We’re all about renos these days. Everyone’s talking about renos. Everybody’s asking for renos.

After so much time spent in our houses this past year, it seems we all just want to stay put and make our homes cozy and comfortable. Staying at home day in and day out has probably magnified the parts of our houses we never really loved. Extended periods of time spent at home have caused us to notice the things that aren’t working well or not working at all! Working from home has our wanting better organized and more efficient work spaces. Spending time together indoors made us want to get outside into our backyards.

Whether you have lived in your old house forever and don’t want to leave or you have just gained possession of your new property whose location you love but the house not so much, a partial or total renovation is often the answer. We have an equal number of clients who fall into both scenarios. With the skyrocketing prices of building materials and the increased demand in skilled labour, renovations have become more commonplace. Often your budget and timeline come into play when you decide to renovate rather than build brand new. So once you have determined that a brand new build is not in the cards, you then have to decide what kind of reno you want and can afford money and time-wise.

There are many options available to you in the realm of custom renovations. The most cost effective and time efficient is the interior-only reno. Changing out floor and wall finishes, maybe replacing a countertop or hardware, ripping out old carpet to replace with hardwood or tile, and freshening up the place with a new coat of paint, wallpaper, or moulding and paneling all fall under this category. Cosmetic changes do not require a city building permit.

A larger scope renovation that involves wall or window alterations, floorplan or ceiling height changes, or additions and extensions to increase living space require city building permits. These kinds of renovations inevitably lead to more money and more time because they affect the structural integrity of your house. Anything that affects the exterior envelope or electrical and plumbing also fall into this category. When renovating an older pre-1940 home, a character merit assessment is required by the city and abatement costs may occur if hazardous materials such as asbestos or lead are found on-site mid-renovation.

There are as many factors to think about as there are outcomes to enjoy when it comes to your own custom home renovation project. The first tiny renovation project that I had done was in preparation to list my first place. The previous owners had installed new linoleum and carpets throughout right before I bought it. I knew there were original oak hardwoods underneath the carpet and I would have preferred tile to the lino, but it seemed so impractical and irresponsible to remove all those brand new materials. Plus I was twenty-five years old and had spent every last dollar that I had on the down payment. So when it came time to my selling that place five years later, I had the hardwoods uncovered and refinished and the new tile installed. I loved it and really wished I would have done it for myself versus for the next owners. From that first experience, I learned to have my home renovations done early on so that I could enjoy them for as long as possible. I enjoyed cork floors throughout and beautiful heated tiles in the bathrooms in my very next place. Why wait? You and your house deserve it!