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What Could Go Wrong in a Home Renovation?

man measuring floors for home renovation project

Top Home Renovation Mistakes

(And Tips to Avoid Them)

There are so many things to keep in mind when renovating your home. You have to juggle budgets, materials, labour, time and more. It’s no wonder that it can be easy to fall into tricky, costly and time-consuming mistakes. As a custom home carpentry company on Red Deer, we have seen a lot of these mistakes made by DIYers and less experienced contractors. We’ve compiled a list of the top mistakes we see, how we at Homestead avoid them in our renovation projects and how you can too. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your home renovation on-time, on budget and safe.

The Top 3 Home Renovation Mistakes

home renovation project materials

1. Setting an unrealistic budget & timeline

This is one is by far the most common renovation mistake we see homeowners make. Home renovations invariably cost more than expected and often unforeseen circumstances lead to a longer build time than you predicted.

How You Can Avoid this Mistake

We recommend padding your budget and timeline from the start. About a 20% buffer for unexpected costs and 2 weeks to account for any issues that may delay the work slightly should give you enough wiggle room.

Homestead’s Solution

From the very beginning, we are up-front about all foreseeable costs involved and will present you with a detailed and easily understandable budget for your project. This helps prevent unexpected future frustrations and cost overruns. Further, to avoid cost overruns, we set aside a reserve budget to handle unplanned contingencies alongside the budget. Proper planning and accurate projections are important from the beginning to schedule scope and scheduled baselines.

2. Choosing the cheapest contractor and materials

When you decide to bring in professional help, one of the first things you should do is collect estimates from a handful of reputable contractors. It can be tempting to try to save money and go with the lowest quote you receive. However, you truly do get what you pay for. By selecting your cheapest option, you may be cutting corners or missing out on some important services that are worth the extra expense.

How You Can Avoid this Mistake

From the beginning, make sure your contractor understands what you want. Ask lots of questions about materials, layout and the construction process. Don’t select based on price alone but on references and the feeling that you could work well with them.

Homestead’s Solution

Homestead Custom Carpentry is a member of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association and RenoMark and subscribes to the highest standards of professionalism in the renovation industry. In fact, The Canadian Home Builders Association of Central Alberta (CHBA-CA) presented Homestead with the Home Builder of the Year in 2012 and The Safety Leadership Award for Renovations. We are proud of our reputation for quality workmanship and for the high-quality materials we use. Alongside the manufacturer’s warranty on the products we offer, we back our work with a guarantee against all product and installation defects for our own work and that of our sub-trades. We seek to avoid the necessity of call-backs wherever possible.

3. Underestimating the safety risks

Neglecting your own safety will not only impede your project, but it can also cause you serious physical harm. We see this a lot with DIY projects. Home renovations can be expensive  – it’s no surprise that many think that going DIY is the solution. However, it’s only the right choice if you have the proper skills and experience. If you’re going mainly on guesswork, you could end up causing major problems to the structure of your home and to your own safety.

How You Can Avoid this Mistake

Before deciding to make your home renovation a DIY project ask yourself: Have I done any large-scale home maintenance projects before? Do I have the specialized knowledge required to tackle tasks like electrical work and plumbing? If you answered no to any of those questions, you should probably bring in the professionals. If you feel confident in your DIY abilities – always wear protective clothing such as work boots, safety goggles, hearing protection and gloves when working.

Homestead’s Solution

Homestead follows a strict adherence to Red Deer home builder safety guidelines. We are fully insured, to protect our employees, sub-trades, and your home and family. Our employees attend safety certification courses and are committed to maintaining a safe and organized job-site.

A well-thought-out home renovation should give you the aesthetic and space you’re after. We hope this list of mistakes to avoid will help you achieve a safe and successful renovation – before you start swinging hammers and tearing out drywall.

Check out some of our projects in our gallery.
Considering a home renovation project? Contact us!

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4 Custom Cabinet Design Ideas For Small Kitchens

window above sink with maple wood cabinets and drawers in kitchen with grey granite countertops and real wood cabinets interior kitchen renovations red deer

One of the biggest trends in home renovations and custom home builds are huge, open kitchens. As experienced custom carpenters, we want to debunk a kitchen remodel myth. You don’t need a massive space to create a functional and beautiful kitchen you love to be in! If you’re renovating your kitchen but don’t have a lot of room to work with – don’t worry. Based on our custom carpentry experience, we have the custom cabinet design hacks so your kitchen doesn’t feel cramped or cluttered – no matter how small it is.

Storage, Storage, Storage! 

Custom cabinet design for small kitchens

  • Recess Storage

    • When renovating, tuck your pantry, shelving or cabinets into the wall to keep from obstructing the flow of the kitchen. These recess storage units are a great way to make the most of a small space. These can be trimmed and finished by a custom carpenter to match the woodwork of the rest of the kitchen.
  • Hidden Storage 

    • When designing your custom cabinets for your small kitchen, find sneaky and creative ways to include some extra storage. One way is building a corner appliance garage into the cabinet design on your countertop. An appliance garage conceals small appliances like toasters or coffee makers and eliminates clutter while keeping everything easily accessible. See some of these small space solutions.

Materials Make a Difference

  • Glass Panelled Cabinet Doors

    • By designing your custom cabinets with glass panels in the door, you let the eye travel deeper. This is an easy way to make your small kitchen feel more expansive and the walls farther away. Keep in mind, this design idea works best when contents of the cabinets are orderly and colour-coordinated. Visible clutter can make the room feel crowded. 

Colour – Keep it Cool

  • Choose One Colour or Shade

    • By painting your cabinets the same colour as the kitchen walls, you erase visual boundaries that naturally stop the eye. When picking your paint, stick to a low contrast colour scheme, so the eye doesn’t trip over sudden shifts from light to dark. Here are some interior inspirations.
    • Light Colours

      • Whites, creams and greys reflect light and make any space feel bigger. If you choose a white colour scheme for your kitchen, try mixing several shades of white and contrasting textures to keep the room from feeling sterile and cold. A great way to add texture is by adding recessed-panel cabinets and crown moulding details in the cabinetry.
    • Dark Colours

      • Light colours are safe but don’t be afraid to go dark as well! Deep tones like navy blues and charcoal greys can give the impression that the walls are farther back than they actually are.

Clean & Crisp Design 

  • Clean Lines

    • Panelling and crown mouldings add texture, but be careful to avoid ornate details that make the room feel chopped up. In small kitchens, sleek and smooth details give the room more space.
  • Open Shelving

    • The extremely popular trend of open shelving is your best friend in designing custom cabinets for your small kitchen. Floating shelves keep the walls more open and create the illusion of a more expansive space.
  • Draw the Eye Upward

    • You don’t need to start a full kitchen remodel for this design hack! By decorating the space above your cabinets, you naturally draw the eye upward. By giving the eye a vertical path to follow you make the ceiling feel higher than it really is. Find framed prints, decorative plates, plants or anything that reflects your unique style and taste! Just make sure the objects harmonize with the background rather than stand out against it. 

 

Don’t let your small kitchen constrain your design dreams. By applying a few of these tips and tricks to your cabinet design, any kitchen can feel spacious and roomy!

 

Check out some of our custom cabinetry projects in our kitchen renovation gallery.

 

Want to talk custom cabinet design? Contact us!

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How To Avoid Hidden Renovation Costs

How To Avoid Hidden Home Renovation Costs | Homestead Custom Carpentry

Home renovation projects can quickly become overwhelming, stressful, and costly. Whether its a bathroom, basement, whole home remodel, or kitchen renovation, hidden renovation costs can add up. At Homestead Custom Carpentry Red Deer, we work on home renovation projects daily. We see homeowners troubled with picking materials, hiring professionals from different trades and finalizing design plans. With a project as significant and treasured as your home, it’s important to organize what you need and plan the process to avoid unnecessary costs and issues. He re are some tips on things to remember when renovating the different rooms in your home to avoid making costly mistakes and stay on budget.

Kitchenkitchen renovation before and after

  • Countertops & Flooring – Installation Costs Vary

When picking your countertops and flooring, keep in mind, installation costs vary from material to material.

  • Installing solid-surface and stone countertops costs exponentially more than laminate countertops.
  • Similarly, laminate flooring is less expensive to install than a ceramic tile.
  • The most cost-effective flooring materials are floating floor systems, like cork planks or tiles. These are significantly less expensive to install than glue-down or nail-down systems. Check out NuFloors Cork Flooring
  • Identify Load-Bearing Walls

If you are thinking of opening up your kitchen space and need to tear down a wall, identify load-bearing walls first! Look in your attic or basement to see where the pipes or ducts are running into the wall and look for registers and radiators. This will help you avoid ruining existing electrical wiring or plumbing when removing a wall.

  • Think Before Switching Between Gas & Electric

Nothing makes a kitchen feel luxurious and gourmet like new, state-of-the-art appliances. If your kitchen renovation includes buying a new stove or oven it can be really expensive to switch from gas to electric or vice versa. Before ordering the new appliance, remember, a gas line upgrade or extension or running a new circuit to the switchboard can quickly add costs.

Explore our kitchen renovation services.

Bathroom

A bathroom renovation white checkered linoleum toilet countertop, plant, and baby blue wall and window

A complete bathroom renovation

  • Remember Wiring When Making Changes

If you want to change the design of your bathroom layout, keep in mind that it could affect where you need lights, outlets and light switches. To be budget-friendly, consider the cost of hiring an electrician to upgrade the wiring when planning your layout.

  • Waterproofing!

Baths, showers, toilet malfunctions or even your kids splashing in the sink, make your bathroom the wettest place in your home. It’s important to be especially diligent with waterproofing your floors and walls and making sure they are warrantied and certified. This step might be more expensive immediately but long term you will save big on maintenance.

  • Think About Drainage With A New Tub Or Toilet

If your bathroom renovation or remodel involves buying new or relocating the bath or toilet in your bathroom, take special consideration of where the drain is (middle or end in the bath). With anything new, make sure the drain can be connected to the existing drainage point so you don’t have the additional expense of adding a new drainage line.

Explore our bathroom renovation services.

Basement

interior basement renovation basement red deer

an interior basement renovation basement red deer

  • The Rooms You Need

Consider the rooms you need in your basement space. Open spaces are a lot less expensive to renovate. Separating your basement into a bathroom, wet bar, office or bedroom means more materials, wiring and plumbing.

  • Carpet – Your Best Companion

When developing or renovating your basement consider carpet, rather than hardwood, laminate or tile. In the case of flooding or any serious water damage, carpet can be replaced multiple times and is significantly less expensive to install than any alternative. We work with Alberta Tile One in Red Deer

  • Prevent Water Damage

Basements tend to naturally be more humid and moisture prone than the rest of the home. Before renovating, look for signs of moisture problems (like mould or watermarks) and inspect your foundation for cracks that may be contributing to the issues. Fixing these may incur more initial costs but will help you save long term with future water damage repair costs.

interior basement renovations red deer

Explore our basement renovation services

Home renovation projects can be daunting but there is nothing more rewarding than the final project. Relaxing with your family in your newly remodelled dream home is the best feeling in the world. The only thing that can take away from that feeling is a price tag that went way over your initial budget. If you stay organized and consider the details of each room, you should be able to save on unforeseen expenses and stay under budget on your next home renovation project.

Check out our GALLERY of completed home renovation projects