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What to Consider Before Renovating Your New Home


You bought a new house and you love it. The location is great and the bones are solid.  It just needs some updating. Before you move in you are already planning the renovations –  choosing the colours for the walls and the tiles for the bathroom. You cannot wait until the possession date so you can hit the ground running with hammer in hand. You imagine taking out walls, opening up spaces and tearing out carpet.

Whether you are doing your own renovations or hiring a contractor you will want to consider a few things before you start ripping and tearing. Take a breath. While it’s exciting to think about what the space will look like when it’s done remember that renovating a house or even a couple of rooms is a big undertaking.

We asked well-known Ontario real estate agent Sol Kahane in Springfarm Yorkhill what should considered before a renovation. Here are some of his suggestions.


Of course this is the most important consideration when it comes to renovating a home. What can you afford? Once you have answered this question decisions can be made about what room to start in or if you should do the whole house. Remember most renovations go over budget. There are always surprises held behind the walls and we might realize we have expensive tastes. Keep this in mind.

Kitchen or Bathroom 

At this point you know how much money you have to spend. Now the next big decision. If you cannot do the whole house which rooms need a facelift the most? Often the kitchen is pushed to the front of the list and bathrooms are almost always considered. This does not have to be a given and creating a nice living space or a bedroom sanctuary might be cheaper and more fun as well.


Though your friend Bill may have undertaken home renovations without the proper permits this is not really the safest route. Consider resale or if something goes wrong with the renovation. Each city will have different guidelines so make sure you know what is needed for where you live. Not having permits can have major repercussions like fines or stop-work orders. Though it may slow you down initially make it a priority.

The Contractor 

This is often one of the most stressful decisions when undertaking a home renovation. The right or wrong contractor makes all the difference. Take your time to source out a good one. Word of mouth is preferable because you will know their work ethic and whether they will follow through on their word. Also find someone whose style you like and whose work you admire.


Now you are getting to the fun part. You are going to need to spend some time defining your style. If you are not already on Pinterest this would be a good time to join. Create a board you can pin to and start looking through for many sources of inspiration. Once you have pinned a few websites a theme will start to emerge. From here you can plan your list and head out on the town.


Taking time to source your materials can cut costs and make it less likely you will regret any of the big purchases. If you are shopping for big items like kitchen counters or cabinets check out all the stores in your area. Plan on taking time to choose colours and what wood you want to use. If there are any discount shops around you never know what you may find.

Things Change 

It is a good idea to think about the future when renovating. If you are planning on having a baby in the next few years you want to factor that in before you turn two bedrooms into one. Perhaps your mother is getting older and you will need an in-law suite. If you are going to work from home you will want an office. Thinking ahead means fewer adjustments down the road.

Enjoy the Process

Though often considered stressful if you let yourself relax renovations can be fun. Having an organized budget, a vision and a reputable contractor means you can revel in the process of creating a custom home suited to exactly your tastes. Expect some wrinkles but a “go with the flow” attitude can make a reno a good experience.

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