Design & DIY

Colin Hunter’s reno tips for the average dude

Colin Hunter recently appeared at the Fall Cottage Life Show, hosting the seminar 10 Tips for Renovating Your Cottage, Chalet or Summer Home. He is a licenced contractor based in Muskoka and also works as the contractor for HGTV’s hit series Summer Home, Colin has previously appeared on shows such as Save us From Our HouseCandice Tells All, and Income Property.

Get inspired

Look at magazines, check out books come to shows like The Cottage Life Show. Get the vibe you want and then prepare to be flexible.

Plan your renovation

Take measurements, draw a floor plan, and decide on the best use of space. Each hour of planning saves hours of work.

Plan your purchases and source materials

Once you have a list of items, it’s easy to price the things on that list. Then make sure that the items you need will be available where you need them. Find out how much you need to buy up north and where its available. Source second hand appliances in the city.

Arrange for help

Gather the man power required, whether relatives, friends, or tradespeople. Have them lined up and ready to go, and remember that large projects always take longer than expected.

Set realistic goals for your work

No one wants to help if the standards are unreachable or the amount of work is more than what can be done in the time you have. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Be systematic

Henry ford invented the assembly line for a reason. Go in sequence as best as you can, e.g., framing, utilities, wall covering etc. Avoid jumping around and constantly switching tasks. Focus on one thing and get it done.

Listen to some good music

This will help you stay positive and help get you excited about the task at hand.

Take a mid day break

Set a goal with a stop-work time. Decide on your back-to-work time as well. Enjoy some nature and the afternoon sun!

Clean up and give yourself and your team a high five

Try to avoid stressing over the mountain of work ahead of you. Take some time to enjoy the improvements you’ve finished. You can plan your next move when the weekend’s over!