Avoiding the Horror of Home Renovations Done Poorly

GASP! The horror…

While not many people can say they’ve lived in a haunted house, a considerable number of others have had the fright of their life when their home renovation became a horror story. From flooding and fire to unsettled foundations and contractors not completing their work, home renovations have the potential to become downright nightmares.

How do these horror stories come to be? More often than not, they begin when a homeowner decides to cut corners or doesn’t do their homework when hiring a contractor. Cutting corners could take the form of doing the work themselves, forgoing the permit application process, or any number of things – the list is long. Almost always, these nightmares share two common themes – an absence of professionalism and experience, and unexpected, added expense.

Herb Lagois recently wrote an article in Ottawa Renovates about the experience of one of his clients. These clients had taken on the task of project-managing the build of their new home, and had hired Lagois to do the framing and siding work. Sadly, their decision to project-manage came back to bite them with the ferocity of a vampire. When the surveyor came by to inspect their home, they were informed that the house was occupying 5 feet of their neighbour’s property. They were left with two painful choices – purchase the 5 feet of land from the neighbour or demolish and re-build. They resorted to the latter when the neighbour proved too greedy.

Needless to say, the framing and siding work done by Lagois was all for naught, the nightmare had already unfolded. And the clients paid a pretty penny for something they could have easily avoided by hiring a skilled, trustworthy builder with a solid reputation in the first place.

Construction nightmares aren’t limited to those who choose to project-manage their own home-building projects. Many horror stories are contractor blunders. Put yourself in the shoes of someone whose contractor leaves the job site vacant for days at a time – causing neighbours to get their backs up and extending your renovation by days, weeks or even months! What about contractors who outsource their plumbing and electrical to a large pool of providers — you’re putting your faith in their skills and training, and they may not even be certified in their trade. Shudder…

Don’t get spooked. Seek out an experienced contractor who comes highly recommended. Look for someone who is willing to educate you and guide you through a project. A home renovation shouldn’t be terrifying!

From start to finish, at Lagois we provides our clients with experience and service they can count on. Our 3-phase concept to completion process ensures that every necessary detail is discussed and every promise is met – on time and on budget – with an impeccable final product.

Home renovations are generally not meant for hobbyists, dabblers or amateurs. By going down this road you can encounter any number of roadblocks or disasters – contractors who don’t return calls, noise complaints from neighbours, stop-work orders and cost overruns – all things that will test your patience and resolve.

Instead, home renovations should be led by trusted professionals who appreciate the importance of thoughtful planning and execution. The investment upfront will save you time, money and grief in the long run.

And you’ll avoid being the next horror story in the world of home renovations gone wrong.