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Renovation Hell

You may remember an earlier post about tips for renovating and preparation.  I find myself in the midst of what I have fondly named ‘Renovation Hell’.  Yes… the photo you see if of my poor bathroom.  I feel the need to add and perhaps relist some of the tips.  Speaking from first hand experience.  Here it goes.

1. Be prepared for dust, dust and more dust.  Even away from the part of your house being renovated you will find layers of dust.  I’ve found that a bucket with warm water and a cloth works best at getting rid of.  Stay ontop of it otherwise it will become a huge cleaning job at the end.  Dust isn’t very healthy for electronics either.

2. I’m happy that we decided to get permits….. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE PROPER PERMITS… It turned out that the new breaker installed in the electrical panel wasn’t the correct one for the new line.  If we hadn’t insisted on an inspection from the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) we wouldn’t haven’t known the different.  Even though it may have been minor it was a risk I wasn’t willing to take.  Everything else electrical passed with flying colours.  Moving plumbing requires a permit.  Replacing stairs and railings requires a permit (Although it’s not structural the permit is for safety)…. another lesson learned.  If your contractor says it’s not neccessary double check with your local building authority or city hall.

3.  When your contractor tells you 3 weeks for completion of the work, DOUBLE IT for the sake of preparation and planning.  We just passed the 3 week mark and it’s probably going to be closer to 5 or 6 weeks.

4.  Keep the communication lines open with your contractor.  Good communication is very important and it’s averted some disaster in my case.  I’m happy with our contractor and that he’s able to communicate.

5. Make sure you have funds set aside for extras and emergency items.  Yes it turns out an error was made and a thermostatic valve was not ordered.  It added ontop of the cost. Oh… also… 3 weeks for the part to arrive.  (Refer to tip #3).

6.  If something doesn’t seem right or make sense speak up.  Don’t assume that it’s okay or that it will be done correctly.  Don’t feel pressured into accepting it.

7. Have your HVAC system (ducts and furnace) cleaned professionally after the work has been completed.  Also during the renovation make sure that your furnace filter is changed and not clogged with dust and debris.

8. When interviewing contractors ask how many people (labourers) will be working on the job at a time.  If it’s just one then it’ll take longer than 3 or 4.

9. Make sure you have a written and signed contract with your contractor.  Ensure that time lines are written into the contract of when phases of the job will be complete.  To ensure that the contractor does not drag their heels work into the contract financial penalties if deadlines are not met.  Also include a warranty of workmanship.

Other tip:  Habitat for Humanity will take away your old fixtures (If they’re in good shape and reusable) for free.  It’s just a matter of picking up the phone to arrange a pick up date.