When you think of home renovations, what probably comes to mind is a process of providing your custom design ideas to a contractor and letting them do all the work. Although infusing your home with your unique personality is definitely crucial, there are several key elements that you may not be aware of. These items will help ensure that your home renovation is a success.
Homeowners Should Keep these in Mind when Planning a Home Renovation:
- Timeless, as opposed to fashionable, home designs are more likely to withstand the test of time. While fashionable home designs look great at the time of installation, home trends often change and you might find yourself with an outdated look sooner than anticipated. Instead, opt for a timeless look that is likely to stay in style for a longer period of time.
- Vaulted ceilings create the much-needed ventilation to prevent water damage during the winter months. Adequate space between the rafters and the roof structure prevent the accumulation of moisture and subsequent leakage into the ceiling. It is also important to make sure your roof is properly insulated and that your attic has adequate ventilation.
- Quality hardwood flooring is worth the extra expense. Quality hardwood can last for an entire century if properly installed and maintained. The key to proper maintenance is resealing the floor with a protective top coat on an annual basis.
- Heat pump water heaters can cut your energy costs by up to 50%. Usually installed in your basement, a heat pump water heater transfers heat across your home through the use of water rather than generating energy directly.
- Painted, as opposed to wood-stained, kitchen and bathroom cabinets is a great option if your cabinets are in good shape. Although paint is more difficult to alter, painting cabinets is a great way to re-use what you already have. As an added bonus, dust isn’t as obvious on painted cabinets, particularly light colors.
- Building large appliances, such as a stove or dishwasher, into your kitchen island can create a bulky look and interfere with your daily foot traffic. The 3 most used areas of your kitchen (fridge, stove, and sink) should form a triangle – this is referred to as the work triangle. The most efficient work triangles do not have regular traffic flow going through them. If the traffic flow of your kitchen goes through your work triangle, consider re-designing your kitchen for a more efficient space.
- East-facing windows can maximize the use of sunlight, thus ensuring natural light throughout most of the day and reducing energy costs. This is also important to keep in mind when planning out window coverings, air registers, and lighting.
- Maximizing your existing space can eliminate the need for a future expansion of your home. This often includes minimizing the number of internal walls and a reorganization of internal doorways. Creating 1 large living space is a great way to maximize your home’s square footage. Multiple small rooms can make a home feel cramped and cluttered.
- Electrical plugs should be in easy-to-reach places, which are best planned in advance. They should not be in areas of the room where you plan to place furnishings and other large items. Think about where you will be placing lamps, televisions, computers, phone chargers, etc., before the electrician places the outlets. Changing the placement of an electrical outlet is much harder to do after the renovation.
- A professional home inspection is the most important part of any renovation, as it will almost certainly prevent any future surprises. All home owners need to make sure that they are following the city’s codes and getting all of the required permits for their jobs. Failure to do this can results in fines, delaying of the project, or worse if something goes wrong with the home. Following code, getting permits, and having an inspection are simple items that should never be overlooked.
Whether you are renovating your entire house or only a single part of it, one or a combination of these tips can truly make a difference between success and failure. If you would like to be absolutely sure that the project is planned and implemented correctly the first time, our team from Norseman Construction & Development are always available to offer our expert advice and assistance to local homeowners.
If you live anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, please do not hesitate to contact us today!