3 Secrets to a Successful Renovation

3 Secrets to a Successful Renovation

When I was asked to speak to a group of women, for the second time, I knew I didn’t want to do the same talk.  After talking with the organizer, I knew I wanted to share things that I come across in my daily work.  While I don’t organize spaces anymore, I do design them to be organized and functional.  In doing so, there is always some kind of renovation that will take place.  It is then I decided, as part of my talk, to talk about my 3 secrets to a successful renovation (whether it be a minor renovation or a larger one).

Secret #1 to a Successful Renovation

Although this is no secret to me, it is the number one on my list.

Have A Vision

Failing to plan is planning to fail – ever heard of it?  When I start working with clients in creating a space, there HAS TO BE a vision.  Every single space begins with having one.  If we’re talking about a boot room/mudroom, is the vision:

  • To have a space to hang up coats and backpacks?
  • Is part of your vision to be more organized in the mudroom?
  • To make mornings less hectic?
  • To stop looking for keys?
  • What is it?  What is it that you want your space to do for you?

successful renovation

Image credit

Once you know and identify what your vision is, then the planning can begin!

Secret #2 to a Successful Renovation

I love HGTV and other renovation shows, yet in the same breath, I detest them.  Here’s why

Be Realistic

successful renovation

Wouldn’t that be great if we all had the space for something like this is a boot room/mud room?  Wouldn’t this be great to have everyone organized with their own space, bins, pull outs etc?  Wouldn’t it be great if Brian Baeumler would come to your home and in 30 – 60 minutes have this all done for you?

First of all, most of us don’t have space like this in a boot room, most people don’t want to spend $3000 plus for a custom system like the one above AND we certainly won’t be having Brian come over to do the work!  It’s just not realistic.

Secret #3 to a Successful Renovation

No matter what you want to do, whether it be a small renovation or a big one, it’s going to cost you.  It will cost you with time or money, or both!


Talking about money is never easy and honestly, I am always a bit uncomfortable talking with clients about it.  But here’s why I need to: if you’re telling me you would like renovation (bathrooms, walls moved, which turns into moving plumbing and electrical), you’re looking at more than a $20,000 renovation.  While you may see something like that on TV, you won’t see it here (at least where I live in Calgary).

successful renovation

And just so you know, there are inexpensive ways to do a renovation and update (on a dime), as the images above show.  However, it is not free! Nothing is free.  Even an IKEA bookcase will cost you money (first to buy it), and then to add crown moulding on to it to make it look custom.


When it comes to a renovation, there are many things you can certainly do on your own.  Trying to do some of the work yourself is a great way to save money.  It will however, cost you in time.  For our own renovation project, we did the  majority of the work ourselves.  I had a very tight timeline (5  weeks for the entire house) and it was completely finished in 5 1/2 weeks.  What did that mean?  It meant we worked during the day and then worked our asses off at night and each weekend to get what we needed to get done for the next day.  Do I regret it?  Absolutely not!  By doing the work ourselves, we saved ourselves at least $20,000!successful renovation

Here’s my hubby and son working hard on the demo!

Secrets to a Successful Renovation

We would all love to be in the position of getting everything we want when it comes time to renovate.  The hard facts are, we most likely won’t get everything and compromises may have to be made.  In the end, if you:

  • have a vision for your space,
  • you are realistic about what you can do in your own home,
  • you are truthful about the budget and the time it will take,

you will come out of your renovation one happy camper!
Sheri Bruneau Get It Together

Download my FREE Renovate With Confidence printable guide here

When it comes to renovations and work done in your home, you just can not afford to make a mistake!  Send me an email to discuss your next project.

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