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Jeffrey: I’m speaking with Scott, a homeowner from Thornhill, who completed a renovation within the last year or so. Scott, I was wondering if you could tell us a little about your renovation experience.

Scott : Sure, Jeffrey. We did a complete renovation of the main floor of our detached 2-storey home so it involved taking out a load-bearing wall, replacing it with beams and transitioning this home built in the ’70s into a more open concept in modern homes, opening it up significantly.  Jeffrey: And what were some of the reasons you started the renovation?

Scott : Sure. We made a decision, my wife and myself that we needed a better use of space for our family. We’ve got two young kids and we started looking around in the neighborhood to see if there was anything else that would meet our needs and came to the conclusion fairly quickly that we didn’t need more space in a house, we just needed better use of the space that we have and when comparing prices between moving into a home that’s already had this done versus doing it ourselves in our own home, and we quite like our home and our area, we decided to go down the renovation route and do it to our house.

Jeffrey: And when you finally made the decision to go ahead on your renovation, what was the process involved in getting contractors and getting the whole thing started?

Scott : Sure it was, how do I put this? It took a while, partly because we weren’t entirely clear with what we wanted. So we had a number of contractors in to give us ideas, to give us high level quotes. In the end, we decided to go with a specific contractor that had done work for a friend of ours and we quite like the look of the work that he did for them. Plus he met our budget and time criteria as well. In addition we also engaged a friend of the family who was a designer to help with some of the visualization and doing up some designs and some rough drawings and to take on a bit of the project management of the project as a whole.

Jeffrey: And what would you feel were some of the major challenges that you encountered?

Scott : Lots of different challenges along the way. First and foremost I think the designer that we used didn’t fulfill on project management side as much as we would have liked and we kind of had to step in and do a lot more of the coordination between the general contractor, the kitchen contractor, the floor contractor. All of those subs that needed to be coordinated and involved, we kind of ended up owning the overall schedule. Getting all of the materials picked, purchased, ordered, and working out all those timelines was significantly challenging. As well as the general working with a general contractor that you know that your job may be his primary one but not necessarily his only one. So, he wasn’t on site every day. All day it was, in our estimation, it took a little bit longer because of that. But in the end, overall, we were happy with the job that was done.

Jeffrey: And you’ve been living in the house for a while now, finished the renovation. What are your thoughts on the final product?

Scott : Quite happy with the way it turned out. It definitely has changed the way that we use the house, for the better. We’re a lot more happy with the open concept. We have a great big island, a massive kitchen now, which is definitely the center point of our home and it works very well for our family. You know, having a place for the kids to do their homework while we’re preparing dinner or doing other things and keeping the family really together is kind of key and it works really well.

Jeffrey: Well Scott, thanks so much for relating some of your journey to get the renovation you wanted and I’m sure all of us really appreciate your thoughts.

Scott : My pleasure Jeffrey.

So, what do you think ?