1. Location, Location, Location. Find the right location that best suits your lifestyle. Also consider an up-and-coming area that might be better priced now but has the potential to go up in value in the future.
2. Never buy somebody elses renovation. Never pay for someone else’s work, Its always more cost-effective to do it yourself.
3. Get the proper permits before you start and know the history of the land. Do your due diligence with the city and find out what the maximum GFA (gross floor area) is that you can build on your lot without going to Committee of Adjustment. Also, take note of the tree locations, if there are any large trees standing in the way of your addition -the tree will always win.
4. Know your Layout – ie: location of walls, doors, windows, plumbing and mechanical & electrical. You need to have foresight to be able to see the finishes in your head before you start. Make sure to revise the plan often. It’s easier to make changes before the framing stage.
5. Budget is king – Everything in construction costs money.. so stick to your budget as best possible – always know that things can wait to be done in the future – ie a finished basement. Plan a contingency so that you can account for unforeseen conditions and revisions.