We always warn our clients that renovations rarely come easy and that they need to be prepared for some stress and possible negative emotions – and that’s if you’re working with a contractor. Multiply this by a hundred if you are planning to complete the project yourself.
Other than proper planning and making the right choices, there is a big grey area that most contractors hate to touch and there is a reason for it. Typically they will offer you services to maximize your spend, order materials that will increase their labor costs to benefit on margins, use cheaper materials that are not seen or ones that are covered by a dry wall or tile for example. We receive quite a number of calls from different people asking to come and repair a newly finished renovation project or to finish a half-done project that a lousy contractor failed to finish! It just breaks seeing such things happen.
A very important element that every homeowner MUST take into consideration before any renovation is the age of a home. Older homes offer a variety of unexpected and usually costly issues that a homeowner may not be aware of. Here are just few of them.
Asbestos was a building compound that was popular in 20th century for its versatile and favorable building physical qualities: noise absorption, fire, chemical, heat, electrical resistance, with low costs to manufacture. Even though some countries still use asbestos in their building practices, Canada banned production of asbestos in 1979 due to its harmful effects on the people that were handling asbestos products. This is why it’s important to gather a few samples of compound from the existing structures of an older home where a renovation project is planned. Remember that only a designated licensed company may remove asbestos properly! Discovering asbestos in time will save homeowners valuable time and money, and will avoid long waiting period on clearance from authorities to continue the project.
Knob and tube wiring is another unpleasant surprise for homeowners during their renovation (unless of course they were aware of that and hopefully budgeted for an electrical rewiring update of a house). Even though the wire is not that different from the ones we use now, the problem with knob and tube is that there is no ground wire, just hot and neutral which causes a risk of fire! Some insurance companies do not insure such homes while some require higher premiums. It is very difficult to sell such a home and an electrical update is highly recommended!
Water is the home’s worst enemy. Water leaks can appear due to many reasons; from small thing like the wrong positioning of a downspout, to tens of thousands of dollars excavation and re-insulation of basement perimeter. In any event, if you are aware of a leakage problem please do not ignore it – address it!
Termites. Owing to their wood-eating habits, many termite species can do great damage to unprotected buildings and other wooden structures. Their habit of remaining concealed often results in their presence being undetected until the timbers are severely damaged and exhibit surface changes.
Although there are other “hiccups” that one may discover on the way to a perfect home, please bear in mind that almost everything is fixable.
When you are planning a new home project, big or small, give us a call or shoot us an email. We would love to come by and give you a quote. Our professionals are insured and with years of experience. We guarantee that our professional services will bring you piece of mind, you feel comfortable by having a knowledgeable and caring project manager to answer all your questions. Our prices are competitive may pleasantly surprise you.
Our clients deal only with one person during the entire renovation period – a project manager. No excuses, no games. We strive for excellence! We believe in getting the job done right the first time! Please ask us about financing options.