5 Common Renovation Myths Cleared Up
Last modified: 2019/08/20 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Home renovations require time and energy for planning, preparing and executing. Leading up to your project, you’ll likely want to do some research in relation to potential problems. Of course, there’s plenty of advice out there but as you’ll notice, a lot of it is contradictory. Regardless if you’re a renovation novice or an expert, navigating these waters can be difficult, especially when avoiding being schemed or cheated. Luckily, there are some common myths which we’re going to debunk!
There are several misconceptions in the world of renovations, but you'll definitely experience some more so than others. It’s important to be well aware of these myths ahead of time, as this will save you the aforementioned time and energy when it comes to embarking on a remodel.
Here are the 5 most common renovation myths!
1- Return on investment
Even if you put countless dollars and hours into remodelling your kitchen or bathroom, if you eventually decide to sell, there’s no guarantee that this money will come back to you. You can never expect to get a dollar-for-dollar return on investment, although you can expect a percentage. There is a very small promise that you’ll be able to tact on the full cost of an improvement to the price of your home.
Another note is that if you end up overpricing your home based on this myth, you will be sorely disadvantaged when you put it on the market. If you’re working with a contractor who is guaranteeing this money will come back to you, do take this information with a grain of salt.
If you’re looking for renovation projects that will guarantee a return on investment, check out our article on this specific subject.
2- DIY is cheaper, faster, better
If you’d consider yourself an expert in the field of home renovations, you may take on almost any project without thinking about hiring an external source. In the minds of many, DIY is a way to save money and time. However, this is a definite myth and in some cases, carrying out work on your own is actually illegal. First and foremost, consider safety factors that come into play with the renovation project you’re taking on.
If you’re completing a job that requires any electrical or plumbing work, then you’ll need to hire a professional in the respective field. In most municipalities, carrying out this work without certifications is illegal and dangerous. You may have researched plenty on rewiring your kitchen, but do consider the safety of friends and loved ones if something were to go wrong. Further, before taking on the project yourself, we’d suggest considering some vital questions including the following:
- Have I taken on this work before?
- Am I worried or fearful about the end result?
- Will I be doing harm to my home in the process?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, we’d recommend hiring a professional. Another common misconception that relates to this is that DIY will always be cheaper. In many cases, DIYing a job will be cheaper upfront but will greatly depend on the tools and materials you have access to.
If something happens to go wrong in the process, or you need to buy more materials as a result of a misstep or miscalculation, you’ll likely end up spending the same amount as you may have when hiring a professional upfront. Depending on how serious the project is, we’d almost always suggest getting in touch with entrepreneurs and experts.
3- Paint covers all
Paint is often used by novice renovators to try and cover up problem areas. This can include anything from minor imperfections, mould, water damage, nicks, holes and so forth. Although paint may initially appear to smooth things over, in the future, these problem areas could easily get much worse. For this reason and depending on the severity of the issue, make sure to use paint for cosmetic fixes or updates alone. If you notice something such as mould or mildew growth, water damage or other more serious problems, find the source of the problem, fix the issue and then move onto finding ways for it to look better.
4- Permits are an option
We've published many articles on the topic of permit applications, and how they are absolutely a necessity when it comes to almost any form of home renovation. Although many homeowners believe that permits are only necessary for serious renovations or further, that they’re optional, they would be wrong. Proceeding without a permit can mean serious fines, delays and even the possibility of legal action. In some cases, the city may even demand that you completely remove the work you’ve done. Here are projects that will always require a permit:
- Extensions, additions, layout changes;
- Electricity and plumbing;
- Fireplace or chimney renovations;
- Deck and fences.
For a detailed look on this subject, check out our overview article regarding permits and their restrictions. Do bear in mind that the application process, wait time, cost and requirements will be different for every city and province.
5- Repairing instead of replacing
It’s a common myth for homeowners to believe that repairing something instead of replacing it will be cheaper. In many cases, repairs will temporarily fix something and thus, you’ll need to replace it in the future. If you know the repair won’t hold up, then it’s important you go ahead and replace the item upfront. Also worth noting is that oftentimes, repairing something can easily lead to further damage or costs. Also consider aspects like warranties, which will offer new additions to your home a much longer guarantee than simply repairing the old one. When completing almost any renovation project, it’s crucial to consider things in the long term rather than just the immediate present. This way, you can avoid having to deal with the same problem in a month or two.
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