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Five Tips for Planning a Home Reno

Spring seems to bring with it a renewed sense of energy & enthusiasm when it comes to tackling those long-awaited projects around the home. As the snow melts and the tulips start to peep out of the ground, we are flooded with calls from homeowners eager to get started on improving their space.

Getting started on planning a renovation can seem like an overwhelming & daunting task. Here are five tips that Kawartha Lakes Construction commonly advises homeowners to keep in mind as they embark on planning any new project.

1) Stop Comparing Your Home to “Reality” Home Shows

There’s no shame in loving these shows! By all means, get inspired and take notes (truth be told, Love it or List it Vancouver is one of my guilty pleasures!). But use these shows as inspiration rather than a real life benchmark to compare your own project to. Nobody renovates their kitchen, let alone their entire house, in a couple of weeks. These shows leave us with the impression that renos are something trivial that can be done quickly and cheaply. And this is not reality.

Quality results that are going to meet your unique vision and your budget take time, talent and knowledge. These elements do not come together overnight and you should not expect them to.

2) Scrapbook, Scrapbook, Scrapbook! 

A huge part of creating a beautiful & functional solution to your home improvement project is identifying your style and what works for you. Scrapbooking isn’t just for kids anymore! Rip pages that you love out of magazines or go on Pinterest… whatever works best for you in gathering a visual archive that will allow you to identify & communicate your tastes.

We love to send our clients to I describe it as a kind of Pinterest for the world of home improvement. You can create albums, check out the profiles of local industry professionals and share images and specific products with the pros you are working with.

3) Create a Wishlist

Sit down and create a good old-fashioned list. In one column, write down your wants. In a second column, put your needs. As you move through the planning process and are faced with tough choices, you will be able to refer back to this list and have a clearer picture of your priorities – what has to happen now and what can wait. A second bathroom may be Priority A, but does it need to include a custom shower and luxury spa tiles?

4) Get Clear on Your Budget

You need to be honest with yourself (and your renovator) as to how much you are able to invest in a project. Only then will you be able to have an open conversation about what’s possible.  A reputable home renovator can work within a wide range of budgets and is going to take your budget into consideration, making recommendations based on your comfort zone. Providing spending parameters means that you won’t waste time falling love with a certain design idea or features & fixtures that don’t align with your budget.

5) Quality Companies Book Months in Advance

We say this all the time but it is NEVER too early to start planning.  A quality project takes months of planning and design time, not to mention the time that it takes to get approved for any permits, order in specialty items/materials and coordinate subcontractors. Reputable companies book their design & construction schedules months in advance. If you are calling around looking for a renovator who promises to have your addition built by the end of month, the place that can make that promise is likely not the one you want to be working with! Save the headaches and disappointment and allow yourself 3-6 months of planning time.

Kawartha Lakes Construction Kitchen Reno – Before & After

Kawartha Lakes Construction Kitchen Renovation - Before

Kitchen Renovation – Before

Kitchen Renovation - After

Kitchen Renovation – After


We hope you found the above tips helpful! If you are considering your own home renovation and are unsure how to kick-start the process, consider attending Kawartha Lakes Construction‘s upcoming Home Reno & Design Seminar on Wednesday, April 26th from 6-8 pm at our studio in Lakefield. For more details & to sign up, call 705-652-5241 or email

Article Submitted by Kawartha Chamber Member & Guest Blogger:

Emily Craigen, Kawartha Lakes Construction
3359 Lakefield Road, Lakefield

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