Planning Your Next Reno? Here are Some Tips

April 20th, 2010 | No Comments
By: Jen

Spring is here, and what better time to start those renovation projects you’ve been putting off all winter! Getting started with a renovation project can sometimes be a bit daunting. It’s hard to know where to start with a project, how far to take it, and how to do it without breaking the bank. Many people end up procrastinating on getting that new bathroom tile installed or fixing up the kitchen, simply because they are fearful of it costing too much, taking too long, or not being what they envisioned. Here are a few ways that you can get motivated to get moving on your next renovation project.

Dream big, dream often. Every good reno project starts with a vision, but if you haven’t even got that part down, then the project might never get off the ground! Looking to renovate your bathroom? Pick up some magazines (not just home decor mags, either!), grab your scissors, and start a book of clippings of colours, furnishings, and styles you love. Visit web sites and save pictures of fixtures, paint, tile, and linens. Watch home renovation and design shows (like The House Healers!) and get inspired. Record them on your PVR so you can refer back to them. Surround yourself with the kinds of design and decor features that appeal to you. You’ll start to see some patterns emerge and begin to zero in on your preferences. Most of all, don’t rush it. Inspiration takes time. Yours will come, with patience!

Live in the space. Many people are in a huge hurry to get their home in perfect condition the second they move into it. But often, it’s better to wait. If your home is new to you, then take some time to live in the space for a while. Figure out which rooms you use the most, and for what purposes. Make note of the parts of the space that you love, and what doesn’t work well for you, either aesthetically or functionally. Keep an ongoing list of issues, and determine ways to improve upon the spaces. Taking some time to really understand how you and your family function in a space can go a long way to helping you to make it work.

Design your dream space, but keep resale in mind. Once you’ve been inspired, and figured out how to design your space so it’s functional and beautiful, it’s time to really get the plan down solid. You’ll need to start thinking about what kinds of materials and finishes you want, and how you want the space to look and function. This is often the point where budget becomes a concern. Let’s face it, we’re all working with limited resources, but by making good decisions on finishes and features, you can not only maximize your enjoyment of the space, but improve the resale value too. Always get the best quality finishes you can find within your budget.

Do your homework. Take the guesswork out of your renovation by finding out how much it’s really going to cost, and what it’s going to take. Start by perusing the big box home renovation and decor stores. Not only will this be a source of inspiration, you can get a really great sense of what your materials will cost. Also, there are plenty of experts on hand at these places to answer your questions. Maybe sign up for a workshop or two, too! For kitchens, IKEA has a wonderful online planning tool that will not only help you design your dream space, but will tell you exactly how much it will cost to do the job! It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Planning a renovation doesn’t have to be scary. All it takes is a little inspiration, research, and preparation. Once you’ve got it all planned out, getting underway is a breeze!

What are some of your best tips for planning reno projects?

Photo credits kevinmarsh and kpwerker on Flickr.