Renovation Guide

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Living Through Your Renovation

A few years ago, when I owned a period home in Sandy Hill, I did a small kitchen renovation. It involved stripping the old linoleum floor to the original hardwood, repositioning the existing kitchen cabinets, relocating some wiring and a small amount of plumbing, adding a new counter top and - of course - painting. The scope of work was simple enough - considering the work we often do! Even though all my employees and Trade Contractors were as professional as possible and even though the renovation lasted only a few weeks, I found, as a homeowner (!), that the project was extremely stressful - almost invasive! Even though one expects the inconveniences, it’s HOW to live through them that needs to be addressed. All our regular habits get turned upside down- through our desire for a nicer or larger home. While it is normal to have small amounts of airborne dust floating around, steps can still be taken to minimize the discomfort. In addition to using drop sheets and tarps, it is helpful to do some extra vacuuming and dusting where possible; too often the usual cleaning gets ‘cancelled’ when in fact it would probably be quite helpful. During renovations, homeowners often complain that they can’t find anything anymore because many items are inevitably moved or rearranged by the workers. This contributes to an atmosphere of ‘chaos’. The last straw comes with all the different people coming and going at different and unexpected times. From my own experience and through working with so many families, we encourage you to consider the following suggestions to minimize the personal impact of renovations on your daily routines and family life:

Plan ahead

How long can you live with a crew of people working in your home? Is the whole family aware that when the kitchen is being renovated, have you planned when and where you will be eating out? Where the groceries will go? Can you and your partner anticipate some of the extra work that will have to be done in the interim?

Trust your renovator

We try to be your best friend before, during and after the project is done. If you check with the B.B.B. you will find that Sandy Hill Construction has won awards for several years for customer satisfaction. We have a great track record with our clients and really enjoy our work. We are approved Renomark contractors upholding the highest renovation standards in Canada.

Don't disappear

Some clients like to be away while renovating-others prefer to be close to home. I think it is important to always be available (at the very least by phone) as there are always ‘mini’ decisions and alternative choices to be made along the way, particularly in extensive renovations. We strive to meet our clients’ expectations which is possible only when there is proper communication. This ensures perfect satisfaction in the construction details.

Be cautious when ordering finishing materials

It may be fun to go to showrooms and start looking at samples of exotic materials. Costs can rise quickly after a few visits to the showroom which can seriously impact your final renovation costs! Beware too of the many disclaimers upon ordering ‘natural’ products – for example, often “color�? is not guaranteed or ‘sample’ items may be discontinued.

Try to keep changes to a minimum

I always recommend sticking to your choices right from your Permit Drawings stage thorough to the end of construction. The reason is that the more changes you make to the original plan – especially if you make these changes during the actual renovation stage - the more it's going to cost and the longer the job will take. One change can dominos into ten ....

Don't rush to the finish line

Renovation is a very complicated process. We work hard to keep it on track and on budget and there still may be things that go astray. Patience is a virtue that will be rewarded by proper finishing detail.

Take time to get comfortable with your renovation

Rooms that look enormous with only the studs in, shrink when the drywall is up. Spaces that seemed more than adequate on the drawing board suddenly seem cramped when the furniture is in. Give yourself six months to get used to things. It might even be a good idea to resist the idea of extensive decorating until you've had a chance to live with the new space.

A certain amount of doubt and unease is perfectly normal when your life is undergoing such a major upheaval. Sandy Hill Construction will guide you through the process and you will have many years to enjoy your newly renovated home! Always keep in mind - it will be
worth it!