Last Updated on October 24, 2012

The Best Time To Renovate

By Alan F Macdonald


Almost everyone has an idea of what they would like to do when it comes to giving their house a makeover, but wanting isn’t the same as being prepared. If you want to tackle an adventure in home renovation, read on to gets some tips on knowing what you might be up against.

When You Have The Money

Remodelling isn’t cheap. Kitchens can cost as much as 10% of the value of your home, and bathroom fixtures can easily ruin your budget. And when it comes to hiring contractors, expect the price to double as compared to doing the work yourself. You’re going to need a fair bit of cash to tackle almost any reno that’s more complicated than just painting some walls.

If you don’t have much cash, you can always do renovations in stages. This can be advantageous because work gets done quickly, and then a period of saving allows you continue later on with a rest from the work. The disadvantage to doing it this way is that you might be dragging the complete renovation on for a long time. Sometimes it’s better to just get it over and done with.

If you’re in a hurry, other options include getting a home equity line of credit or borrowing from your mortgage lender to improve your home. This can be a reasonable expense if the improvements will increase the value of the home but remember, some renovations don’t add value to your home when you sell. Always be very careful when borrowing to renovate – you may not get that money back – especially when the market is slow moving like it is at the moment.

When You Have The Time

If you’re renovating yourself, you’ll have to have the time to do the work. I was told by a veteran tradesman once “the last 10% of the work takes 90% of the time”. That seems to be true in every case I’ve experienced. I redid our kitchen years ago, and there’s still little pieces of trim here and there that haven’t been cut and doors and panels that haven’t been adjusted. Will I ever just go and finish them? Probably not until we decide to sell.

When it’s really time to renovate, you have to alot yourself a reasonable period of time to get the job done. And if you’re paying someone else to do it, you might have to supervise, or be home during the work and don’t forget the planning; Choosing your materials and styles takes time, too. Be sure to prepare everything in advance and leave plenty of time each week – or even each day – for cleaning up as well. All these things will soak up a lot of time and there will be delays and mistakes also to consider. Renovating never takes as long as you think it will.

When You Feel Like You Can Handle It

I find that I need a fair bit of time to steel myself before I am ready to renovate. Every time I want to tackle a project, I remember again how much trouble it was last time, but sure enough I just can’t leave well enough alone and it’s time to start another remodelling adventure.

You’re almost always going to have to deal with a lot of trouble with almost any renovation. Whether the job is small or large, disruptions from noise, dust, furniture rearrangement and just plain messiness are bound to occur. If you aren’t prepared to put up with holes in the walls, missing floors, doing dishes in the shower (not as romantic as it seems) or a sinus infection from drywall dust – it might not be time to renovate just yet. Each renovation has its potential problems and complications. It might be a good idea to be familiar with those complications before you start working on anything, that way you won’t be surprised when things are a little more trouble than you might have hoped.

So Are You Ready?

As with anything being aware of the consequences is paramount. Being prepared for a renovation means knowing how much disruptions it’ll cause, the cost of the project and the time frames involved. If you don’t have a fairly good grasp of these details, it might not be time to renovate just yet. If you have the time, inclination and the money, well then all you have to do is decide when to start.


by +Alan F Macdonald REALTOR® | Copyright © –


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