Are thinking about building or renovating your existing home?
Investing your time up front to clearly define your home goals is the perfect place to start. It will provide clarity for you and your family and make the building process easier.
What’s Motivating Your Renovation or Rebuilding?
Have you and your family outgrown your home and are you in need of more space? Does the layout of your home drive you crazy and you want to improve the flow? Is your home outdated and in need of a refresh? Once you have nailed down what’s motivating your reno or rebuild, it’s time to start researching and organizing your ideas.
Your Vision: Style & Design
Envision or brainstorm on your own, with your partner and/or with your whole family. Doing this will help you figuring out what you likes & dislikes are.
Get some poster board and build a vision wall. It is fun and interactive way to organize and visualize your preferences. Design websites and magazines can be great resources for you. Houzz and Pintrest are two popular online sources for inspiration. If you prefer old school magazines, there are many to choose from including: House & Home, Style at Home, Azure, Dwell, Prestige Design and Homefront.
If using Houzz or Pintrest we’ve found it valuable to create folders or boards. Create one each room of the house to organize the design ideas. What you save should inspire you or be things you’d like to emulate. These can be a valuable point of reference to show your designers or builders.
Next, we suggest you define what are your must-haves elements. Then prioritize some of the nice to have ideas you have generated.
Once you’ve come up with your wish list, it’s time to take a step back and determine how much you can and want to invest in the project. In reality there is always an unknown element with renovations. We recommend clients build a 10-20% contingency into their budget to account for inevitable and unforeseen discoveries that may arise. Knowing how much you can afford and sharing this information with your building team (builder, architect, designer) from the very beginning is critical to set you all up for success.
Pick Your Team
Building a new home or doing a whole home renovation will likely be one of your family’s largest lifetime investments. It will typically take at least 12 months to complete if you’re in the Greater Vancouver Area.
Unless, home building & renovations is already your career, it is worth finding and working with a reputable homebuilder.
We suggest you start by talking with your family, friends and neighbours. Maybe walk through your neighbourhood with your family and snap pictures of worksites of builders already working around your home?
Some key factors to consider when choosing your builder include:
- Credentials – licenses, insurance and members or professional associations like Vancouver Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) and Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA)
- References and Past Work – Don’t be afraid to ask for past client references before you sign a contract with a builder and check online for client reviews.
- Style – Make sure the builder you choose has experience constructing homes that match your design style.
- Chemistry – Communicate online, on the phone and in person with your prospective builders. Ensure they are good communicators and you feel that they hear what you want and are transparent and trustworthy.
- Price – Get a preliminary budget from the builder(s) to make sure you’re in the same ballpark.
Make a list and reach out to them by phone or email. Feel out your chemistry with them. Ask about their experiences and resources and get references of clients with similar projects to yours. Any experienced builder should give you some past clients to contact as references.
If you live in Vancouver give us a call at 604.356.0051 or get in touch with us through our contact form to explore if we can help you with your new custom home building project.