Thursday, 13 October 2011

Home Renovation Do’s and Don’ts: What to do before you do anything

Home Renovation 101, some don'ts, discoveries, by wobuilt.comHome Renovation Discoveries: Black Mold,
Spaghetti Wiring, Arching Electricity, Crappy Plumbing.
Look for These and Other "Fun Discoveries".
Image Credit: MS Office ClipArt:
Mans face featuring a pondering emotion
2011 @

Today we begin a series on what to do and what not to do when it comes to your home renovation projects. We’ll take you inside one of Wo-Built’s projects to see the reality behind the advice. And, perhaps more importantly, appreciate the impact of not taking our advice…

What do you do before you start any major home renovation project? Call a good general contractor. Why? Because a general contractor has a sense for "the big picture" and an eye for "all the little details," whereas a more specialized contractor or tradesperson may not.


Homeowners Bob and Marsha (not their real names), decided they wanted to remodel and renovate their bungalow in East York of roughly 60 to 70 years of age (the bungalow, not Bob and Marsha). So, they went ahead and had the ground floor remodeled with beautiful trim, fresh paint, a remodeled bathroom and had a brand new kitchen.

They were so happy with the way everything looked, they said "Let’s finish the basement now." Only then did they contact Wo-Built to come do the basement, after their main floor renovations. It was only after Wo-Built took down the walls in the new bathroom adjacent to the new kitchen (to get at the black mold and properly insulate the walls to prevent it from returning) that the electrician found a single wire spliced into an electrical box (running on a single 60-70 year old circuit / fuse) powering no less than 5 outlets in the kitchen (in addition to the outlets and fixtures it was powering in the bathroom).

So, someone using a hair dryer in the morning while the coffee maker and toaster is going? What about throwing in a blender for that morning smoothie? It could have turned into quite the morning StairMaster workout to go reset the fuse every morning. Now, Wo-Built has to cut into recently finished and painted walls in a brand new kitchen to fix an electrical wiring oversight by the individual(s) who installed it.

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have called in a reliable general contractor like Wo-Built to oversee any renovations being planned from the get-go? Isn’t it better for the realistic scope of the project and correct order of work to be determined before a single hammer is lifted? Wo-Built would have been able to spot problems and avoid wasted effort, saving Bob and Marsha time, money and headaches.

And this is just a taste of the "horrors" lurking behind the walls, in the foundation, and elsewhere in the basement of this benign little bungalow in a sleepy little East York neighborhood of Toronto, Canada.

Black mold behind walls of the "new bathroom," the spaghetti wiring with arching electricity and scorched insulation, the complete lack of insulation in some areas, and plumbing that looks like it was put in by a lonely octopus. Look for these and other "fun discoveries" in the weeks to come (i.e. the Halloween edition…for obvious reasons).

Attila Lendvai
VP of Strategic Development
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

No comments: