Planning a renovation project is a very stimulating process. However, it is important to complete a renovation project within a set timeline, respect your budget and obtain the desired results. To succeed you need a good plan!

A renovation project cannot be improvised, regardless of its size. You need to get an overall picture of the situation, draw up a good plan and respect it. This increases your chances of a worry-free renovation.

Here are 6 basic steps in planning any renovation project.

1. Review the renovation project

A review of any renovation project begins with the question: why am I doing this work? This gives you a clearer idea of the scope of the project. And it is this scope that, invariably, will determine the budget and timeframe for the project.

Before starting the renovation project and venturing further into the process, take the time to determine the fundamental need that the project addresses. Regardless of whether it is to meet a functional need or to improve your living environment, it is important to know what you are faced with.

You should consider several elements in your project review, including:

  1. age of your home
  2. condition of the home
  3. neighboring homes
  4. current standards and regulations

A careful review of these elements will allow you to clearly determine how and under what conditions your renovation project is feasible.

2. Draw up a list of tasks to complete

Planning a renovation project involves clear and comprehensive identification of the tasks required to achieve your objectives.

Each project has its own set of tasks. The more detailed and precise your tasks are laid out, the more successful your project will be.

Here are a few practical tips:

  1. Break down each step into sub-steps so you don’t forget anything
  2. Set a realistic target completion date for each step
  3. Clearly establish the priority steps and sub-steps to manage your time effectively
  4. Identify the resources required to complete each step

3. Establish a global budget

It is essential to establish a realistic global budget for a renovation project before starting work. This ensures you avoid any unpleasant surprises. 

Keep in mind the following when you establish a budget:

  1. Always budget extra for unforeseen tasks
  2. Choose finishing materials that match your budget objectives and keep in mind that high-end materials are generally more expensive to install
  3. Try to obtain the cost of completing projects comparable to yours, ensuring that it is the total cost of the project, taking into account materials, labor and related costs
  4. Determine your funding options (including the possibility of financing your project with your mortgage)
  5. Research the various grants or tax credits available (government programs like RénoVert can be very advantageous for you).

4. Establish a timeframe

As mentioned earlier, establishing a timeframe for each step is important when planning a renovation project. However, it is important to set realistic goals for the various  project deadlines.


Following these easy tips will ensure your timeframe remains realistic:

  1. Always allow for a bit more time, in the event a step on your project takes longer than expected
  2. Ask a contractor how long it should take to complete a similar renovation project
  3. Establish what you can do before the project start to speed up the process

5. Submit applications for the required permits

Applying for a renovation permit is not a concern if you have planned your work well and know the current regulations.

Each municipality has its own regulations and it is important to take them into consideration. In Montreal, for example, work must begin within 12 months of the permit being issued.

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Call or inquire online to find out about your municipality’s procedures
  2. Provide architectural plans and a detailed description of the work to be completed
  3. Plan a budget for the review of your request (here too, prices will vary by city)
  4. Ask the advice of a certified contractor

6. Locate the right contractor

Once all the planning steps for your renovation project have been completed and you have the green light to proceed, you will need to choose the right contractor to complete your project. Your selection process must be rigorous and no checks should be skipped!

Verify the following:

  1. The contractor’s accreditations (he must have a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec)
  2. The type of contractual agreement used by the contractor
  3. Do the contractor’s employees hold competency cards? This is required by law for many renovation projects.
  4. Notices about this contractor (check the website of the Office de protection du consommateur to see if there have been any complaints filed about a contractor)
  5. The management tools and the implementation process proposed by the contractor
  6. Contractor’s completed projects

Habitation Plani-Conseil accompanies you throughout each stage of the project

By following the 6 steps to planning a renovation project, you will know more about how it will work and how much it will cost you. You can also take advantage of Habitation Plani-Conseil’s tips to plan your large and small-scale projects.

Conducting a proper project review and properly structuring your project is of prime importance. You can also count on Plani-Conseil’s experts to assist you with this task.