When planning for home renovations, excitement takes hold and it’s so easy to get carried away by the vision of what you want. There’s nothing wrong with imaginative ideas or dreaming of a great end result. But the planning must also keep its proverbial feet on the ground and go hand in hand with establishing the project’s achievability.
A huge part of the initial planning stage that many homeowners fail to consider is a feasibility study. In a sense, this is where dreams meet reality, so that even apparently minor plans and larger, lofty concepts can be looked at carefully for their viability before anyone even swings a crowbar or lifts a hammer.
Dreams vs. Reality: Make Sure You’re on Track
You may be looking to extend the footprint of the house or create another story for your growing family. Maybe it’s something as seemingly simple as adding a back deck or a balcony off the upstairs master bedroom.
Some of the questions that a professional feasibility study addresses are:
- Will the proposed project comply with all city zoning and building by-laws?
- Is it cost effective and within your budget?
- Is it realistic from a functional point of view?
- What timelines are needed to finish the project, including its individual stages and overall completion?
It’s false economy to think that you save by skipping the feasibility study step. The relatively marginal amount you’re avoiding may come back as a bigger burden on your budget down the road. In some cases, project feasibility can even be confirmed during the very first meeting at no additional cost.
Think Ahead: Put a Stop to Stoppages
Understandably, proper permits and approval must be attained for any home renovation venture. The last thing you want is to have everything mapped out, materials purchased and contractors hired, only to find out that they cannot proceed because feasibility checking shows that the design is flawed or just plain unacceptable at city hall.
There are few home renovation nightmares worse than discovering partway through a project that some aspect of the design or its execution isn’t “up to code” or that city regulations prohibit a structure from nudging too near a property line. Valuable time (not to mention money) will have been spent up until that point, and who wants to put on the brakes because of an unforeseen stoppage and rethink an entire concept?
Hire the Right Contractor for Home Renovations
Partner with an experienced home builder who has a solid background in local urban construction. As a homeowner with a dream, you can describe what you expect from your home renovations and a knowledgeable builder will be able to explain the possibilities and limitations from design, practical, impact analysis and regulatory standpoints.
Feasibility studies exist for a good reason; don’t skip this essential step before you renovate your home.
Doug Kerr is the owner of Kerr Construction in Vancouver. With over 25 years of experience in the renovation and new home construction business, he has developed the Kerr System for designing and building. With this Design/Build system he has helped hundreds of clients achieve their dream homes while also winning multiple national and provincial building and renovations awards. Being a former world-class athlete…” Read more.
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Kerr Construction.Tags: home renovation, home renovations