So you’ve decided to go ahead and renovate your home. I hope you have thought long and hard about this decision, plus taken my helpful hints into consideration before starting out. Home renovations are a major undertaking. They put your life in turmoil, physically, emotionally, financially, and even socially. The hope is that at the end of the day, it is all worth it. And hopefully it is. But sometimes that depends upon who you get to do the job for you.

Here is a list of potential people you could get to take care of your home renovation projects;

What is your relationship with your Father-in-law? Is it wise to turn your back on him when he has power tools in hand?

  • Yourself
  • You & your father and/or father-in-law
  • Your son & his friends
  • Your unemployed neighbour that has some time on his hands (and has hung a picture or two at his house)
  • A contractor that your Aunt Sally recommended
  • A contractor that you found in the Yellow Pages

Some of these people might be good options. Some may not be. Does your Dad really know what he is doing, despite his insistence that he wants to help? Can you get along with your father-in-law long enough to get the project completed? Does your son and his friends have enough experience to deal with any potential problems they might come across? How about that neighbour? Will he keep up with your project if a new job comes his way? You might be in better hands with a contractor, and recommendations can go a long way, but aren’t always reliable. All of these options might be feasible, or might spell disaster. It depends upon the extent of your home renovation project, and more importantly on the competency of the people whom you get to do the job.

If you can hire someone cheaply to work for you, isn’t that worthwhile though, you might wonder.  Sometimes, but not always. What might seem like a deal, might end up costing you more in the long run if problems arise. Regardless of a person’s ability, problems can and do arise during home renovations. Here are just a few problems that you might come across;

How skilled are the people you are thinking about hiring? Will they do more harm or good?

  • Costs become more than originally anticipated
  • Timelines get extended beyond the first date
  • Contractors walk away from the job
  • Materials don’t fit (ie. counters too long, space for toilet too small, etc.)
  • Workmanship is shoddy
  • Job is not completed

I am sure that you have heard a few horror stories of your own. Before settling on anyone to undertake home renovations to your house, make sure they are the right people for the job. Check to see if they have insurance, references, a record with the Better Business Bureau (good or bad), guarantees on their workmanship, warranties on any items installed, and sufficient trades that they work with to get the job done. You should also make sure that they have time to complete the job at hand. It is bad enough living through a home renovation, let alone having to extend living in a mess because there are unforeseen delays to the job.

Friends and relatives are sometimes better kept in that class, versus walking the slippery slope of erstwhile contractor

So before you hire Uncle Seamus and his retired buddy Larry to create your dream “Man Cave”, decide if it is worth the headache that might ensue. Will that project ever reach fruition, and will it end up looking like what you envisioned it would? Even if you are paying in beer, is that really the cheapest option?

Just saying…