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5 Steps to a Stress-Free Kitchen and Bath Renovation!

Here is what I have learned from my many years working with Kitchen and Bath design and home renovation.

As another year ends and a fresh one begins, we can all take a breath from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We can also acknowledge that our most used rooms are not working for us anymore, or, maybe, they never did.

The holidays can sometimes put an unnecessary spot light on how inefficient the layout of our kitchen is! Or, how our bathroom cannot properly support the influx of people that are using it in a short period of time, so much so, you’ve named the plunger “Uncle Bob’s sidekick”

Here are some things to think about when you decide you can’t keep “Making it work.” And decide to take the leap into renovating the most important rooms in your home.

1/ Have a plan

We’ve all heard the story time and time again, about the neighbour/ friend/ family member that one day decided they hate the wall between the kitchen and dining room and just started to whack away at it. This story usually ends with a longer project timeline and much higher budget than they had ever expected.

How could this frustrating and costly renovation been avoided?

With a plan!

A plan should include things like:

  • Architectural drawings
  • Trade quotes and estimates
  • Permits required,
  • Furnishing selections
  • Schedules
  • Timelines
  • Budget for each of the components

Renovations can be a delicate thing. There is a lot of moving parts that require one step to be completed before the next. When you properly construct a plan with all of the details BEFORE you start knocking out walls, things will go smoother and the budget will stay in line.

2/ Give yourself Time

One of the things that developing a plan will show you, is how much time a renovation will take. Depending on the scope of work, a renovation can take as little as 2 weeks all the way up to 20 weeks or more!

When planning for a renovation of this type, try not to set yourself up for disappointment by starting your kitchen plan 1 month before Christmas, or ripping your bathroom apart days before you host a large party.

No matter how long the project takes, being prepared to be without that space, for some time will help minimize your frustration. Start preparing to use a second bathroom full time or stocking up on take-out menus and disposable cutlery.


3/ Do your Homework

The best way to create a plan for any renovation is to “Do your homework!”

Design is more than picking out beautiful tile, from a or gorgeous paint colour like Benjamin Moore. It’s about creating pleasing and practical spaces with layout, space planning, form and function. It’s also about knowing where to get the highest quality products and labour at an appropriate price.

Ensure that the information you gain is from a reputable source. Thoroughly interview and investigate any contractor or labourer that you consider hiring. Ask for things like proof of insurance, and a business number. I would even go so far as to ask to see previous work they have done and speak to previous clients about their experience.

Doing your due diligence when researching your products and labour will minimize if not eliminate the possibility of buyer’s remorse once the project is done.

4/ Try to Manage your Expectations

In renovations we say “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” Because even with the best created plan, unexpected situations can and will arise.

Walls that have surprise pipes in them, toilets that are improperly draining to the septic system, electrical that isn’t up to code once the walls come down…I could go on and on with the unforeseen situations I’ve seen, but I’ll save that for another post. Lol.

Having an informed plan will help minimize these surprises, but, having a positive attitude and a good sense of humour will also go to your advantage. As long as your team of trades and contractors are handling the situation in a timely and professional manner, there isn’t much you can do other than smile (or laugh) through it.


5/ Budget

It’s your hard earned money that is going into these projects, and you want it to be spent wisely!

But how do you know what is a good price for the work you would like done?

How much should you spend on a home you plan to live in for a few months? Or the rest of your life?

So many questions, so many answers.

Many factors are taken into consideration, but the simplest guideline is this one…

  • Kitchens: 10-15% of your home’s VALUE
  • Bathrooms: 5- 10% of your home’s VALUE

Every project is different, therefore, every budget is different. Again, I’ll come back to the first step… A PLAN!

When you properly research and plan these renovations, achieving an accurate number from the beginning is possible. Sticking to the original scope of work, and making adjustments along the way will result in the budget fluctuating marginally.

I get it…Renovating can be an overwhelming thought, with all of the mess, money and time being invested, it could be easier to just avoid it. But, do these phrases sound familiar every January?

“I can’t do another holiday season with that Kitchen!” Or,

“I am not inviting uncle Bob again next year, the toilet can’t take it!”

Then, start with step 1 – A PLAN! And ask us those lingering questions about the design, planning and execution of your renovation, we look forward to the opportunity to answer them!


Happy Holidays!

We’ll talk to you soon