Leave the Lipstick for Last
When you find yourself in the midst of a renovation you might be tempted to forego fixing some of the issues you stumble upon behind the scenes but, in reality, those are the parts of your home renovation that really need your attention. It is important to realize that when you decide to take on a renovation you may find more problems than you anticipated. And those problems may not be repairable within the extremes of your budget (which is why you need to always allow at least a 15% contingency). But it is also important to understand that covering up those problems and hiding them away does not actually make anything better and could lead to issues down the road. It may seem easier and cheaper to put lipstick on it (make it look good and move on) but I strongly encourage you to do it right! If you have to choose between upgraded finishes and using a proper beam to support the load of your home, for example, I hope you choose structure. If the difference between putting that new window in properly or improperly is as simple as a last minute trip to the hardware store, for the eighth time that day, to get house wrap and silicone, I hope you go. These little decisions we make when renovating are what make or break the finished product. Ten weeks and ten thousand in renovations later your space may look great but if it isn’t done properly or safely you will run into problem after problem in the future. The truth is that it will cost you much more time, money and stress than if you would have taken a little more care the first time around. Here is a small list of things you do not want to cover up.
Leaks: Any leak is a bad leak! You could have a leaky roof, eaves trough, window, shower, faucet, concrete, the list could go on and on. And water isn’t the only culprit! Air leaks can cause problems too! With our cold Canadian winters cold air leaking in windows and doors and insufficient insulation can wreak havoc on our heating bills!
Structural issues: Making sure that the roof is properly supported is a big deal. So unless you know what you are doing, don’t be taking down any walls or take on any projects where framing is involved.
Electrical: WHOA! Stop right there! Ignoring electrical issues can be very dangerous for your family. You don’t want to overload a breaker or have improper wiring that could shock someone or cause a fire. And this is one of those things that you DO NOT want to do yourself. Find a licensed electrician that you can trust to get it fixed up right!
Plumbing: Problems with plumbing means more leaks. If you are spending hard earned money to fix up your home you wouldn’t want anything getting wrecked because of a neglected leak! Plus, leaks lead to black mold, which isn’t healthy for anyone! Yuck!
By all means, once you have addressed all the craziness, put that lipstick on and make your home look good!