Congratulations on taking the big step towards a home renovation! Exciting times are ahead but in every major renovation, there may be some headaches and hiccups along the way. In my experience completing many successful renovation projects, I’ve developed a list of renovation projects do’s and don’ts that will hopefully take your reno from a positive start to a triumphant finish.


START WITH A BUDGET. Working within a given budget will allow you to understand whether your tastes run extravagant or economical. However, be realistic about renovation costs and have a buffer as everything will cost 30% more and take 25% longer than expected.

HAVE A PLAN. A to-scale floor plan will help you visualize what the space will look like.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK on your contractor or designer and have a contract. Be nice and respectful to the tradespeople and everyone involved in the renovation. You may be seeing these people in your house for months and you want to have a positive relationship with them.


DON’T TRY TO DIY to save a dollar for plumbing or electrical unless you are an expert. Mistakes will cost you more money in the long run than if you were to hire tradespeople. However, don’t be afraid to ask your contractor or designer where you can save in other aspects of your renovation.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK for weekly status updates so you know how the project is progressing, especially if you have moved out during the renovation.

DON’T DELAY MAKING DECISIONS. This can delay your project and end up costing you more money. Lastly, don’t forget to breathe, it will all work out in the end.

Text by Christine Da Costa

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