McKenzie Lake: product picking

McKenzie Lake: product picking

Product picking is personally what I think is the best stage when renovating. Or at least the most exciting stage. By picking products, you are giving others sight to what you’ve been envisioning from the beginning. If you’re like me, you’d be the type of person who could spend hours in a store looking at different colours and textures. I love determining whether a certain tile would look good with the wall paint and wooden floor. Likewise, your decisions at this stage will affect the feel of each room. It’s an exciting challenge to stay within budget while achieving your dream home.

 

 

Here is what we’ve been envisioning for our McKenzie Lake project.

 

Bathroom

Before we took a sledgehammer to the bathroom, the photo to the left is what the tub looked like. It was old-fashioned with yellow tile surrounding the tub. The bathtub area had great potential being located near the windows, so we wanted to use that advantage.

Our vision, to the right, is for the bathroom to be something clean and modern. This photo from Houzz.com gives you an idea of what we are hoping to achieve; a free-standing bathtub, surrounded by windows and preferably dark grey tile.

 

This bathroom from Houzz.com has a bit more of a country look to it, but the classic colours and free-standing tub give you a glimpse of our hopes for our bathroom.

 

 

Kitchen

As you’ve seen from before, the kitchen had some room for improvement. To refresh your memory, I’ve posted a picture to the left. Between the kitchen’s vintage cupboards and modern tile back-splash, the room needed some consistency.

 

Our inspiration for the kitchen comes from the photo on the right. Clearly, the space we have to work with is not near as large as what’s in this photo. However, the slick feel of the kitchen along with the grey and white colour combination are the qualities we hope to transfer over to McKenzie Lake.

 

Things to remember:

  • Stay within budget. Don’t purchase an expensive tile when you can find a similar one for less.
  • Some product might take time to get to you, such as carpet or countertops. Be prepared.
  • Save the excess. Keep some leftover materials, such as carpet, paint and tiles. You never know if the future may need you to fix a dent or two.
  • Don’t get decorative items such as plants or bath rugs until everything is put together.

Before we renovate…

When you get your hands on a new project, it can be hard to hold yourself back from knocking cupboards down and ripping out baseboards. That’s how we felt with the McKenzie Lake home. It’s our first project of the year and we wanted to get started! Instead, we had to make sure we went through the 10 stages of pre-renovation. To show the importance of going through these steps, we will show you what we did with the McKenzie Lake home.

 

Get to know the house

For those who followed us through our blogs about pre-renovation, we stressed the point of getting to know your home and what needed to be done. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we did the same. To know how much it would cost and how long it would take, we walked through the house to determine what needed to be done. Through this process, we created a budget for ourselves. We saw jobs which we knew how to do ourselves, and we saw where we needed to bring professionals in. In addition, we determined what areas we would be willing to give up working on if things got too expensive.

 

 

Take pictures!

This is not necessarily a step that is a must, but it’s one that will be satisfying in the long run. Take pictures of the before, the during and the after. You could even do a panorama of the room. Being able to see the change all your hard work accomplished will be incredibly satisfying. A tip to keep in mind though: make sure you remember the position and angle you took the original photo. By doing this, you’ll truly see the difference your efforts made.

 

 

Get estimates

At this stage, we needed to get contractors in. We knew what needed to be done and it was time to find out how much it cost. It’s very important to stay within our financial plan. To do so, we told the contractors what our rough budget was before they walked through the house. As our Transformation Director, Karen Ingram-Johnson, said, “You get a different result if you say, ‘how much will it cost’ vs. ‘this is what we have to spend’”. After receiving various quotes from contractors, we picked the one the fit best with our plans and budget.

 

Adjustments to plans 

For the McKenzie Lake project, there was not a lot of structural change that needed to be done. Instead, we wanted to focus on redoing the kitchen and the bathrooms. We also hope to remove the arched doorways as they are an outdated style. Basically, we want to clean up the home and give it a fresh look. During our first walkthrough, we wanted to knock down a wall between the kitchen and the dining room, but after the contractors came in we discovered the wall had water pipes and air ducts inside. The cost to make that change was higher than our budget, so we needed to adjust our plan for the kitchen.

 

Create a demo list

To help save costs, it’s useful to start demoing before the contractors come in. It will do two things; save them work and save your money. We suggest making a list of what you can take down and get rid of yourself.

 

Now we are off to demoing! Follow our renovation process on our Instagram where you’ll get more pictures and videos to follow along with.

 


Time is money

Renovating a house is a project therefore it will take a bit of time to complete. We’ve already warned you to expect the transformation of your home to take longer than what contractors say, however there are other factors you should consider in regards to time. You’d be surprised how many things could affect the time frame of your renovation, which ultimately effects your wallet.

 

Live in the house first

 

The best advice for new home owners that I’d ever heard of was to live in the house before you plan your renovation. You may know that no matter what you’ll be renovating, but the key is to know what it is about your house that needs the renovating. Get to know your house and how you and your family use it every day. What you once thought was the most important change needed may fall down the list when you discover which rooms you use more. Likewise, as the seasons change you may realize you use the house differently. What you originally thought would be a good plan in the winter might turn out to not be a poor idea for the summer. Don’t rush into the renovation, make sure you know what it is that you need.

 

All at once or one at a time? 

Once you’ve made that priority list we suggested you make in step one, think about doing it room by room or all at once. Get advice from your contractor as well. There may be smaller renovations you can do in the slow winter months that will be more cost effective to you and reduce the chaos that comes with doing it all at once.

 

Regularly check in on the project 

During the process of your renovation, don’t feel afraid to check in on the contractor’s work. Miscommunication is a natural thing for humans. What one may envision in their head and described so clearly by them may be interpreted completely different by the other. Before a contractor makes a mistake that becomes expensive to fix, catch it before it goes any further. Not only will it cost money to be adjusted, but it will also extend the time it takes for your renovation to be complete.

 

Be prepared

In addition to mistakes being made in how you wanted something done, also be prepared for parts to take time to arrive. For example, the specific tiles you wanted for your kitchen may get back ordered and take a couple weeks to come in, therefore putting your contractors back. Or the custom sink you got doesn’t fit for some reason so you need to figure out an alternative plan. These are things that will cost you time and money, and if you’re not prepared for it: your sanity. Anything can happen during the renovation process, so do your best to be ready for it.

 

 Economy

Finally, the last thing you should consider is the economy. How is it effecting you and is it the best time to start a renovation? Granted, you can’t control what the economy does, but it’s something good to consider before you take on a huge project.


Details and design!

Perfect. You have prioritized what needs to be renovated and now it’s time for the fun stuff. Let your creativity shine and focus on the smaller details of the project. For some, this may be overwhelming, while others find it exciting. Either way, it’s a step that must be taken.

Search online

In general, the first place people go to for ideas is online. Not only can you get inspiration here, but you also easily discover the price it might cost. Searching online is a great place to start. Collect the ideas you love, get your significant other involved and go back to those ideas. The top two websites that encourage the flow of creativity are Houzz and Pinterest.

Houzz

To those of you who don’t know about this site, it has everything a homeowner needs and wants to know. With Houzz, you can easily find prices for a new kitchen faucet, photo inspiration for your family room, articles on design tips and access to contacting professionals for the bigger jobs.

Pinterest

The most common place people go to for inspiration is Pinterest. If you don’t already have an account, you might as well get one. Not only are there thousands of ideas in any category you choose to look through, but it’s also easy to save ideas you love so that you can look back at them again later.

Pick your colours

Sometimes picking the color scheme of your room seems nearly impossible. Something looks off and you can’t put your finger on it. A suggestion for helping you narrow in on the colours is looking at what you already own. Is there any piece of furniture or work of art that you absolutely love? If so, start there with the hues and tones in that object and incorporate them into your room design. This will save you money as you won’t need to buy a couch for your living room or art for your bathroom.

Look at your budget

Your budget is especially important at this stage because you will be making decisions that could be costly in the long term. For example, it’s easier to change up the colour of your walls then to buy a new sofa every time you need a change. You will also need to consider size and placement before you go through purchasing furniture. Your living room might not allow for a sectional but it would look lovely with a love seat and sofa. Think about it and don’t rush into making purchases. Compare prices and see how you’re able to stay within your budget.

Throughout the whole renovation process, continuously analyzing your budget is normal. Never avoid this process, because then you take the risk of spending more than you planned.