8 Things To Think About Before You Begin A Home Renovation in Calgary


Interior Designer

As fun as they are to daydream about, home renovations can be really scary to commit to. If you’ve been contemplating a home renovation in Calgary but just don’t know where to begin, you’re not alone. And I’m here to help!

To make the thought of beginning your home renovation a lot less intimidating, I’ve put together a handy list of “must-do”s…

1. Budget wisely

Homeowners who’ve never been through a renovation process are usually surprised (and occasionally flabbergasted) when they start gathering information on pricing. Project costs will vary greatly based on scope of work, design directions and finish selections. Do your due diligence beforehand and shop around. Commit to a budget and work with your designer, contractor, trades and suppliers to get accurate costs.

2. Do your research

It’s important to have a clear understanding of what to expect. Talk with friends, neighbours and coworkers who’ve completed a home renovation similar to the one you’re considering. Inquire with local real estate agents and reno experts. Consider attending a home renovation exhibition. Visit supplier showrooms to get ideas. Scour the Internet. (It’s a wealth of information, and you can start a folder of your favourite finds and spaces you love.) For inspiration, clip out magazine photos and pin images from designer websites like Houzz and Pinterest. The more research you do ahead of time, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel once you begin.

3. Find the right interior designer & contractor

Some come as a package deal; others work independently. Whatever the case, it’s important to find the right fit. We’ve all heard home reno horror stories, so it’s important to trust (and like) the professionals you’ll be working with from start to finish. Trust word-of-mouth referrals from people you know above all else. In the absence of personal recommendations, be sure to check prospective partners’ references before you sign any agreements!

4. Be realistic

While all home reno projects begin with big dreams, you’re most likely to have a positive experience if you’re realistic about your end goals and what you can accomplish based on your budget, resources and the spaces you’re renovating. It’s easy to get carried away and to want to do your renovation all at once; however, it’s important to not live beyond your means. A financially taxing project makes home renovations even more emotionally taxing than they already are. (A renovation will be a major upheaval on your life – something you need to acknowledge at the very start.) If you’re not willing to compromise or forego certain design elements, consider scaling back to something you can afford and renovating in stages.

5. Design is in the details

Big-picture thinking is vital in any home renovation project, but it’s equally important to consider every small detail…from paint finishes to cabinet hardware placement to the colour and type of grout in the shower. As they’ll collectively affect the look and feel of your space once your reno is complete (as well as the final cost), you should finalize all the details before renovations begin.

6. Renovate for the future…and for you

People often make their home renovation decisions with the next homeowners in mind. While it’s smart to consider the “What if we sell?” scenario, don’t lose sight of what you like, and be sure to consider quality options that are timeless in terms of design. Trends are okay for accessorizing, but renovations should have enduring appeal.

7. Have a schedule and regular check-ins

A good contractor, builder or home renovation company will provide a detailed schedule so you know what’s happening every step of the way. Communication is essential during a home renovation in Calgary, especially in the construction phase. The dialogue with your contractor and interior designer is important, and I always encourage clients to reach out if they have any questions or concerns. Even the most seasoned designers and renovators are human, and mistakes may happen. It’s important to address issues early because the longer a mistake goes unaddressed, the more expensive it will be to change it.

8. Have fun!

Home renovations are no small undertaking, but the reward at the end is a beautiful new space that’s been transformed by good design decisions and executed by the right team of professionals. Once the dust has settled and all the work has been completed, you get to enjoy the results and love the “new” home you live in!

Have you been contemplating an update to your interior or a home renovation in Calgary? If you’re not sure where to begin – or if you’re ready to begin! – I’d love to hear from you. Click here to set up a complimentary consultation.