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Tips for Successful and Stress Free Home Renovation Projects

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Tackling a renovation project can be both rewarding and challenging. Unlike building a home from scratch, you’re never starting with a clean slate. Renovations are often complicated, as you need to correct the mistakes of the previous owners, as well as to deal with unforeseen issues and costs. While being prepared is essential, before you take on your own renovation, make sure you’ve run through the rest of these tips.  

Plan everything carefully

When you’re about to spend some serious dollars, your better make a plan of what goes where before you hit the ground. Failing to do so can result in unnecessary post-reparations which cost even more. Don’t forget to establish a timescale of renovations, to make sure any changes to the structure and finish go before replacing fittings and fixtures, which in their turn go before painting, window upgrades, and lighting.

Document everything

You need a budget sheet that outlines every detail of furniture, finishes, and fittings. This is an essential part of any interior design project, as it includes details such as door hardware, paint, lights, locations, prices, the lead time, and other specific requirements. When you see how your costs are spreading throughout the project, it’ll be easier for you to foresee items that may lean heavily on the budget, and replace them with cost-effective alternatives without compromising the result.

Choose materials wisely

Even the most contemporary minimalistic spaces can be made much cosier with the right choice of materials. While striking a balance between functionality and aesthetic can be challenging, carpets in bedroom and natural stone in common rooms can make a nice combination. While a lot of homeowners avoid natural stone because they think it shows wear quickly, the latest sealants and protective coats can make a stone floor impervious to normal wear and tear, as well as resistant to spills and dirt.

Customise storage to your needs

While seeing storage options on a home improvement TV program is one thing, make the changes to match your style of living is another. Kid’s wardrobes, for example, can fit more shelves per unit, since their clothes are much smaller, while you should design the kitchen storage that matches your appliances and utensils. In both cases, built-in solutions offer the less cluttered look, with great backdrops. You can even hide your cables by wiring the appliances into custom-made cabinets.  

Have someone evaluate your budget

For most people, coming up with a budget is like making a shopping list and adding a proverbial 20% margin. However, if you enlist licensed quantity surveyors from the early start, they can get you more accurate estimates on every aspect of the job, even saving you some money in the process. Have a certified quantity surveyor inspect, assess, and record the value of items you’re planning to dispense with. Things like old window furnishes, floor coverings, and many other items have a residual value that can be written off and claimed as a tax deduction. Such scrapping costs can literally earn you some money, especially if the property isn’t too old.

Design a floorplan with future in mind

While the final floor layout is as much of a personal thing as anything else, keep in mind that every change might affect the ventilation scheme, traffic flow, and lighting fixtures. If you’ve decided to relocate doors or windows, make sure you have enough wall space, as well as floor space to accommodate all your furniture. Feng shui or not, it’s always better to have a clear path through your rooms. If you’re not sure what to do with the floorplan arrangement, take a walk through empty rooms and see what would be the most natural way of moving from one to the next.  

Give bathroom to the experts

While moving plumbing pipes and fixtures is generally not recommended unless absolutely necessary, if you decide to do it, bring along an interior designer to make sure your plumber has the correct inputs. Keep in mind that re-routing even a single fixture costs a lot, and once concrete slabs have been poured, plumbing and wires laid in, going back and undoing mistakes isn’t easy at all. A friendly renovator’s tip: make sure the toilet is away from view and make the centerpiece, which is usually the vanity, the first thing a visitor sees when stepping through the door.  

Small details, big impact

After you’ve gone through heavy-duty renovation phases, details like power points, switches, and fans might seem insignificant. However, in order to prevent them from appearing all of a sudden in the wrong spot, you need to work out their position, as well. Make sure your new home layout isn’t missing on power points, and try to keep as much of wiring hidden in the floors, walls, or ceiling as possible – which is especially tricky in open-plan spaces.

No two home renovations turn out the same, however, you should still follow certain guidelines to avoid unnecessary work and retracing your steps.

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Real Estate

A Pre-Approval Does Not Guarantee a Mortgage Approval

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You’ve gone through all the steps, jumped through all the hoops to start living your dream life in a new house. However, before you get too excited about your mortgage pre-approval, be warned that for Canadians, this doesn’t always guarantee a mortgage approval. Here’s how you can easily ensure that you get the property you desire.

Why is Mortgage Not Ensured from the Pre-Approval?

A pre-approval is still an important step to take to eventually lay the ground for a mortgage. It tells the seller of the house that you’re serious and ready to buy. While this step can be infinitely helpful in getting a mortgage, it’s not guaranteed.

The lender doesn’t yet know the property that you’re interested in. Depending on the cost of your future property, the pre-approval may not allow you to open a mortgage for houses above your means.

Pre-approval lets the seller know that your credit is worthy of buying a house, but will not necessarily qualify the buyer for every property out there.

How Can you Ensure you Obtain the House you Want?

Along with the assurance of a pre-approval, you can also take a few steps to ensure a future mortgage.

  1. Have a Great Credit Score. Credit scores show the lender how trustworthy you are with paying back a big purchase. In Canada, credit scores run from 300 to 900. A score of 660 or higher is ideal for getting approved for a mortgage. With a better credit score, you’ll be offered the lowest mortgage rates, which is great for your wallet.
  2. Supply a Larger Down Payment. In Canada, a down payment of less than 20% will require you to get mortgage default loan insurance. Bypass this step by saving up a larger down payment to go in with.
  3. Pay off Debt. A mortgage is not an easy weight to take on. Long-term debt in your name is created when you open up a mortgage. Make sure that your pre-existing debt is paid off before jumping into a new debt payment. This will also be more credible to the banks prospective.
  4. Test out Scenarios. Use a mortgage calculator to see what price range of houses are affordable with your current financial situation. A mortgage calculator will estimate the total monthly payment, including real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance, that is required for purchasing a home. The calculator will save scenarios to pull up later in order to adjust the calculations to new situational changes. Comparisons of multiple circumstances or housing prices are easily obtained to clearly see what aspects of the purchase process are of importance. In addition, with this Canadian mortgage calculator, a schedule of payments can be printed to show how much the balance due is reduced each month.

What Was the Inspiration?

The perfect house is out there waiting for you to move into! However, be sure to do more than just getting a simple pre-approval. While this pre-approval is helpful in a home search, it’s by no means a guarantee to a mortgage. Keep all these tips in mind while searching for your new residence and stay realistic in what amount of debt you want to take on.

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This Ontario Manor Has More Rooms Than You Could Use & Costs Under $1 Million (PHOTOS)

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It turns out that some Ontario family homes are basically mini-mansions.

This Ontario house for sale comes with more rooms than you’ll ever probably need, and it will cost you less than a small Toronto home would.

The house is in Milverton, Ontario, which is a short drive away from Kitchener.

The listing was built in 1910 and has a ton of rooms, plus it sits on over an acre of land.

There are 12 rooms in all, but that doesn’t include the attic and fully renovated garage.

With that much space comes some pretty unique features, like this amazing vintage safe that’s hidden away in the house.

The house’s turret also lends itself to some unique interior room shapes as well.

There are five bedrooms, which will come in handy when you can have friends and family stay at your place again.

Outside of the house, the barn/garage comes with its own spacious interior.

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Real Estate

8 Of The Cheapest Homes You Can Get Around Ottawa (PHOTOS)

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Not all houses in the National Capital Region come with an enormous price tag. Luckily, there are still some affordable homes for sale around Ottawa if you’re on a tight budget.

The average price of a home in Ottawa is $591,413, according to Zoocasa. But if you’re willing to look outside of the city, you can find much cheaper options.

Here are eight incredible places to live that will make you eager to pack up your stuff and move, including one home with a pool.

Five-Bedroom Home

Price: $299,900

Address: 981 Dianne Ave., Rockland, ON

Description: If you crave a separate space for your home office, this five-bedroom home with a garage has tons of room.

Constance Lake Retreat

Price: $260,000

Address: 168 Constance Lake Rd., Ottawa, ON

Description: While living here, you can enjoy swimming in the pool and the picturesque lake view.

Two-Bedroom Duplex

Price: $259,900

Address: 138 Rue Archambault, Gatineau, QC

Description: This duplex has so much potential and is only a short drive from restaurants and stores.

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