When most of us think about a renovation, we picture construction—saws and wood, hammers and drills, drywall dust and paint. But a renovation is so much more than just a construction project. It’s about looking at an existing space and imagining what it could become. It’s about rethinking the way a room functions and feels relative to your lifestyle and your needs.
Where we live has a significant impact on our social, mental, and physical wellbeing. More than just kitchens, great rooms, bedrooms, or bathrooms, these are spaces where we laugh, cry, eat and share intimate moments. They are the launching pads of our lives, providing environments to support and help us flourish not only at home but in the rest of our lives.
For these reasons a home renovation should always begin with asking the social, emotional, and lifestyle questions followed by design and building questions. The starting point is not a new kitchen, but instead a better space to prepare and share food and memories. We don’t start by trying to update a family room with the latest greatest styles. We start by asking how your great room could better serve your lifestyle and the way you entertain, the way you share space with family and friends, the way you watch movies, and more. When we think about our daily routines, a bathroom is a space where we all spend considerable time. Not only is it the place where we start our day, it is also the staging room for the rest of our day.
THE REFERENCING PROCESS
Next, while some of us have a vivid imagination and are gifted in communicating our vision to others, most of us struggle to accurately imagine what could be and communicate what we love or hate in terms of space allocation and design. To help with this process, we find it incredibly useful to engage in an extensive referencing process. By exploring and collecting actual examples of designs, features, elements, and architectural layouts; we move the intangible ideas and visions from being subjectively imagined, to being objectively seeable. This is deeply empowering to both our building team as well as to you the client, because it takes the fear of the unknown and provides a framework of understanding and clarity.
Once we’ve established a vision that aligns both lifestyle wants and dreams, with objective references of the design feel and function, we are ready to build a working budget.
BUDGET TO AVOID SURPRISES
Because a renovation is usually more complex than simply swapping out a sink, or installing a new door, a working budget is essential. Differing from an estimate, which is useful when getting work done by a single trade or service, a working budget provides a framework for project costs while allowing for adjustments (sometimes more, sometimes less) as the renovation unfolds. None of us like surprises when it comes to spending money. So staying on top of a budget is a super important part of the project management. In order to create as much predictability within a budget, we secure as many solid estimates from our trades as possible, reducing the amount of unforeseen costs that are inevitable in a renovation.
WE SOURCE AND SHOP FOR YOU
Once the vision, design, and budgets are in place it’s time to talk about schedules, trades, and sourcing the various elements for the project. While it is normal for most contractors to give you a list of outlets where you can pick and choose your plumbing or electrical fixtures, your cabinets and hardware, or your door and floor choices, we take a different approach. We do the work of sourcing everything for you. Launching off of the initial referencing process, we gather samples and source fixtures that we bring to you for approval. This not only saves you literally days and days of time searching for materials, fixtures, and feature items; it often results in a more personalized renovation.
OUR TRADES ADVANTAGE
Another important aspect of the renovation process surrounds the trades and how they are hired. As a general contractor and project manager, we find and hire all trades for you. Obviously there are savings if a home owner sources, hires, and manages all the trades. But there are also some significant advantage to having your general contractor do this. First, our goal as your general contractor is to not only turn your space into a place where you love to live. We also want to make the renovation process as efficient and positive as possible. Therefore, our trades have been hand picked over the years for their quality of work, their response times, and their character as individuals. A renovation can often feel invasive. Particularly if you choose to live in the home while the work is being done. So it is really important to us that our trades are not only highly skilled professionals, but that they are also good people to be around. Second, when a trade works for Rethink, they prioritize our timeline over that of a one-off home owner hiring their services. Also, because we provide our trades with a flow of work, they are also more highly motivated to come back for deficiencies and repairs. In the end, we have had decades of experience in working with both good and poor trades people, so when we choose the trades that show up on your project, they have been vetted by years of experience in finding honest, reliable and skilled trades people.
BECAUSE PAINTING IS NOT PAINTING
However, while we hire sub-trades for most of our work, there are a number of areas where we intentionally use our in-house team. Paint is one of those areas. Because paint provides that final look on more room surfaces than any other material or trade, we take painting very seriously. With a low barrier to entry and the perception that “anyone can paint”, often the attention to detail is indistinguishable between a DIY or a hired painter. To change this, our painting team is lead by Gabe our paint specialist who brings with him years of experience, knowledge, and specialized systems that enable us to provide high end paint work at a reasonable cost. Because for us, paint is never an afterthought, it is the final touch on the canvas of your masterpiece, providing a distraction free backdrop for everything else that’s been done.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In the end, our number one goal is to build for our clients a space where they love to live. While keeping the project on purpose, on budget, and on time we can design and execute a renovation that not only looks great but is actually aligned with and enhances your lifestyle.
Rethink Homes is a boutique design and build renovation company. Family owned and operated, our core team bring over 50 years of combined experience in construction management, real estate valuation, specialized paint expertise, and design. This unique combination of experience and relationships in the industry empowers us to not only manage renovation projects well, but also provide design expertise and advice in how certain renovations will impact the value of a home.
Get in touch with our team!
ADDRESS: 26769 64 Avenue, Langley, BC V4W 1R1