Just the idea of moving in the uncertain real estate of Toronto today brings on panic attacks for most people. What is far more attractive and much cheaper is to take unused space in a person’s current home and convert it into additional, habitable space. That’s why many people look to finish their basement, but most people haven’t ever done such a project before. Here are a few of the dos and don’ts of finishing a basement:
Don’t… Change Your Mind. This doesn’t mean to keep going with a project even when you know you’re not going to be happy with it. It simply means to try to stick to the plan as often as possible. Deciding to change things every week or every day when the renovation has already begun can lead to inflated costs and it can also make everyone involved unhappy.
The best way to avoid this pitfall that more than a few people out there have is to ensure that everyone, and that means the whole family, agrees to the plan before a hammer strikes a single nail. By making this pact with everyone, it’s less likely that someone will decide they want to head in a different direction partway through the renovation.
Do… Try and Compromise Whenever It’s Appropriate. This doesn’t mean that the people backing the renovation need to give up on their dream for the perfect finished basementbefore they’ve even started, but it’s wise to hope for the best and expect that there will likely be at least a few bumps in the road.
Be prepared to take any setbacks in stride with an eye on that bright light at the end of the tunnel where a good and finished basement awaits.
Do… Look at More than One Designer and Contractor. They might come as a pair or it might be necessary to look for each separately, but take a look at a good cross-section of the contractors and designers out there. After choosing four or five, ask them all for quotes. They usually want your business and will provide the quote free.
Don’t… Take The Lowest Bid. It’s always a good idea to get a few different quotes for finishing a basement, but keep in mind that the cheapest isn’t the best. If anything, someone who beats everyone else by more than a few hundred dollars iseither conveniently forgetting to mention additional fees or they’re hiding something.
Do… Ask Questions. The saying of “There are no stupid questions, just stupid answers.” applies here. Most of the population of Toronto are not experts on renovation projects. Contractors and designers are there to do the best job they can for their clients and they’re prepared to answer any questions that they have, so don’t be afraid to.
In the end, the best thing to do when it comes to basement finishing projects is always to keep an eye on what’s going on and try to stay laid back!