Design and Style: Proper planning for a renovation can save headaches and money in the future

Taking the time to plan a renovation properly can save money and headaches in the future, writes Interior Designer and Stylist Christine Roberts. Photo: Submitted.


It’s summertime in the city and most people are planning vacations, enjoying the outdoors,  planning for the kids school break and all those fun hot weather activities.

While it’s not typically renovation season, it is actually a great time to think and plan ahead if you have a reno project happening this fall.  Planning ahead for your renovation can have huge benefits:  a little forward thinking can pay off in savings and fewer headaches once the project begins.

If you have a renovation planned, or even if you are just contemplating one, here are some tips to help you get ready for it.

Define your goals: Determine the purpose and scope of your renovation project. Clearly identify what changes you want to make and why. This will help you communicate your vision to contractors or professionals involved.

Set a budget: Establish a realistic budget for your renovation. Consider the cost of materials, labor, permits, and any unexpected expenses. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your financial limits to avoid overspending.

Research and plan: Gather ideas and inspiration for your renovation project. Look for design concepts, materials, and styles that align with your vision. Create a renovation plan that includes a timeline, specific tasks, and a list of required materials.

Find reliable professionals: If your project requires contractors or professionals, research and select reliable ones with experience in the type of renovation you’re undertaking. Get recommendations from friends, family, or online platforms, and request quotes and portfolios from multiple candidates.  The same advice goes for designers if you are hiring one to help guide you through it

Obtain necessary permits: Depending on the nature of your renovation, you may need permits or approvals from local authorities. Research the requirements in your area and ensure you have all the necessary paperwork before commencing any work.  If you are on a ravine for example there are very specific and strict guidelines surrounding renovations.  Better to find out now what you CAN do, rather than have your dreams derailed and must pivot quickly.

Create a timeline: Develop a detailed timeline for your renovation project. Consider factors such as the availability of contractors, delivery of materials, and any potential disruptions to your daily routine. Having a timeline will help you stay organized and keep track of progress.

Clear the space: Before the renovation begins, remove any furniture, belongings, or fixtures from the area being renovated. Protect valuable or delicate items by storing them in a safe location. Cover nearby furniture and floors to prevent damage during the renovation process.

Communicate with your contractor: Maintain open and clear communication with your contractor or designer.  Regularly discuss progress, concerns, and any changes or adjustments that need to be made. This will ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the renovation.

Arrange temporary living arrangements: If the renovation project affects essential areas of your home, such as the kitchen or bathroom, make arrangements for temporary alternatives. Set up a temporary kitchenette or bathroom if necessary to minimize disruptions to your daily life. If you are doing a large scale project you may need to consider moving off site during the construction and renovation period.  Contact a real estate agent to help you find a temporary rental for the duration – they have experience with exactly this kind of request.

Prepare for unexpected challenges: Renovations often come with surprises and unexpected challenges. Be mentally prepared for unforeseen issues and have a contingency plan in case something doesn’t go as planned. Flexibility and adaptability will help you navigate any obstacles that arise.

Remember, every renovation project is unique, so adjust these steps to fit your specific needs.

With proper planning and organization, you can increase the likelihood of a successful renovation that meets your goals and expectations, and get back to enjoying your summer!

— Local resident Christine Roberts is an Interior Designer and Stylist.

She can be reached at 416-873-3982, and online at and on Instagram @christinerobertsdesign

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