Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re asking this question, chances are you are hedging. Ask yourself why you want to build new? If you love your neighbourhood, sometimes it’s more cost-effective to simply renovate within your home’s original footprint. A good interior designer will help you see space opportunities you may never have thought of. On the other hand, if renovating your home will transform it into the most expensive property in the neighbourhood, and you are worried about reselling soon, you may want to consider whether moving to a new home or building new has more upside. A conversation with your realtor may be helpful here. If you’d like to compare the cost of both scenarios, we can do a feasibility study to make sure your final decision is based on facts instead of generic estimates.
In a temperate rainforest climate like Victoria, it’s often easier to get exterior work on the roof, chimneys, siding, etc done in the Summer and Fall. But with proper rain coverage and equipment, exterior work can be done in Victoria at any time of the year because the temperatures are relatively stable. And because we have a full roster of in-house office, design, and production staff, we can accommodate your project at any time of year. Most interior renovations are unaffected by the weather. In fact, material suppliers often face less demand in winter, resulting in fewer delays due to shortages.
It’s a question every home owner wants to answer. If you are looking for a ballpark cost, we’d be happy to have a discussion with you to determine the feasibility of your project. The truth is that no square foot estimate will do your project justice, because every project is unique. To avoid disappointment down the road, we recommend clients use our pre-construction services to determined a firm fixed cost. If you are looking for general ideas, Houzz has some great resources for you to consider.
If you can afford to, by all means, move out. Or time that long awaited vacation to happen at the same time (with our online project tracking software, this is what many of our clients do). That said, if you have a smaller renovation — a bathroom that is not your only source for showering and toileting, for example — then staying is not a big deal because the work will be localized to a small area and be over relatively quickly. Do you have pets or small children? Even more of a reason to vacate. Both will find the noise and activity stressful. No matter how many things we do to accommodate your needs (we use a negative-pressure dust extractor at all times), you will still find your day-to-day routine disrupted. One affordable alternative is to rent a trailer or motorhome and park it on your property (while still allowing easy access to contractors and trades). Here’s a great article on Houzz that outlines the things you may not have considered.
Before you get started, you’ll no doubt have lots of questions to ask your prospective contractor. Questions like: how feasible is this, what process do we follow, how much will it cost. Our approach is to gather some basic information over the phone first to see if we are a good fit, and then to schedule an in-person consultation to meet you personally and ask (and answer) the deeper questions. After this meeting, we may recommend a feasibility study to firm up an estimate. We’ll look into permitting and zoning restrictions, and investigate the quality of your home’s systems — including structural, electrical, plumbing, and more. Doing this minimizes surprises from occurring later on. We’ll then do a pre-construction agreement, which includes written specifications, scope of work, and master schedule. Contracts are signed. Construction begins. Here’s a full breakdown of our renovation process.