RENOVATION 101 - process checklist
RENOVATION PROCESS CHECKLIST
PHASE 1 – Before you start
Are you planning on staying in the house long enough to re-coup your investment?
Will your renovations really resolve your functionality issues?
Have you explored all options to resolve issues without opting for an addition?
Have you checked with the municipality to ensure your plans conform to local by-laws?
Do neighbourhood values support your level of investment?
How much should you and can you invest in your home?
PHASE 2 – Hiring an Architect or Designer
Do your renovations require a substantial addition?
Are you altering roof lines and the footprint of the house?
Do you need to go to Committee of Adjustments to accommodate your addition?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may require or benefit from the services of an Architectural or Design firm
PHASE 3 – Hire a Designer
Carefully research Designer or Architect you wish to hire
Make sure your personalities connect well and they hear your concerns – Trust your gut feeling
Contact references and question the design process, their involvement in the construction process and their ability to assist and streamline the process
Do you clearly understand the cost structure and how their services are billed?
PHASE 4 – Hire a Contractor
Hiring a contractor involves the same process as hiring a designer
Check for proof of insurance and WSIB clearances
Check previous jobs and at least one current job site
Select 2 to 3 contractors that you approve of to be ready for plans to bid on
Do not ask for costing at this stage as there is no information to prepare an accurate price on
PHASE 5 – Design Process
Maintain a file for each room and insert magazine clipping with specific notes on what you like and dislike
Make wish lists of likes and dislikes for each room – no matter how small or big the point may be
Allow adequate time to prepare the design and all of its details – the more detail, the smoother the construction process
Clarify if Designer or Architect is handling permit process
PHASE 6 – Estimates
Provide contractors with the same set of project details to bid on
Ensure all details are clear and if any are missing, each contractor should specify what allowance has been allocated for that detail
Make sure to ask for a project timeline and details on how and when payments are to be made
Payments should always be made based on project completion milestones
Clarify if Contractor is handling permit process
If access to job site or parking is an issue, have you made accommodations and who is paying for them?
PHASE 7 - Permits
If your project involves any of the homes systems such as plumbing, HVAC or electrical, you will require permits
If you project involves altering the square footage or footprint of the home, you will require permits
If your project involves structural changes to the home, you will require permits
If in doubt, always inquire with the local building department
Submit for permits for the work to be done
PHASE 8 – Moving forward
Can you live in the house while it is being renovated?
Have you budgeted for alternate accommodations if you can’t live in the house?
Have you notified your insurance company that you will be doing renovations?
Have you notified your insurance company that the home will not be occupied during construction?
Are you planning your renovations around an upcoming event or celebration? ---DON’T---
Ensure the start of your renovations occurs when seasonal conditions are in your favour
Do you have adequate funds for the renovation and a reserve fund for unforeseen issues? The larger the project, the more reserve you will need. It doesn’t mean you have to spend it – but you most likely won’t be able to get more once you start the work.
Don’t give in to early payment requests – stick to payment schedule as set out in your contract
Make sure to hold back 10% at the end of your project as per Lien Act of Ontario
Stay involved in the process and understand the value of your renovations but do not impose on your contractors’ process unless you feel that there is something wrong. A good contractor will always answer all of your questions and concerns
Understand that changes delay the process and ensure that you are available to answer any questions that may arise