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Home renovation how to... ?

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  • Feb 18th, 2020 10:45 am
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 20, 2017
58 posts
7 upvotes

Home renovation how to... ?

Hi folks,
Is there  any good information sources something like seminars, forums, guide lines, steps to do for people who would like to manage renovation/new build process themselves.
Where to look for architect who can help with permits, construction/engineering drawings etc.
Where to source materials and look for a trades?
Where can discuss all subjects related to the process?
Almost ready to do renovation but getting different recommendations/quotes for the same scope of work
from different professionals.
Want to get more understanding of the process and located in Etobicoke/Toronto.
11 replies
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2007
628 posts
193 upvotes
Markham
All depends on what you want renovated
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
8754 posts
4371 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
A lot of it is experience. Can't go to class for that, and as it has been put, that's a hard teacher. Punishment first, lesson later.

Can start by asking people who have hired and have had satisfactory work done. Check references. Don't take anyone's word.

Example of Latest project: We wanted some new external doors installed (particular type of door I've seen used and was taken by how well it seals). They're not the easiest (more complicated fit and mechanism) and I couldn't get a couple of tradesmen to install on a we-supply basis because they wanted to make money on the mark up. Ended up going with a contractor that has a team that has installed these particular doors and had to pay $160/man-hr to do it. Overall cost is about the same as getting someone to supply and install an inferior grade door.

As for materials, everywhere. There is a general get-what-you-pay-for but not always. Some overpriced junk out there. Again, just a matter of looking around and sourcing. It's like mining and exploring, digging around until you find something you like (and can afford), Any one referring in a class/seminar may be getting a kick back.

Ask here, with detail, of what you want done and what is being recommended and price breakdown.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2019
607 posts
659 upvotes
Ottawa
That’s a big question, that can go in many directions. If you are looking for a one-stop-shop resource for how to build your own house, I don’t think you’ll find anything. You will need to piece your knowledge together one piece at a time from many different sources.

This forum is sometimes good for Canada specific content. For more technical info try the fine Homebuilding forums or those over at JLC; however, tread lightly they are not usually in the habit of helping home owners with simple questions.

I think you’ll get more helpful answers here if you tell us more about your project or start with a few more specific questions.
Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2019
607 posts
659 upvotes
Ottawa
If you are serious about this, I would start by getting a serious design prepared. Having a good set of professionally prepared plans will make a huge difference for your fact finding mission. These plans will cost you thousands (assuming you’re doing a full build) , but without them no one will take you seriously (trades people, city officials, suppliers). You may only by exploring the self build idea out of curiosity and to gather info... but to get a good idea of what is involved, you will need a credible plan. gathering this info costs money (at least in my experience). You don’t need construction drawings, but you should get a full package of design drawings.

One suggestion for you would be to pay a little more for your design work. Hire an experienced architect or designer that can help you navigate the system, in addition to the design work. If you find someone you can trust, they may be willing to do some hourly-paid consulting with you to help you manage the build or provide advice as the project unfolds.

Also - talk to city hall. The building department officials can be helpful in explaining the red tape you’ll need to cut through. But, as I said, don’t show up empty handed, bring a proper set of plans.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 20, 2017
58 posts
7 upvotes
dottawat wrote: I would start by getting a serious design prepared. Having a good set of professionally prepared plans...
This is one of the questions. How filter good set of drawings from not so good? Land lot is 35 ft by 125 ft and I have copy of notice of decision COA with plans for the house on identical lot in close by area. House plans 75% OK with me. When I asked designers to provide similar drawings for permits I got pricing in range $5K-$15K. But was not able to find out the one who went to COA with similar variances (in general small ones). So, how to identify who is the good one?
dottawat wrote: You don’t need construction drawings, but you should get a full package of design drawings.
Good point, where to find what should include a full package of design drawings to be able to skip some construction drawings?
Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2019
607 posts
659 upvotes
Ottawa
User090591 wrote: When I asked designers to provide similar drawings for permits I got pricing in range $5K-$15K. But was not able to find out the one who went to COA with similar variances (in general small ones). So, how to identify who is the good one?
No real secret here. Make a short list of reputable designers or architects through online research (try searching using the site houzz to get a sample of their work). Then interview those on your short list and pick someone you feel you can trust and that you would like to work with. Designing a house can be quite a personal experience, so find someone you connect with.
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2002
695 posts
132 upvotes
What level of scope are you looking at for the renovation?
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 20, 2017
58 posts
7 upvotes
zeroburn wrote: What level of scope are you looking at for the renovation?
Rebuild or new build to the max possible by the lot size.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 9, 2007
2141 posts
213 upvotes
Toronto
I just completed my first build with little to no experiance in building field but I did have few years of experiance on my resume in one of the constuction trades. From your oriignal post it looks like you are planning to manage and build youself. Be ready to overrun your budget by about 25%-30%. This will become full time job once your framing is done and trades move in to work in paralell. If you dont schedule your trades like it needs to be scheduled be ready to accept the timeline of 1.5-2 years for a finished house. Be ready to learn on the fly, spend tons of hours on youtube learning about stuff that you have never heard before and "be an asshole" to trades otherwise your pockets will leak fast. Nice guys pay more, I learned it the hard way.

I am also in Etobicoke. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.
Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2019
607 posts
659 upvotes
Ottawa
User090591 wrote: Rebuild or new build to the max possible by the lot size.
Are you building for yourself or flipping it? I think that will change things.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 20, 2017
58 posts
7 upvotes
dottawat wrote: Are you building for yourself or flipping it? I think that will change things.
Think of selling but intend to build like for myself.

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