Steel yourself for a renovation

First, make sure you're really prepared for this

By Francie Healy

There you are, relaxing in a designer tub. Soft music plays and the glow from the fireplace makes your whole world soft and warm. The kids are quietly engaged with their homework in a room perfectly designed for your family. You’re looking forward to a movie in your elegant home theatre after cooking a perfect meal in your stunning and efficient kitchen.

It can all happen, for sure.

But are you being realistic, not only with your budget but about the lifestyle you really need?

Will a renovation boost the value of your house as well as enhancing your life? What renovations should you consider that will enhance resale later on?

A realtor can guide you in determining what you might recoup later in a resale and what features seem to be most popular with buyers.

Are you prepared for some of the costs ahead? Renovations are not cheap, but they can be manageable.

A professional renovator might suggest planning your renovation in stages, and guiding you to know what should come first, second, and so on so there is minimal overlapping — for example, starting with structural, electrical, plumbing and heating upgrades and then from there to whole new spaces.

Once you decide to go ahead with a renovation, and you’ve chosen your renovator (after doing lots of homework, of course), there’s something else you’ll need to plan, and plan carefully — for your peace of mind and to alleviate the stress that goes with a household turned upside down for awhile.

Gather up what you need, put away what you don’t, and get ready to hunker down.

(See Pack up and get ready.)

Francie Healy is Editor and Art Director of Ottawa Renovates Magazine.

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