’t include the time you need to prepare it (such as getting technical drawings done) or time to revise or appeal it. It’s best to start the process early.

  3. Find the right contractor
    Hiring a contractor is often a smart choice, even for many savvy DIYers. Just be sure to interview a few and call their references to find a good fit for your needs and expectations. Compare quotes to ensure you’re getting a reasonable rate. Contractors are in high demand across the country, and they often book up months in advance. Delaying your search could leave you disappointed in your options and stuck with a mediocre project.
  4. Request a utility locate
    Building a fence or a tree house, garden bed or new foundation? If your renovation involves any digging on your property, you’re legally obligated to “request a locate” of where infrastructure is buried on your land. Even minor damage to water, gas, sewer and hydro lines can be costly, disruptive and cause serious safety risks.

    At least it’s a simple process. You contact the organization Ontario One Call at least five business days before you want to dig. They notify the infrastructure companies, who then send representatives to mark the locations on your property or issue a clearance allowing you to dig. It’s completely free of cost.

Find more information about getting a locate or request one online at ontarioonecall.ca

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