Sarah And Bryan Baeumler Share Their Top Tips For Renovating A Home

While remodeling your home can be a fun and exhilarating experience, it can also be quite exhausting. Huge levels of preparation go into planning and executing a remodel. According to Legal Eagle Contractors, revamping a space is stressful because many things are bound to be out of your control and could potentially go wrong. A renovation is sure to disrupt the comfortable routine of your day-to-day life, and, in addition, the process involves nonstop decision making and money spending, both of which can make emotions run high. This is why being fully prepared before you begin your renovation is so important.

Luckily for the DIYers among us, renovation expert Sarah Baeumler and her husband, Bryan, who both star in the Canadian HGTV show "Remodel Island," are sharing their savviest advice for those who are planning to remodel their home. Below are five of their top tips to help you be more prepared for the crazy adventure of redoing a space.

Establish a plan and a budget

Before you begin renovating, it's important to have clear expectations about what you want to change and how much money you're willing to spend. Therefore, you'll need to establish a realistic plan and budget. Bryan Baeumler often says to "dream within your means," per BC Home + Garden Show, which we think is great advice. Bryan also says that you should form your budget from day one of renovations. In an interview with Marc & Mandy, he even goes so far as to say that, when planning accordingly, there's no reason to go over budget.

While it can be fun to imagine what you could do to your home with an endless amount of money, when it comes to actually creating and sticking to a plan, you need to be realistic. Budget Dumpster says that, typically, you'll spend $10 to $60 per square foot on renovations, so you should really be prepared to spend this amount. Additionally, you should set aside as much as 20% of your budget for unexpected costs, because something is guaranteed to go wrong during the process. One more piece of solid advice is to determine whether you will be paying for your whole renovation with cash or if you'll be relying on a loan, as this will significantly impact your budget.

Begin with necessary renovations

When creating your plan, focus on the necessary renovations before any cosmetic upgrades. To do this, Bryan Baeumler suggests walking around your home to determine what renovations need to happen (via Renovation Find). Consider if you think something needs to change because it's damaging the home or because you just don't like the way it looks. Make It Right recommends a similar approach. They say to make two lists. The first list will contain your needs and the second will have your wants. Next, determine if any possible renovations would benefit your space in both columns. For instance, perhaps you have a leaky faucet and you don't like the way the hardware looks. Making this change could knock one thing off of both lists at the same time.

You may also want to start with the room you use most often, as this will make the greatest impact on your everyday life, per Renovation Find. Finally, it makes sense to focus on renovations that will improve your resale value, which include kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and structural repairs.

Hire people you trust

The next piece of advice is to hire contractors and professionals that you know you can trust. Sarah Baeumler notes how important it is to not choose someone based solely on the fact that their work was great elsewhere. Instead, search for a contractor who you feel comfortable with and trust will do well by you (via BC Home + Garden Show). You'll be working very closely with your contractor for an extended period of time. Pick someone with whom you want to develop a professional relationship.

HGTV has some ideas for how to find the right contractor for you. They say to rely heavily on referrals made by people you personally know. However, references from strangers and proof of their previous work can also be useful. Additionally, interviewing multiple candidates is important so that you can get a good feel for the price of the project, the timeline, and the trustworthiness of a few different contractors. Ramsey Solutions adds that a quality contractor will have extensive expertise, only good references, and all the necessary licenses and insurance.

Be realistic about the timeline

Bryan Baeumler says to consult professionals you trust to find out how long a project will take, then tack on an additional 25% more time to the longest estimate, per BC Home + Garden Show. This will give you truly realistic expectations about how long the renovations will go on. Similarly, Penn Construction + Design says to make sure you are both prepared and patient. Know how long it will likely take and that you're prepared to wait that long. Then remain patient throughout the process. Remember, you don't want your contractor to rush and potentially do a poor job.

Legal Eagle Contractors says that cosmetic updates like picking a new paint color, installing new countertops, or bringing in new appliances, typically take anywhere from less than a week to a few months. For more major renovations, like adding a fireplace or doing a full room remodel, expect to wait up to half a year and perhaps longer. Structural changes to the foundation could take well over a year to complete.

Remember to enjoy the journey

It can be frustrating to live in your home during a remodel. After all, everything is guaranteed to be inconvenient and messy. However, because renovations can sometimes take more than a year, it's important to remember to enjoy the lengthy process. Bryan Baeumler compares the process of renovating to what they went through when Sarah was pregnant with each of their four children. He strongly suggests doing your best to love all the interesting stages before reaching the much anticipated end result, per BC Home + Garden Show.

Blackline Renovations says to accept before you begin that you'll be dealing with dust, noise, and workers inside your home for quite awhile. Therefore, try to find creative and flexible ways to make the time enjoyable. Why not use a kitchen remodel as an excuse to try some new restaurants in town? Or, maybe you could book a much-needed vacation while your bathroom or bedroom are being stripped to the bare bones, even if you don't end up going very far. In warmer months, you could also take advantage of your outdoor spaces for eating, cooking, and relaxing during this stressful time.