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Feb. 17, 2020 | Monday
Editorials and Opinions
Arch-i-text: Considering a reno?
What is the best way to approach a renovation? (Supplied)

Several times in the past few weeks I am asked for advice concerning the best approach to a renovation.

While multiple television renovation shows have focused on raising our level of concern that any renovation be done correctly, actual guides to successfully managing the process remain scarce. So, if you’re considering undertaking a reno, where do you start and how is it managed?

It begins by understanding you are about to embark on an undertaking that will require at least one, and very likely multiple, business transactions.

As such, it is important from the onset that the approach adopted should be the same as that used by a commercial project manager. This always starts with a clear, written definition of the problem to be solved.

As an example, let’s say you are thinking about a kitchen renovation. Is your motivation rooted in aesthetics or function or both? An “up-date” is clearly a more straightforward project than the redesign/rebuilding of the entire kitchen and sometimes a functional problem can be quite simply fixed.

However, while the question itself may seem simple, understanding the real root cause(s) of your motivation to renovate, often takes a bit of research. This is key, because bluntly, there’s nothing worse than discovering your brand new kitchen doesn’t address all the issues you had with the old one.

When contemplating any renovation, my advice is that you commit to keeping a diary for at least a month. As you move through each day, when something bugs you, make a note of it in the diary.

At the end of the month correlate your entries. Generally, you will find that these notations produce a pattern from which you can both identify the issues and also prioritize their importance in the context of your lifestyle.

Keep in mind that not all budgets are large enough to fix every one of the issues, so making sure the “biggies” are addressed becomes very important.

Now, with the problem defined and the issues prioritized, it’s time to set some parameters on the project’s scope.

Answers to questions such as: “What is the total budget for the project?” and “How much disruption in your lifestyle can you stand and for how long?” form the basis for developing a scope-of-work. And that is the topic of next week’s column.

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