Tools to Get Started on Your Calgary Renovation

Planning a major project like building a new home or renovating your current one can seem overwhelming at first. Having been involved in these projects since 1985, we at The Christian Contractor know exactly what steps you need to take in the early stages, and we’re happy to share them. Choose from these options to more easily navigate this page:

Planning and Visualization

Start by critiquing the current area to be remodeled or developed. What works and what doesn't? What is the primary purpose for the space? Match your plan to suit your lifestyle. It is common to have difficulty visualizing the new space. We can assist by showing you drawings or floor plans. Clip magazine photos of layouts and décor schemes that inspire you. Take time to research your options.


Make a list of your needs for the new space, then define the absolute needs... which ones you would LIKE to have and which ones you NEED to have. Prioritizing is important; it makes it possible to incorporate the needs into your plans first, then if the space allows, you can add in your likes. This also helps to determine if you require additional square footage to accommodate the must-haves.

Establish a Budget

Establish a budget for the entire project and openly discuss it with the project manager. Unrealistic expectations can result if you don't express your targeted ceiling price and what you hope to get for your money. If the budget requires the elimination of a few likes now in order to get what you must have later, we suggest considering things such as less expensive countertops, flooring or electrical fixtures. These are relatively easy to replace in the future, causing the least amount of interruption. The checklist on this page will help in your decision making when establishing a budget.

Schedule & Coordinate

Should you have any questions, we will gladly assist you. Keep in mind that there are costs involved with the construction portion of the project and the budget should allow for more than the just the aesthetics. Establish a goal and determine the scope of the job. We can work with you on this and inform you of the steps required to attain the plan you are looking for. Plan start / completion dates and who will be responsible for what. If you intend to undertake some "do-it-yourself" tasks within the project, discuss them early with the project manager to ensure proper scheduling and coordination. Other things to consider are cabinetry and any special order items which can have lead-times of 4-8 weeks for delivery to the job site. It is more cost-efficient and stress-free to begin construction when the materials are readily available.

Finalize Your Plan

Prepare a specification list and sketch out a floor plan layout for the project. We can assist you if you run into any difficulties. For larger, more complex projects, we will use an architect and/or designer. Make certain that you are comfortable with all aspects of your plan. It is the least expensive time to change your mind or make alterations.

Preparation & What to Expect

To prepare for construction, pack your household items in clearly marked boxes that can be moved to another part of the home during the project. Remove any items from the walls in neighbouring rooms. The vibrations from construction can cause pictures to fall. Should you wish to cordon off a specific room, hang a poly barrier from the ceiling to stop unwanted dust from affecting the rest of the house. Don't panic! Daily communication with the project manager should ease the construction process for your family. Relax, it's worth the inevitable headaches and it is a terrific return on investment. Keep in mind that it's a temporary inconvenience, but a permanent improvement. The best way to remind yourself of why you are doing this... look at your before pictures!

Prepare a Checklist

It's always a good idea to create a checklist for the different aspects of your renovation. We've prepared a basic checklist for your review, so please feel free to use this checklist as a starting point for your renovation project.


  • Amount $________________
  • Add 5-10% for changes you may want after construction is underway.


  • Layout
  • Book cases
  • Media centers
  • Wood type
  • Style & finish
  • Hardware


  • Gas
  • Wood
  • Electric
  • Mantel
  • Fan assist



  • Task lights
  • Room lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Exterior lighting

Windows & Doors

  • Replace? How many?
  • New? Type & style?
  • Door hardware?
  • Replace old to match new?


  • Hardwood
  • Tile
  • Laminate
  • Carpet
  • Vinyl
  • Is there K3 under existing floor coverings?

Door/Window Casings, Baseboards & Crown Moldings

  • Type & style
  • Wood or MDF etc.

Walls & Trims

  • Round/square bead corners
  • Paint
  • Wallpaper
  • Wainscoting
  • Paneling
  • Colours

Ceiling Finishes

  • Smooth/textured/knock down?

Space Required

  • Is an addition required to allow for your needs?
  • Do interior walls need to be moved to accommodate the new layout?
  • Floor plan for new space?


  • Is much demolition involved?

Heating & Air Conditioning

  • Add onto existing system or replace with new.
  • New vents and returns
  • In-floor heat system


  • Will existing have to be moved or upgraded?
  • Rough-in plumbing for basement bathroom?

Plumbing Fixtures

  • Kitchen sinks & faucets
  • Bath fixtures
  • Shower/tub

Other Items to Consider

  • Media system
  • Furniture
  • Security system
  • Universal design (wider doorways, accessibility features)
  • Window coverings
  • Upgrade existing insulation
  • What are we realistically capable of doing ourselves in a timely manner to save money?

Get Answers

If you have questions, feel free to call us at The Christian Contractor; we’re always here to help you.

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