Enhance your living space, increase your property value and relax at home with Winnipeg home renovations. Whether you're dreaming of updating the kitchen, expanding the family room, finishing the basement or adding a new bathroom, home improvement projects require thoughtful planning to run smoothly. Consider these five tips and plan your Winnipeg home renovations well for ideal results.
Start With Professional Help
Industry professionals provide services to help you make the most of your home improvement investment. Although these services come at a cost, the advice and direction are often invaluable.
Many problems, issues and challenges arise during the design phase. An experienced architect or general contractor offers insight and solutions far beyond that of the average homeowner. Uncover potential hurdles while the project is on paper and avoid costly delays and repairs later on.
Industry professionals are also well versed on local building codes and trends. Tap into their knowledge of the latest building materials being used in homes across Winnipeg, as well as the standards set out in both the national and provincial building codes.
Ask your designer or contractor about the amount of work covered in your project fees. Most will offer an initial design along with a certain number of revisions, but it's best to understand those details up front.
Some Winnipeg contractors offer an initial design for free. But in most cases, this level of design offers little of value outside of your working relationship. Be careful not to expect contractors to provide free design services, and then take those designs elsewhere to begin the construction process. Professional service comes at a cost, and wise homeowners appreciate the investment made.
Understand the Applicable Building Codes
Many home improvement projects are subject to national and/or provincial building codes. These codes cover the legal requirements for construction processes, design, inspections and building materials. While you need to hire a contractor that knows and follows the codes, it's your responsibility to understand how your planned project fits into the standards of residential construction.
The City of Winnipeg offers several booklets on specific projects, including:
- Basement Renovations
- Detached Structures, such as Sheds, Garages and Gazebos
- Fireplaces & Woodstoves
- Home Additions
- Swimming Pools
- Window Security Bars
- Electrical Work
- Plumbing Work
- Sump Pit and Pump
- Air Conditioner Installation
- Wheelchair Ramps
Click here to view the extensive list of brochures available from the municipal government, offering detailed information on the Manitoba Building Code and how it applies to residential construction.
Your property may be located in one of several designated areas of Winnipeg. Heritage buildings come with a long list of standards and regulations that must be considered during Winnipeg home renovations. Also, distinct by-laws apply to properties located within the designated waterway area. Find out whether or not you need a permit in order to proceed with your reno.
Design for Relaxation and Resale
Your own comfort level remains the leading gauge of success for home renovations. But you should also consider resale during the planning stages. In order to achieve a decent return on your home improvement investment, you must understand how the project affects property value and what needs to be done in order to protect resale value.
Avoid focusing on the latest trends, and rely on the classics for form and structure. The main elements of your renovation should be universal or neutral in design. Personality and unique style can be easily added in details and dï¿½cor pieces. This design theme provides a base or structure that can be easily adapted to potential buyers, making the space feel appealing to a broader range of people.
Kitchens and bathrooms tend to provide the greatest payback for your Winnipeg renovation investment. These rooms also offer the greatest temptation for customization and trendy design. Be careful when customizing your space. Talk to your contractor about the best ways to balance your desires with the demands of the market.
Arrange for Financing Ahead of Time
Financing often creates a barrier between a homeowner's renovation dreams and reality. Arrange for project financing before you begin the planning stage and start off on the right foot.
Some Winnipeg residents arrange for a home equity loan, essentially borrowing against the equity available in their property and adding the amount to their mortgage. This arrangement offers competitive interest rates and an extended payback period. Since your home renovation will increase the property value, and thereby boost equity, this type of loan allows homeowners to maintain their liquidity and net worth.
Other possible financing options include retail store credit cards (ideal for the DIY enthusiast who plans on completing the project in stages), a line of credit through your bank or another financing institution, or credit extended from the contractor. Compare interest rates, terms and features of each financing option before settling on the best choice.
Once you have a figure for the project, create a preliminary budget and begin planning. With cash available, homeowners can feel much more confident about their decisions and direction.
Research the Track Record of Contractors
Choosing the ideal contractor is one of the most important decisions you make while planning Winnipeg home renovations. It's best to gather names early on, asking friends and family for referrals and keeping an eye out for companies working in your neighborhood.
Getting three or four names is only the first step; researching potential contractors plays a vital role in the planning process. Some consumers ask the contractor for references, while others trust unbiased, outside sources. Several online sites provide consumer reviews, although they are generally unedited and unverified.
Wise homeowners view the work of potential contractors. Ask if you can visit past customers, browse through the contractor's showroom and/or visit their shop to get a feel for the skill level and amount of care each contractor offers. Remember that any salesman can make promises, but only an experienced, careful and skilled contractor can deliver. Assess each potential candidate in the planning stage and make an informed decision for your family.
Planning Winnipeg home renovations takes time and energy. Be sure to invest in professional help, become familiar with national and Manitoba Building Code, and arrange for financing. It also helps to design for resale, as well as your personal comfort, and get a head start on researching potential contractors. These five tips will help you make the most of your investment.Posted by: TrustedPros