Start by dreaming

Start by dreaming

In some ways, a renovation begins in your imagination. It begins in your realization that your house could be fresher, prettier, more contemporary. That it could be bigger; it could be more efficient; it could function more easily.

It might be years before you do anything about it. But it’s on your mind. And when it is, you’re thinking colour, and design, and walls, and floors. You’re looking at magazines and browsing the Internet for flashes of inspiration. You’re checking out your friends’ homes and listening to their renovation stories.

This is all-important planning ‒ critical, even, to renovation success, because this first part, in the dreaming, the wishing, is knowing what you want and can realistically have.

Granted, when you get to the tangibles, of hiring someone to put your ideas into a blueprint, that’s when it becomes a bit like a splash of water in your face. Now it’s real. Now you’ll need to be aware of budget. Now is the time to find out the unknowable ‒ what lies beneath: existing plumbing, mechanical, electrical.

In order to understand this, it’s essential to hire someone who knows what’s involved from the bottom up. This takes experienced designers. Some are independent; some are connected to renovation companies; some are design-build contractors. They must have a high skill level, because a good renovation requires a complex set of knowledge and dedication to best practices.

Finding the right designer or design consultant in the first place can be a challenge, but if they are to create your plans for you, accurately as you have envisioned them, they must:

  • Be professional
  • Be creative
  • Be technical
  • Be knowledgeable about construction
  • Be well respected in the construction community
  • Understand costs and materials
  • Understand you, your budget, your limitations, your wishes
  • Be flexible
  • Be good listeners
  • Insist on quality
  • Provide their credentials (with a Building Code Identification Number, or BCIN)
  • Have great attention to detail

It’s always wise to see the jobs they have done for others, and to get references from their past clients.

Good designers are like gems. First planning begins with you, but professional designers take it the rest of the way.

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