David Babakaiff

Remodeling can transform your home and potentially even build equity — but it can be more difficult to manage than those television shows would have you believe. The remodel you have envisioned can be achieved on schedule and within your budget, however, as long as you make plenty of preparations and work with experienced home contractors in Vancouver.

At Alair Homes, we have helped numerous homeowners through the remodeling process for their first time. It’s a collaborative process that needs your input and leadership, but we also know how to steer the project with expertise and thoughtful help along the way. Here are our favourite tips to get started remodeling your Vancouver home:

Take note

You have a lot of great ideas in your head. The more you have written down or collected digitally, the better. Make use of Pinterest and other online idea boards, and save clippings from magazines like Dwell. Bring pictures and ideas on paper when you meet with contractors to get the remodeling project going smoothly. This applies throughout the process as well — get things in writing and keep a binder of important contact info, dates, product numbers and color codes, and so forth.

Who’s running the show?

The most popular home remodeling projects in Vancouver typically involve several types of labour. Even a basic kitchen or bathroom remodel will require carpenters, plumbers, and electricians in addition to designers and architects. Many homeowners attempt to manage their own remodel, with mixed results. If you do so, be prepared to juggle schedules and spend plenty of your time managing the project hands-on. General contractors provide value in several ways: sourcing the best craftsmen for each task, managing schedules and payment for subcontractors, and coordinating the project toward a timely finish.

West 32nd Avenue
Photo by Alair Homes VancouverBrowse contemporary kitchen photos

Be specific in the contract

Unless the remodeling contract stipulates certain techniques and materials, contractors will use their best judgment to decide how to complete the job on-budget. The more you specify, the better the remodel will follow your priorities and preferences. Be prudent and assume that everything you envision needs to be spelled out clearly for the contractors. Changing items mid-project or after the fact can spike the costs and delay completion.

What could go wrong?

Remodeling often uncovers hidden problems like mold or faulty electrical wiring. Vancouver homes, and throughout the west coast of British Columbia, can be prone to moisture problems inside walls and under flooring. Even if you have recently had the home inspected, be prepared for delays and repair costs along the way. Reserve approximately 10% of your budget for overruns due to unforeseeable problems.

Consider a staycation

At the end of each day, some areas of the home may be somewhat unusable — particularly if you need a bathroom or kitchen remodel. If possible, make plans to book a hotel during remodeling. This might be a fantastic opportunity to spend a few days in Coal Harbour or the Sunshine Coast. As long as you’ve found a trustworthy remodeling contractor, you can step away to avoid any inconvenience and let the work get completed as quickly as possible.

When you are ready to discuss plans with a contractor — or if you have preliminary questions to get going — please contact us at Alair Homes for more information about our process. We promise transparency, excellent service, and friendly communications every step of the way.