Most people build a new home or redesign an existing one in order to make life easier. We live busy lives and want our homes to be a place for escaping the busyness, sharing time with friends and family and to be part of a chosen community. Unfortunately, the road to this domestic comfort can be littered with many ups and down.
In the more than 30 years that we have been in business, we have helped many homeowners build or renovate their dream home. As a ‘full-service’ company, part of our job is to guide our client’s toward best practices in the building industry. This ensures the best experience possible while accomplishing the end result they want.
Here are a few of the things we have learned are important to consider before beginning a new project. Part of our goal when working with clients is to minimize stress levels and create your dream space for you as seamlessly as possible.
Here are 5 things that are important to consider before starting a renovation or new build.
1.GOALS & OBJECTIVES: Start with the end in mind. Being clear about your reasons for a build or reno is the starting point. When you know how you want the end to look, you can lay out the steps to get there. Being vague or unclear about why you’re starting a new build may lead to a series of unnecessary steps. And when that costs you time and money, it will cause you stress. Consider the future when setting these goals. Asking yourself some simple questions can help you focus your objectives. Is your family likely to grow? Will you invite an aging parent to come live with you? Are you planning to sell? Do you want to use the new space to generate income?
2. STRUCTURAL LIMITATIONS: We stand behind you as the expert on what you want in your new home or renovation. But keep in mind we are the design and build experts. Sometimes we may need to consider structural limitations that stand in the way of your layout ideas. With our experience, we are able to help you work within realistic parameters to meet your desired goal. Factors like load bearing walls and building codes will determine what is possible in terms of removing walls, raising ceilings or installing windows. So keep an open mind and know that we will definitely do everything we can to get you the look you’re after.
3. FUNCTIONALITY: Based on the goals & objectives you chose at the beginning, you want to ensure the space you are building or recreating is fully functional in order to meet your needs. That means choosing the layout very carefully and preferably in conjunction with an expert. The most important factors to consider are comfort, convenience and safety. What that looks like can vary from room to room. So be sure that this has been well thought out. Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions from a qualified professional.
4. CONSIDER TECHNOLOGY: These days, it’s easy to incorporate some wonderful Home Automation products that help keep you safe, manage energy consumption, and provide entertainment. These can be real selling factors if you decide to sell down the road home or they can simplify life for you if you’ve got a big and busy household. Control light or shade options from a variety of different remote options including a smartphone. It’s possible to link speakers, lighting, air conditioning and other controls can to one central hub that can be preset to match your lifestyle. It’s even possible to use sensors to control specific elements in individual rooms. There really is no end to the possibilities. BUT… adding this after the build is done will be much more difficult and expensive than including any automation in the original plan. So consider what features will really add to your lifestyle and consider them as part of the original strategy of a project.
5. FRIENDS & FAMILY: Of course they are as excited as you are about the work being done. And like you, they cannot wait to take a look. But, it has been our experience that inviting people over before the renovation is finished can cause tension. Often they want to share their ideas about how things should be and that could get you second guessing your decisions. Or defending your choices. Remember, we will work with you ahead of time to determine your goals, objectives, and priorities. Halfway through a project is not the time to start questioning your decisions. To keep stress levels and even costs at a minimum, save the project reveal until it’s all done!
Our primary goal at Well Balanced Designs is to ensure that all aspects of your project are properly addressed. That’s why we take care of all aspects of a building project. It enables our team to simplify choices and easily coordinate all moving pieces. That in turn, results in our clients loving the end result. Which is always our goal.
If you’d like to find out how we can work with you on any large scale renovations, new home builds and laneway homes in the Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler areas please contact us at 604.669.5551. Give us a call, we’d love to get to know you!