Friday, September 4, 2015

Make sure you have a proper design plan before you start your renovation

Proper design/planning and a good contractor when attempting a renovation

I once was called to a home where the new owners wanted renovations completed on a house that was 150 years old. The previous owners of the home had started renovations two years prior but never finished them.

The previous couple had lived in the home as they attempted to renovate it the older home. The whole first floor of the home was in one state of partly completed renovation or demolition with the upper floors still looking like they did when the house was last renovated 80 years ago.

This all ended when one part of the couple decided they have had enough and left. The home was then sold to my clients who called us in to access the situation.

Renovation contractors have a name for drywall dust (especially when the couple attempts to live in the house as its being renovated) it’s called divorce dust.

This attempted renovation was a perfect example what happens when you don’t bother to have a proper plan/design before you start renovating.

It is also a warning to people who want to take on renovating an older home but won’t budget for a contractor to help them out.

The amount of work in the home would take my company 6 to 10 months to complete working everyday 8 to 5 with at least 3 to 4 employee’s and about a dozen different sub-trades. These people that had attempted to do this renovation had been working at it for two years and by the look of it they had about 10 years left.

A prime example in the home of how the planning/design was short sited was they created a master bedroom on the first floor that was large and had an ensuite bathroom beside it. Then it looked like the wife asked for a large closet to be installed. The husband proceeded to remove the main set of stairs to the second floor of the home and relocate them two feet over to give his wife a closet. This meant relocating not only the stairs but all the barring walls around the stairs and the railings up stairs. It also required them to rebuild a new set of stairs that were reversed to the old ones. This idea was thousands of dollars to do and could have easily been avoided if they would have taken some time to draw up a properly planned out master bedroom and main floor layout.

There were many other issues throughout the home that the former owner had attempted and had either failed at completing or had done incorrectly.

The new owners and I worked together came up with a proper plan, design, budget and a schedule. Then we proceeded with the work.

When the home was finished it was unrecognizable compared to the start that it was procured when we first walked in to access the situation.

The moral of the story is that you should take the time to plan out what you want to do before you attempt to do any kind of renovation either on your own or with a qualified professional.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders

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