Renovating a home requires plenty of time, money, and patience. However, if you have the right plan and mindset about the process, the project will be rewarding and even fun.

Many homeowners dive into renovating with lofty dreams and unrealistic expectations for the process. Here are four things to keep in mind when planning a home renovation.


A commitment to a specific and realistic goal will help reduce unnecessary time in the messy process. Renovations can be stressful, and it might be hard to strategize when you’re surrounded by loose drywall and lumber. Instead, take a moment to plan while you can still be comfortable.

Making a list of your wants and needs will help clarify exactly what you want — and don’t want — from the project. Try discussing your plan with friends and family you can count on for honest feedback. If your plan sounds bad on paper, it will definitely cause a mess when you’re knee-deep in the project.

Planning your goals ahead of time also allows you to consider the aesthetic and functional changes you want to make to your home. Aesthetics help your home look good and make it a more pleasant place to live. Ignoring functionality, however, could make the space unlivable. Try to balance aesthetics and functionality. Even better, try to combine both to save time and money.


Homeowners preparing for renovation should consider a line from the poet Robert Burns: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Life is unpredictable, and the home renovation process can be even more uncertain. Structural issues could surface, contractors could leave, and costs could rise.

This isn’t to say that you should throw out the goals list from step one. Rather, you should use this list to prioritise what you want to fight for when issues arise. Sometimes you won’t get everything you want, and some things may need to be substituted. However, your goals can serve as good landmarks to keep you on track through the process.


Used with permission of Patterson Custom Homes, Brandon Architects and photographer Darlene Halaby

As mentioned in step two, renovations are unpredictable and messy. You can take back a bit of control by deep cleaning your house and removing as much stuff as possible.

Renovations often involve moving or breaking down heavy appliances and cabinets that have been there for years. The socks wedged under your laundry machine and the lost keys behind your refrigerator will all come out when the house gets torn apart for the renovation. You’ll no longer have a place to store extra dishes while your kitchen is being redone.

Make things easier for yourself by reducing the amount of stuff you have in your house. Pack away plates, containers, and silverware. Sell, store, or give away paintings and decorations that will get in the way. Deep clean all around the future project sites to make sure there are no rude surprises.


Roofs need to be regularly inspected, repaired, and renovated, depending on the type. A damaged roof risks water leakage, structural damage, and potential health issues from mould build-up. Roofs are vital to your home’s structure, so spare no expense to keep your roof in shape. Plus, roof damage progresses over time, so it will cost you less to keep your roof in shape than waiting for the damage to reveal itself. 

White house exterior
Used with permission of Jenny Keenan

If your roof is old and your utility bills have been high, there’s a good chance your roof isn’t offering the thermal protection it should. The cost of replacing an old roof’s materials is a great investment in saving money on heating and cooling in the long run.

You may also want to consider repairing or upgrading your roof ventilation system. Drainage is also important. Toss a bucket of water in the eave gutters to test the system’s efficiency. If you don’t see water flow out the downpipes, there’s a good chance there’s blockage and potentially mould building up on your roof.

Cleaning out gutters can be a messy, time-consuming project, so consider upgrading your system with a gutter guard in your next renovation. Gutter guards are attached just outside of a roof gutter and keep leaves and other gunk out, preventing costly repairs in the future. Find a gutter guard that fits your system to ensure your gutters can do their job well.


As you keep these tips in mind, don’t fear the process! All homeowners need to deal with renovations at some point, and it can be fun and rewarding if you approach the process with a plan and realistic expectations.

Leave a comment below to share tips with other homeowners on what to consider with home renovation.

Thanks to heckhome.com for consulting.

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