Colour chart smooth renovationWell, okay. Truth be told, a renovation is going to be stressful. But there are things you can do to minimize the stress and even enjoy the journey.

First, hire a professional renovator. Don’t even think about doing it yourself, because therein lies all kinds of stress – and big reasons for that stress, too.

Know how long it’s going to take, and then add a bit of time. Your renovator will be able to give you an estimate. That’s because this is what the professionals do. It’s their life. They know this stuff.

Do your homework. Be organized. Spend months, if you need to, looking at magazines, going to home shows, checking out your friends’ renovations. Be detailed, too. Keep lists of colours, designs, appliances, flooring.

Know your home. How much can you reasonably expect from it? Should you be thinking about a whole new addition?

Have a good idea of your budget and financing. Your renovator will want to know that, and will work within it. Your budget might be more or less than you need for your initial ideas, but it’s an important starting point.

Be a good communicator. A professional renovator will want to talk to you frequently, to keep you informed, to give you updates. Be available. Be a good listener – just as you expect your renovator to be.

When it comes time to hire a renovator, do some research. Ask friends. Don’t just look for the company that will give you the lowest price. A successful renovation is also about personalities, good documentation, reliable follow-up, and length of experience.

When you know what you want, hire a renovator you trust, and have well-informed expectations, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

You can do this. But make sure you’re ready – in advance.

Ottawa Renovates editor Francie Healey wrote this feature originally published in the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA) RenoMark Renovator Blog.