Home renovations can be daunting – especially when you’re left with conflicting advice from various experts and online sources… it’s hard to know who or what to trust! There are a whole range of tips and theories out there that I’ve found to be unhelpful, and ultimately stressful. In hopes of providing more clarity as you take on your next big project, here 10 common reno myths, busted.
DIY Saves Money
This age-old myth is the one most commonly believed. Many of you, I am sure, are more than capable of renovating your own home, but I’m afraid there are more of you who are not. I would never discourage giving DIY a go, but you have to be careful. If there is any skilled work required, then have a trained and qualified expert carry out the work. If the job is smaller, give it a go, but if something goes wrong, you’ll likely end up spending more.
You Only Need a 5-10% Contingency Budget
You often hear a renovation budget requires a 5-10% contingency, but I would suggest making it more like 25-30%. Having money set aside for unexpected costs is highly recommended, and is something I insist upon when completing work for a client. Renovating is not a perfect science; there are a variety of hidden variables, so it’s hard to quantify before any work has begun. Be sensible and make the changes you can afford, and realize that costs may rise quickly.
Always Accept the Cheapest Quote
As you can already see, there is a theme occurring: renovations are not cheap! If you’ve done the sensible thing and gathered quotes from a number of professionals, don’t let the cost fool you. Ensure that every quote includes the full amount of labour and materials the job requires. Every job has a price, and there are no shortcuts – only poor craftsmanship or materials – so make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
The More Expensive the Product, the Better
This piece of advice works in most areas of consumerism: the price does not always reflect the quality. It’s important to ensure you are buying the best tool or material for the job, which doesn’t always mean purchasing the most premium product. This is where research and guidance will come in handy.
Permits Aren’t Always Necessary
Don’t assume this! Always do your due diligence when renovating your home, as different provinces will have different regulations, so it’s paramount for you to inquire and verify. A quick phone call or email could save you from a whole host of issues if you begin working without a permit.
You’re Not Responsible for Work-Related Injuries
This is a common misconception. Ensuring a hired professional has coverage is key. In Ontario, for example, most businesses that employ workers must register under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). In BC this is Work safe BC (WCB). This covers anyone working at your residence against injury. Technically, if a worker gets injured while renovating your home and they are not covered by WSIB, you could be responsible for any compensation.
Liability Insurance Isn’t Required
On the topic of insurance – what happens if damages are made to your home due to faulty workmanship? Ensure your contractor has general liability insurance, otherwise you could be responsible for these repairs. You should also get in touch with your own home insurance provider to review your own coverage.
It’s Cheaper to Handle Plumbing Work Yourself
Plumbing is a highly skilled profession and should be left to the experts. This is definitely the case when it come to gas. Gas work should only be carried out by those with the appropriate certification. Trying to complete any plumbing yourself could cause a lot of damage, and although it may take a few months to notice, the costs could be astronomical.
Homeowners Can Do Electrical Work
Unless you’re a trained and qualified electrician, don’t even think about it. Not only are you putting your safety at risk, you could also make an expensive mistake. Even if you have done it before in another home, be careful – every home is different and you don’t always know what you will discover once you start.
Managing Your Own Reno is Feasible
If you haven’t led a reno project before, think twice before doing so. There are so many working parts to a remodel that make it difficult and highly stressful to manage. You should always keep a close eye on the work being done to your home, but I recommend hiring someone else to manage the project, especially if it requires multiple contractors.
In the end, home renovations are no joke, and cutting corners never pays off. It’s important to ensure the work is carried out under the appropriate legal regulations and that the project is completed to the highest standard possible. That’s when it becomes a rewarding process that will set you up for the long run, whether you decide to stay or sell.
Written By: Bryan Baeumler
For More Information: Ridgewater Homes
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