At the beginning of the year, I often see home contracting companies offering advice on the latest trends in home renovations. While it’s important to be aware of trends in interior design and house remodelling, one shouldn’t get too caught up in the most recent trending product – as next year, it might be trending in the opposite direction.

At Hammerdown, we may incorporate subtle trends into our renovation work – but only when it serves the bigger picture – which is what our client’s vision is for their home. Instead of offering you another list of “what’s hot” in 2024, I will provide you with five pieces of home renovation advice – which has never steered me wrong and has stood the test of time. The advice is:

  • Use high-quality, durable products, materials, and finishes throughout your home renovation
  • Do your research and hire a reliable home contracting company
  • Know your budget before you start – including your splurge and save items
  • Voice your thoughts, ideas, and questions throughout the renovation projects
  • Work with an interior designer to bring your home renovation vision to life

From my decades of experience in the industry, I will say when following these five pieces of advice, you’re almost guaranteed a successful renovation. Now, let’s get to the details!

Home renovation advice: Use high-quality, durable products, materials, and finishes throughout your home renovation

Even if you work with the best interior design and home renovation team, you’ll have missed the mark if your renovation features poor-quality products, materials, and finishes. 

Completing a home renovation isn’t something homeowners do every year or even every decade. But if your renovation uses products that wear out in five years, you may need to renovate again sooner than you hoped.

Home renovation advice: Use high-quality materials and products

You can repair or replace minor issues with most products, but one of the reasons you’re likely doing the renovation in the first place is to reduce maintenance for some time while everything is brand new. However, in some situations, depending on the product in question, if it wears out, it can weigh heavily on the overall appearance and satisfaction with your renovation.

Examples of products wearing out too quickly that are massive issues include cabinetry, tiles and grout, flooring, and built-in appliances. Countertop durability can also be an issue should they be prone to damage.

How do you know if your home contractor uses high-quality, durable products?

While the price is usually a bit higher for quality, it’s not the only signal you should rely on. When selecting a home renovation company, ask them about the products they choose, how long they have been using them, and why. If they can’t list any products from memory, they likely aren’t using the same product continuously, so they don’t know how well the product fares over time.

Ask them questions like “Would they install the products in their home?” or scour reviews for references to products they’ve used in past renovations.

Here is a short list of the products we typically use for renovations and in our own homes. And when we’re planning your renovation, be sure to ask us about the products we select!

  • Schluter Systems for bathroom renovations when waterproofing and drainage. The products from Schluter Systems are the “stuff” that we use under the custom tile and flooring we install
  • Delta whether in your kitchen renovation or bathroom renovation, we love the design of Delta products, making some of the most durable faucets, shower kits and fixtures we’ve come across.
Home renovation advice: Use durable materials and products
  • Ames Tile & Stone they carry a wide assortment of products, which helps us find the perfect tile for your kitchen backsplash or flooring for your bathroom; their team also has deep product knowledge and provides exceptional service
  • Quartz or Granite countertops – most of our home renovations will use either quartz or granite countertops, although we will use other materials if asked. Either selection will provide you with durability and beauty for years

Home renovation advice: Do your research and hire a reliable home contracting company

Any home renovation is an expenditure and risk, but if you work with a trustworthy home renovation company, you reduce the risk and can increase your home’s value. Where can you find a dependable home renovation company?

  • Ask trusted family and friends who recently completed a home renovation what their experience was like
  • Visit Manitoba Home Builders’ Association and look up companies that are of interest and meet your needs
  • Use services like Houzz to find home renovation companies
  • Google terms related to the type of home renovation project you want to complete

Once you’ve found a few companies you would consider working with, discuss your project with them. Keep track of all the details during your research, which will help you decide which company to hire.

  • Read reviews on Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, or Houzz Reviews
  • Browse their past renovation projects
  • Look at their websites – specifically, check for things like awards or testimonials, and if the messages on the website resonate with you
  • Ensure they are licensed, have insurance, and have a physical location
  • Do your due diligence by enquiring about total project costs, timelines, planning, their home renovation process, and warranty

Chances are, if you’ve received positive responses to these questions, you’ve found a great home renovation company to work with. If you’re still unsure, look at our in-depth article on how to hire a reputable home renovation company in Winnipeg or find out why our home renovation company has so many repeat clients

If you’ve already started looking for a renovation company but want a second opinion, please get in touch with us.

Home renovation advice: Know your renovation budget before you start – including splurge and save options

Budget complications can quickly derail a renovation project. The good news is that with a little pre-planning and reflection, budget issues are easy to solve before you start your project.

There’s no doubt you have a maximum budget in mind for your project as you start to discuss the details with home renovation companies. While it can feel unsettling to state your budget, we need to know your threshold before we can get into the details that will help make your project successful.

Home renovation advice: Know your budget, including splurge and save options

With the budget in mind, we will select appropriate options – everything from materials, products, features, and beyond – that will fit your budget – and can help prevent situations where you cannot get what you want due to affordability. 

We also work through exercises with you to help maximize your budget, ensuring we utilize the budget for things most important to you. We call this “splurge and save” – and here are some examples:

  • If you tell us that relaxing after a long day with a big bubble bath in your ensuite is more important than having a dual vanity, since you and your partner don’t use the bathroom at the same time – naturally, we will ensure you get the tub of your dreams while potentially reducing costs with a single sink vanity
  • Or if you tell us that you love to bake fresh bread while your partner cooks a three-course meal but aren’t a wine connoisseur – we could skip the wine bar and refrigeration unit but look to create a layout which features two separate workspaces, one for cooking and one for baking

In any situation, we need to know your budget to help you decide what’s best for your renovation project and ensure you’re satisfied with the result.

For more information on renovation budgets, please read:

Home renovation advice: Voice your thoughts, ideas, and questions throughout the renovation project

Throughout my five pieces of home renovation advice, you’ve likely noticed a constant focus on you, the client. We are in the business of working for you and supporting your vision. While we certainly help many of our clients with every aspect of their renovation – from start to finish – we need your opinion.

Home renovation advice: Voice your thoughts and ideas during the project

There is no such thing as a bad idea! We love it when our clients give us information about their lives and how they plan to live, work, and play in the home renovation we’re about to create for them. With this insider information, we can truly achieve home renovation success!

From a professional standpoint, we gather your thoughts and ideas and answer your questions before your project starts. But it’s only human nature for things to come up as we work together. Please let us know no matter how big or small the item may seem! There is a high probability we will be able to develop something to achieve what you want and need.

Why is it important to voice your thoughts and questions?

One of the most significant factors to our client’s satisfaction is having them participate and collaborate in their home renovation’s planning, design, and construction process. You don’t need to know all the answers, source your finishings, or lift a hammer. But we require you to make timely decisions based on what’s important to you as we guide you with our expertise and recommendations through the myriad of decisions that come with a home renovation project!

Home renovation advice: Work with an interior designer to bring your home renovation vision to life

Many other renovation companies may boast about the work that they do. Still, the results can be mixed without an interior designer guiding your renovation’s overall aesthetic.

At Hammerdown, we have an interior designer on the team for precisely that reason. Our team can suggest products and materials throughout your renovation, but our interior designer ensures your home will come out looking spectacular.

Be specific about your interior design tastes

Similar to my earlier advice to voice your thoughts, it’s important to let our interior designer know what styles you like to see in your home. We will guide you to the best design outcome possible for your home within your budget using our expertise, but the starting point is your likes and dislikes.

Home renovation advice: Work with an interior designer to bring your vision to life

When selecting colours, trim, materials, and products, our interior designer is responsible for turning your vision into a cohesive, stunning space.

However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg regarding their duties. First, our interior designer is the liaison between our clients and our construction team. They take your thoughts, wants, needs, vision, ideas, inspiration, budget, likes, dislikes, and anything else you can throw their way – compile them all together – to select the best products and materials for your home.

Our interior designer is also responsible for ensuring your square footage and space are reimagined in a thoughtful, functional way for you and your family, now and in the future. They will ask questions about your lifestyle and plans for the future – generally getting to know you to ensure the design and layout decisions they recommend will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

To learn more about interior design and our interior designer consultation, we recommend reviewing the following articles:

Work with us for your next home renovation project

That concludes my five timeless pieces of home renovation advice – thank you for reading. I hope they serve you as well as they’ve served me and allow you to create a comfortable space for you and your family.

If you’re looking for a renovation company that operates with integrity, uses top-quality products, makes your renovation an enjoyable experience, and takes your home and transforms it into your dream home, contact us today!