Ask Gord

Ask your question about house building process

Interior Renovations in Toronto: Start with Practical Planning

By admin

Interior Renovations in Toronto: Start with Practical Planning

Toronto is a city of great neighbourhoods, many of which are populated by beautiful older homes. Often, homeowners become attached to their neighbourhood; instead of moving, they are choosing to update or restore their existing homes. However, before beginning interior renovations in Toronto, homeowners should educate themselves about what they want out of the process.

According to the Canadian Home Builders Association, professional renovators offer the following planning advice:

  • Analyse what problems you are trying to solve with your renovation. Do you need more space or more storage; do you want to solve structural problems or do you need to update the look of your home?
  • Look at the long-term: what repairs or upgrades will you likely have to do in the next two to ten years? Good planning can save you money.
  • Don’t cut corners to save a little money. It’s always better to do less and do it well.
    Be aware of the building code and the permit process.
Interior Designers

If you are planning a major renovation, finding a good interior designer can save you money in the long run. This professional can analyse your needs, understands flow and functionality and knows how to ensure that the style of the renovation fits in with the rest of the house. They can make a small room look bigger and utilize every bit of space. An interior designer knows where to source the right products and often can suggest money saving tips.

Gather Information

Before meeting with potential designers, begin to gather information. Go to open houses. Find images from books or magazines that encapsulate what you are aiming for. Think about what elements you want to keep, what furniture you want to hold on to. You may want to have a professional energy audit and research how you can incorporate environmental efficiencies into your design. Consider ways you can get more than one job done at the same time: if you are opening up the walls, updating electrics, plumbing and insulation can save you money over the long term. Speak to your financial advisor to determine a budget. Start a spread sheet that calculates estimates and hard costs.

Meet a Variety of Designers and Builders

Make a list of potential designers and builders. Ask your friends for recommendations. Some custom home builders in the GTA have interior designers, architects, engineers and skilled trades people on staff, which can make the renovation process run more smoothly. If you are making major structural changes to your house, make sure the company stands by their work with a strong warranty. Ask if you can speak to past clients.

Consider a Tarion Registered Builder

If you are having a substantial renovation done to your home, consider hiring a home builder registered with Tarion. Tarion works on behalf of the Ontario government in regulating the new home building business. Unlike contractors, builders registered with Tarion must be tested for their technical knowledge and undergo an annual assessment of their financial stability.

Be Patient

The planning process of an interior home renovation in Toronto can take time. But proper planning can make the renovation run smoothly, saving money and time down the road. A renovation, well done, is priceless.