Ask a RenoMark Renovator: Why you may need more time than you think to achieve your dream renovation or custom home

Articles & Interest

Homeowners need to budget enough time for a renovation project to be complete, writes Brendan Charters

When planning a home renovation, homeowners often jump right to design, finishes, and the look and feel of the project. While that is a natural thing to do, at Eurodale Design + Build, we encourage prospective clients to do their research, and above all, budget enough time for the project.

As a full-service builder, we work with our clients from initial ideation through the various stages of their project. We encourage any homeowner to do their research and look for professional RenoMark contractors who have agreed to abide by a renovator-specific code of conduct. A home is a personal thing that you invest a great amount in, and necessitates a relationship with your builder built on trust and understanding from both sides.

We work to understand the client’s issues and goals — is that adding more space, or creating an in-law suite to help older parents age in place? In the GTA, we continue to see emerging trends like laneway suite conversions, gradient density, and transition housing. It’s also become standard to build with greener materials as people become more conscious of their carbon footprint. Whatever the goal, we help our clients realize their dreams by offering practical solutions.

A major impact on the building process important for clients to understand is the municipal approval process and how much time it can take. Once designed, the process of zoning, committee of adjustments and building permits can take several months, and in some cases, up to a year. Increasing levels of red tape and bureaucracy across siloed city departments has become incredibly onerous on builders and homeowners navigating the process. In the past, it took 30 to 60 days to get a hearing with the committee of adjustments; it can now take six to eight months in some areas.

Homeowners must have the foresight to plan in advance for delays, and consider impacts on their budget. An experienced builder will help explain and guide your project through these hurdles, getting construction underway as efficiently as possible. Beyond delaying construction and costing clients and builders time and money, these complexities make it more difficult to improve our existing housing stock, among other issues. We can look to other municipalities with more streamlined processes to see it doesn’t have to be this way.

For any homeowner considering a renovation project or new home build, remember that a relationship with your builder requires commitment and trust on both sides. By working together, you can avoid costly mistakes and delays on the path to your perfect home.

If this column has generated any thoughts or questions regarding a past or future renovation, please send your questions to Brendan Charters is a founding partner at Toronto’s Eurodale Design + Build. Connect with him at or on Instagram @eurodalehomes.