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Your planning guide

Renovating entails balancing what you want versus what you need and the flexibility of your budget. Wheter you’re after a new functional kitchen or a sleek new bathroom it’s important to ensure that your final space is practical and easy to use for the entire household

STEP ONE

DEFINE YOUR GOALS
AND SET YOUR PRIORITIES

Beyond necessary repairs, your renovation should provide you with improved function, increase comfort and convenience. To achieve this, it is smart to set some general goals for your project and determine your priorities. In setting goals, consider your daily experience of occupying this space and focus on how you want this to be improved by your renovation.

SPACE LAYOUT    Usage of a space determines the amount of functionality required and the extent of the space being open or closed to the surrounding areas of your home. Things to consider: What activities are set to take place? What existing or future furnishings must fit into it? Will noise from this space be disruptive to others?

LIGHT AND BRIGHTNESS    What are the lighting requirements for this particular space? Will the existing windows provide adequate light? How many extra lights would you need to add for the brightness to suit your new look for this space?

MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE    What are the traffic patterns like through the designated space? Does this space provide access to other frequently used parts of your home like the kitchen or bathroom?

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STEP TWO

YOUR WISH LIST

This stage of planning is the fun part and is all about exploring design and product ideas. This is where your design experts can really help you. It’s important to see what new products are available and what type of “look” is right for your space.  The internet, design and home improvement magazines and home builder shows are a great source of renovation ideas.

To determine your renovation, wish list versus priorities, create a worksheet for you to use that covers three “wish” categories: The look category relates to the overall design and space layout. The features category are the finer details of design and layout. This category is about the “bits and pieces” that you might incorporate into your plan. The products category is the materials that really appeal to you. This could involve any product from cabinetry to flooring.

For each item, indicate its level of priority. “We need this” are items you feel must be included in the project. “We’d like this” are items that you want, but could do without if your budget can’t accommodate.

STEP THREE

SETTING A BUDGET

Now that you have a clear picture of what you’d like to do with your space, it is time to put all those ideas into numbers. Whether your project is a small one or a large space renovation, it is important to take everything into account so you don’t lose track of your spending, but stay within your budget.

Depending on the magnitude of your renovation you might need to include other trades and professionals as well. Plumbing, electricity, flooring or even the building code might come into effect. It is good to be prepared and budget for any significant increases.

It is also important to get out and do your research to get a sense of loose cost vs budgeted cost. Loose cost is a rough ballpark of how much your renovation could cost, whereas the budgeted cost includes every detail, down to the very nail, or cupboard handle. Once you have completed your budget, it is a good idea to add at least another 10% to 15% to accommodate for any surprises or things you might’ve omitted in your budget.

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