Renovations: What to expect(and how to prepare for each step)
We’ve been building and renovating for a long time and we know that renovations can be complicated, noisy, messy, and often overwhelming. It’s a major disruption, but it’s our goal to do everything we can to make sure your project goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We’ve collected some useful information to help you prepare and give you an idea of what to expect before the demolition starts.
At Gateway, we follow a step-by step process that we’ve developed over 40 years of building. It allows us to ensure your project is handled with excellence all the way through, and that your needs throughout the process are covered.
STEP 1: LISTEN
Start the journey of your renovation with the entire Gateway Kitchen + Bath Team! Your ideas and inspiration combined with our experience and creativity are sure to result in a space made precisely for you.
The entire renovation journey begins with our free one-hour consultation. At this stage, you meet with one of our talented designers who will use your basic measurements, photos of your current space, inspirational photos, ideas, and budget to start building the concept for your space. We will help you look through samples and using our experience with different products, guide you to the ones that will best suit your style and lifestyle. We’re here to listen to you, your needs, your ideas. We want your new space to fit into your home perfectly, so tell us everything!
How you can prepare:
Take some basic measurements and photos of the space you’re planning on renovating. You don’t need to be worried about precision at this stage, as we’ll get final measurements later, but this helps us get a quick idea of the dimensions and layout we’re starting with.
Look online or in magazines for rooms in styles you like (Pinterest is a great place for this). We can help you narrow down which parts of each look are the ones you gravitate to, and figure out ways to implement the same look and feel within your budget.
Speaking of budgets, determine what your budget is (if you need some help, read our Renovation Costs page for a more detailed breakdown). If you have a strict or constrained budget, let us know what it is. That way we can help you find the right products and finishes that fit within it, saving us both a bunch of swaps and changes later.
Understand how you currently use your space, and what parts of it you’d like to improve. Take a good hard look at your space. Does it flow well? How do you use it? Mainly just for family, or do you regularly entertain guests? Do you cook a lot and have multiple or specific storage needs, or are you a minimalist who craves more open space?
STEP 2: DESIGN
Beauty + Functionality
Using our imagination and deep understanding of the balance between design and function, we strive to make your space as useful as it is breathtaking.
Armed with your ideas and choices our designers get to work creating an initial design. We may have some questions as we go, but for the most part this step is hands-free for you and a flurry of activity for us!
STEP 3: QUOTE
Clarity + Detail
Honest, transparent and easy to understand! We’ll guide you through this process to ensure you’ll feel confident and informed in your decision!
Once your initial plans are complete, we quote the cost of the entire project and meet with you again to present the design package. We will go through the details of the plans, the products and finishes chosen and the cost. At this stage, you are under no obligation to continue, but our goal is to create a space that you will love and will fit within your budget. Ask all the questions you need to. We want you to make an informed decision and be confident with your choice.
STEP 4: EXECUTE
Teamwork + Diligence
Your renovation is making its way through our talented team from Design to Installation, and you will be included and briefed along the way!
Once you have signed a contract and agreed to proceed, the Gateway Team gets to work. Your plans are finalized, products are ordered, trades are scheduled and work begins. We begin demolition in your home and the project starts to come together. You will be assigned a Project Coordinator who will be on site regularly to keep tabs on the work being completed and our scheduling department will work hard to make sure the job is completed as efficiently as possible.
We understand how disruptive a renovation is, and we do what we can to make it as easy as possible for you, so always feel free to reach out if you have concerns or questions as we go. You will be given a list of all the phone numbers of Gateway Team members assigned to your project who can help.
How you can prepare:
Familiarize yourself with your contact sheet and keep it handy somewhere (or put all the contact info in your phone).
Read through our Customer Information Sheet that discusses some of the details you’ll need to know about access, scheduling, trades, and installations (even some tips on how to handle pets during a reno).
Make a plan for how you’ll use your home during the renovation. For example, if you’re taking out your kitchen, how will you make dinner? (Read our Kitchen Renovation Survival Guide for some tips on this). A major renovation takes time, so establishing a reno-free zone, a makeshift kitchen area if needed, or figuring out how your family can share one bathroom while the other is renovated are smart plans to think of ahead of time.
Prepare for something to go wrong. While we always do everything in our power to keep your project running smoothly, a large-scale renovation has a lot of moving parts, and a large number of people, trades and companies we rely on. It doesn’t take much of a disruption to that chain to cause issues. We are always keeping our eye on what is happening in hopes of adjusting and mitigating before small delays become big ones, but it’s smart to be prepared. We have also seen many circumstances where, upon opening a wall, we find surprises that neither we, nor the homeowner could have foreseen. Sometimes we find old electrical fixtures that needs to be replaced or plumbing issues that would cause big problems if you added that extra sink. We’re happy to help fix these problems when they arise, but it may knock us off schedule or cause an increase in cost.
Plan some breaks for yourself. If you’re looking down the barrel of 8-10 weeks of mess and disruption in your home, figure out how to take some time away. The renovation process can be long, messy, and difficult to live in, and your mental health is a priority for us too! We are fully equipped to keep everything running and allow you some time for yourself. Go to the cottage, plan a staycation, go to a spa or take nice long walks. It’s ok! We’ve got you covered.
STEP 5: CELEBRATE
Joy + Reflection
The project is complete and we’re here to celebrate with you! Any suggestions you can make to improve our process are welcome as we reflect, reassess and refine.
It’s the day we’ve all been working so hard toward! Your renovation is complete and you can have your home back to yourself again. It’s a happy day for all of us and one of our favourite parts of the job is walking through the space with our clients and doing a final assessment. This is also your opportunity to tell us what we did well and give us suggestions on how to improve. Like a busy renovation, Gateway is a work in progress and we’re always looking for ways to get better at what we do.