Renovation, Step By Step

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Renovation, Step By Step

Renovation, Step By Step

From the first idea to the finished project, there's a great deal to think about when you decide to renovate. By following the eight steps listed below, you'll make sure you have answers to all the important questions, and have a well-laid plan for getting the job done.

Step 2. Know what's possible

Every house has unique strengths and weaknesses. Hire a qualified private home inspector or architect to give you professional advice on what your home needs and what it can — or should — do.

Just remember: consulting a qualified professional before you make a big decision is the best way to avoid costly complications down the road.

Consider the impact of your intended renovation. The addition you want may look great on paper, but can your heating, plumbing and electrical systems service it? Remember that although your house looks like a static structure, it's actually a collection of components that interact continuously. If you change one part, another may be unexpectedly affected.

For example, by adding insulation and installing new windows you can make your house more airtight, and therefore, more energy efficient. But your furnace may no longer operate properly or safely! Increasing airtightness affects heat flow, air flow and indoor moisture levels. You have to understand how these factors are inter-related before you can upgrade effectively.

Remember that building codes and local by-laws may also limit what and how you renovate. There's nothing worse than discovering the project you've painstakingly planned is not allowed. Talk to your municipal building department and find out about zoning and permits.

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