Holistic Renovation

A most important word in remodelling

By Herb Lagois

In our world of renovation and building, we often use the word Holistic.

What does that really mean in design and remodeling?

Say your kitchen is outdated. Perhaps you’re frustrated with lack of counter space; you bump into each other; and you’re isolated from the living areas.

It seems pretty simple to come up with design solutions – functional layout, better work surfaces/zones, opening up a wall or two – done! Right?

Well, not quite.

What about your needs?

  • Short-term and long-term goals – is this your “transition” or “forever” home?
  • Are you downsizing or expanding family?
  • Are you incorporating multi-generations?
  • Does anyone in your household have allergies?
  • Do you have mobility concerns? Are you thinking about aging in place?
  • How easy will it be to clean and maintain?
  • How will indoor/outdoor access/integration and sight lines work?
  • Is natural light important?
  • Are you thinking of an EV (electric vehicle)?
  • Is this the first of further renovations? (What is your end goal? Are you okay about undoing this renovation to accommodate a future project?)

What about your home’s needs?

  • Is the space comfortable? Should you have an energy audit? Are there rebates?
  • Will the renovation impact other spaces – for example a finished basement?
  • Will the renovation impact mechanical systems?
  • Are there different temperature demands for “in-laws”?
  • What about the electrical service – will it be adequate?
  • Is your water hard, and if so, will this impact new fixtures?
  • Will an extra fixture or fixtures trigger a septic upgrade to the system?

What about your concerns?

  • Is a building permit required?
  • What are your homeowner insurance requirements?
  • Does your home contain designated substances? (Did you know there are 13 – asbestos being the most common?)
  • Are you worried about products matching?
  • Are you worried about being overwhelmed by choices?
  • Are you worried about delays, cost over runs?

What about construction?

  • Will you be moving out during construction?
  • Will you be living through renovations? (In that case, what about safety: pets, children, neighbours?)
  • Will you be working from home? (Will noise be an issue?)
  • Are you okay with cost overruns? Is there a contingency? Or would you rather know beforehand?
  • Are you okay with weeks of delays? Sometimes it makes sense not to start until you’re certain when products will show up. (Why rush to start only to grind to a halt?)
  • Are there things hidden behind walls? How can this be mitigated?

COVID certainly added complexity to our world, from cost increases to securing products. However, with a holistic approach you can navigate the complexities. Interviewing RenoMark® renovators for a proper fit is a first step.

There are likely many more questions or concerns you have. Perhaps you can use some of these topics in your interview questions when you’re hiring a renovator/designer/builder.  Make sure your proposed company is listening to you and understands your needs. Does their process fit you? Do they have experience with your type of project? Most especially, are they able to answer your questions to your satisfaction? Make sure they are proactive in identifying all the elements of your project.

Taking a holistic approach, from understanding your short term/long term needs, to design, to fruition, I feel, will make your renovation experience better.

In a word: holistic.

Herb Lagois is the owner of Lagois Design-Build-Renovate.

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