7 Tips for Making Your Renovation Easier

House on Barksdale Drive, renovation under construction

For most people a home is their biggest single investment, so planning and renovating wisely is extremely important.

“Often a house has everything desired in term of location but has design flaws, outdated floor plans or needs more square footage. With careful design an old house can become better than when it was new” explains William Edward Summers, the principal of South Vancouver Island and California based design firm William Edward Summers Creative Projects.

Summers’ new book “The Keep It Simple Guide to Renovation” provides homeowners with a clear path to successfully completing a renovation project.

1) Thoroughly understand your building’s zoning designation including the parking requirements. Allowable building set backs, height limitations and lot coverage are also important details

2) Use your architect/designer’s design development concept plans to obtain a more accurate preliminary estimate from your builder and better response from your banker. A visual is worth a thousand words.

3) Give your architect/designer enough time to make thorough plans. It is much less expensive and stressful to make your design decisions on paper rather than during construction.

4) Use an intermediary to facilitate communication with your builder. This will help alleviate stress and confusion during the construction process.

5) Avoid panic by adding 15% to any final estimate for budgeting purposes. Renovation is a process that frequently has unanticipated variables that add expense.

6) Let your builder or architect/designer do the permit processing. As the project owner you may be too emotionally close to the process to be able to deal with the building officials objectively and without anxiety.

7) Think about long term usage with your renovation and consider designing for accessibility and energy conservation.

The New Book “The Keep It Simple Guide to Renovation” by William Edward Summers is available for free until mid summer at:

Orinda Transformation 2004


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