If you want to make a house feel like a home, you need to personalize it to your own tastes and needs. Sure, decor, plants and other home accessories go a long way in sprucing up a space, but to truly transform your home, you may want to consider a renovation.
More and more people are looking into revamping their space, especially since many of us have spent more time at home in recent years. Whether you’re planning a bathroom renovation or putting together a renovation plan that encompasses the whole home, here are 10 questions you’ll want to ask yourself before breaking out that sledgehammer.
For more expert tips on making your house a home, tune in to season 3 of Making it Home With Kortney & Kenny, premiering Tuesday, October 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada. Also available on the Global TV App and on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels and Rogers.
Why Are You Renovating?
This may seem like a straightforward question, but your answer will drive the renovations you choose to do. If you’re renovating a forever home like many of those featured on Making it Home With Kortney & Kenny, it’s important to think long-term when it comes to the types of finishes and overall layout. However, if you’re renovating your home to sell, you probably want to do the bare minimum. And if you’re renovating to rent, you’ll want to consider renovations that can withstand a little more wear-and-tear.
How Much Do You Have to Spend?
When it comes to renovations, it’s important to budget, budget, and then budget some more. Ask yourself what you are willing to spend and what you can (realistically) spend if something goes wrong. It’s always a good idea to add at least 10 per cent to any initial budget in order to cover surprises, such as a rise in material costs (a common occurrence during COVID) or hidden damage in your home.
What Are Your Priorities?
In addition to planning on going over your budget, you may want to make a list of renovation priorities in case things do go off track. Is it more important for you to install a shiplap wall or to remove that pesky half-wall in your front entrance? Do you prefer a fully renovated kitchen, or can you work with your existing layout? Know and list your priorities in advance and that way you’ll avoid any potential last-minute, emotional decisions.
What’s Your Long-Term Renovation Plan?
Are you looking at renovating your whole home, or one room at a time? It’s important to think long-term when you’re renovating your home to save yourself as many headaches as possible down the line. If you want to rip up and replace all of your floors, for example, maybe don’t do that in a room where you’re planning to remove a wall eventually. If you’re planning on doing landscaping and finishing your basement, perhaps plan the landscaping first to avoid any water damage from trickling behind those brand-new basement walls.
How Will You Use Each of the Rooms?
It’s important to know the purpose and desired function of each room before any kind of renovation goes down. That way, you can tailor each room to your individual needs. A living room designed for a family should be comfy and spacious, whereas a space meant for entertaining should feel more open and free-flowing. Kortney is always a fan of maxing out on potential function, like she did in this office/sitting room design.
Do You Have Enough Storage?
This goes hand-in-hand with thinking about each room’s function, but it’s a specific question that’s sometimes forgotten. Closet space in a bedroom is typically a given, but what about cupboard or pantry space in the kitchen? Built-in shelving in the living room? Lots and lots of room for organization in a laundry room or a mudroom? Go through each room and think about what kind of storage solutions you may need before you start. And remember that when it comes to such matters, Kortney typically believes that more is better.
What’s Your Design Style?
If you really want to make your house a home, you need to create a space that speaks to your personality. If you’re unsure what kind of design personality you might be, there are plenty of quizzes that can help you to determine that (including one at HGTV.ca, linked below!). If you think you’re going to want to change things up in the future, do what Kortney does and incorporate bold colours through accents and less expensive finishes.
Is Sustainable Design Important to You?
If you’re concerned about the effects your home renovation may have on the environment, you’re not alone. Sustainable design has been trending upwards lately as more designers figure out a way to reduce and reuse. If you do want to ensure you’re as sustainable as possible in your design, ask vendors about their products and practices, and keep an eye on things within your own home that you can upcycle or reuse. For example, painting cabinets instead of replacing them or donating them instead of sending them to the dump.
Where Will You (and Your Pets) Stay During the Reno?
Here’s another big question to ask yourself, especially if your renovations will take an extended period of time. Renovations stress pets out (plus injuries are a very real possibility), so it’s probably a good idea to find a pet sitter rather than putting the family through that. Meanwhile, it’s also hard for humans to live through renos – especially when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms. If you can budget it in, find yourself a rental or live with a friend or family member for a few weeks. You’ll be in a much better headspace, especially if you need to deal with any curveballs.
Is There Anything You Can Do Yourself?
Another golden question when it comes to renovation projects: can you do it yourself? Well, maybe. If you know how to do simple things like install toilets, replace vanities or paint, this could be the time to utilize those skills and save a few bucks. However, when it comes to major renovations, it’s almost always better to leave things to the pros. Get a few quotes, and be wary of ones that seem too good to be true. In the end, you’ll probably be happier because inexperience + home renovations = a ton of extra, unforeseen costs.
For more tips on creating your dream home, tune in to the season 3 premiere of Making it Home With Kortney & Kenny Tuesday, October 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.