Smart home renovations on a budget: Tips and tricks from Soo Mill

Don’t let spring renos blow your budget: Soo Mill experts will help avoid DIY surprises

With a spring just around the corner, many homeowners are turning their attention toward renovations.

But with a rise in the price of supplies, and an unsteady real estate market, the approach for many shoppers has changed.

Ralph Weise, Manager of Retail Sales at Soo Mill, says anyone looking to plan for a project – big or small – should take a few minutes to plan ahead before embarking on a renovation.

“I think when people start renovations, they might have a vague number in their head and a rough idea of ​​how much things are going to cost,” Weise said. “Then they just go to the store and start buying things, start buying materials.”

“If they’re doing a bathroom, for example, there’s the shower, the toilets and the vanity, but maybe homeowners don’t think about drywall compound drywall itself, they don’t think about caulking, they don’t think about those add on-materials.”

It’s those add-ons that can quickly “blow out the budget,” Weise said.

That’s where the expertise of Soo Mill’s staff comes into play.

Weise, a dedicated team member since 2005 and a lifelong shopper, has experience in multiple departments, giving him a unique understanding of customers’ needs.

His work in Kitchen and Bathroom Installations has allowed him to collaborate closely with homeowners, assisting them in designing and building their dream spaces. Now, as the manager of the Soo Mill’s Retail Store, Ralph continues to serve the needs of local DIYers and professionals alike, leveraging his extensive knowledge and commitment to customer satisfaction.

“We have the staff here to break those costs down for you, and you’ll have a few surprises,” he said.

Weise says the Order Desk at Soo Mill is the perfect go-to for asking any questions, or getting estimates on project sizes and prices. All staff, Weise said, are knowledgeable and more than happy to help.

“The Order Desk and Contractor Desk are great sources of knowledge, these guys know their stuff,” he said.

Areas of expertise include kitchen design, bathroom installations, roofing and siding and even general hardware and lumber.

But any reno should start with the proper plan, even if you’re not a professional, Weise suggests.

Even for first-time homeowners, or people just digging into their first renovation project, Soo Mill’s staff can accommodate – and assist – all skill levels.

“We’ll walk you through the process, and provide you with the right resources to educate yourself,” Weise said. “Because everyone wants to learn. And we take a lot of pride in helping you learn to become a proficient DIY-er.”

In addition, the Soo Mill website allows users to request quotes and services, access relevant news, and find information about DIY renovations.

For customers who may feel hesitant to tackle a project on their own or find the idea of ​​renovations overwhelming, Ralph highlights Soo Mill’s Install Division as a valuable resource.

“Our team is down-to-earth and skilled in interior and exterior renovations. They’re local pros when it comes to roofing, siding, windows, doors, kitchens, and bathrooms, you name it. We’re all about making your project go smoothly and ensure you’re really happy with the outcome,” he shared.

“Most of these guys and gals have been doing this for decades.”

Ralph went on to explain that Soo Mill also works closely with third party contractors who are reliable and produce quality work.

“Those are the folks who regularly shop here and maintain long-term accounts with us – people we’ve built strong, trusting relationships with over the years. We’re confident in their skills and reliability, and they feel the same way about us .”

But when’s the right time to step back from your home reno and decide if it’s cheaper – or better – to go with a pro?

“It all depends on how confident you are,” Weise said. “How much do you already know? And how much do you think you’re able to pick up on your own, and in the time that you’ve been allotted for this project?”

Ralph emphasizes the importance of getting the job done right and meeting the home owner’s needs.

“What really matters is that your renovation is done properly and suits your needs. That’s the most important thing to us,” he said.

Ralph encourages homeowners to consider reaching out to Soo Mill to explore how they might be able to help make their renovation dreams a reality.

“Give us a call or come on in, and we’ll show you how our team can take the stress out of your renovation project and help you achieve the results you’re looking for,” he added.

Serious plumbing and electrical, Weise suggests, should probably be the areas that homeowner’s should hand over to a licensed professional. As should anything involving gas.

“It’s kind of a ratio of the amount of confidence in yourself and what you have access to in terms of specialized equipment,” Weise said.

But Weise said the staff at the Soo Mill loves to see taking on new challenges in home improvement, and will help you build that confidence to tackle any project.

And it all begins with tapping into the expertise of Soo Mill, and “shopping smart.”

“Give yourself plenty of time to gather materials,” Weise said, adding that the Soo Mill website now lists clearance items on the page, where customers are sure to find a bargain.

“Soo Mill offers competitive prices, and we’ll even match the prices of local and online competitors,” he said.

And once the shopping is done, and the Soo Mill has helped you through the renovation process, they’ll even ship the materials to your door, Weise said.

But all home renovations begin with a plan, Weise said. So if there’s any stage to take your time, that’s it.

“Even with a small room, it may take some time, so it’s important to stage it out and figure out the main stages of the project,” he said.

“Realistically, think about how long things are going to take and make a plan, make a schedule.”

“Then talk to one of our sales reps, take a picture of your job. That will help us sort of get a better idea of ​​where you’re at what you’re trying to do.”

“And we can help you figure out the best approach.”

And most importantly, Weise said, even when the costs, or the scope of the project seems overwhelming, homeowners shouldn’t balk at the idea of ​​renos.

“Don’t give up,” Weise said. “You’re a homeowner, and you live in the home.”

“You can do it.”

Got questions for the staff at the Soo Mill? Don’t forget to mark the Soo Mill Project Show on your calendars, June 2nd-3rd, 2023.

Vendors in the building supply and home renovation industry from all over Canada will be there to discuss the products and provide tips, demonstrations and suggest ideas for local DIYers and professionals.