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Research is key to renovations

Work out details of your project ahead of time to avoid headaches

The thought of renovating should be exciting and exhilarating and yet for many it becomes a very stressful, un-enjoyable experience.

Part of the tension comes from the fact that the majority of people undertaking a renovation have never done it before and don't know what to expect or where to start.

The place to start is with some research - they say "the devil is in the details" and when it comes to renovating, this saying rings true.

There can be an overwhelming amount of decisions to make for any project, and the best way to get a handle on them is planning ahead and working out the details before the project starts.

The parts of a renovation that cause the most stress tend to be the budget and the schedule. By working out the details of the project ahead of time, these are much easier to control.

Knowing the products that will be used in the renovation allows them to be ordered in advance of when they are needed on site. It also helps with the budget as the pricing of items as well as the quantities is worked out in advance, so there are no surprises.

Investigating items like mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as the house's structure early in the planning stages will allow for informed decisions to be made.

Significant alterations in these areas will have considerable effect on a project budget, so knowing what is involved is important.

Another thing to consider would be local bylaws, building setbacks, etc. Many homeowners assume they can make any alterations they want to their house.

This is not the case, and doing some research before getting too far into a project can prevent disappointment.

Whether tackling a renovation yourself or hiring professionals to help along the way, the best thing that can be done is detailed pre-construction planning. Making sure the desired changes can be done, controlling the costs and timeline, and taking steps to reduce stress will help to ensure that the experience is an enjoyable one.