There is no shortage of the renovation questions in my life. It has become a ridiculous plethora of stories to share at social functions and family gatherings.
A recent one was of a woman having a ‘simple’ renovation done on her kitchen. She had called a contractor, checked out his references, and decided to go with his too-well priced quote. She would get the kitchen she always wanted. Two months later, she’s in the throes of repairs and has exceeded the budget.
She had overheard me discussing my occupation in a store, and one thing lead to another, so we started discussing her design. Her contractor had told her she didn't need a designer and that he could take care of everything. She had agreed on his sketch to move the stove to another wall and open the wall where it had existed. There was no discussion on venting, and it was generalized that everything would work out, without actually examining the structure together. She felt she was in good hands. All things considered, there was no damage to the structure and he was good with paying his sub-trades and cleaning up every night. But now he felt she needed ducting. He didn’t check to make sure that ducting was in place. So now she has had to run additional ducting, not only through her kitchen, but the front hallway and part of her living room. An eyesore; but was told it was necessary. Unfortunately, it wasn't. And to top it off, the ductless vent hood that existed, he broke while trying to take it down. He tells her he will cover the cost of the existing hood, but now she needs a higher quality unit for the amount of duct work added.
References are extremely important, and you have to get the right vibe from those that you hire. But when you decide you want to renovate, build an addition or a new home, you cannot afford to be ignorant of the scope of work you require. It takes some initial research to make sure your property is being invested in wisely. I find it a key point in the very beginning to cover all aspects of the scope of work and to review any and all anticipated setbacks or adjustments that may come up. I also encourage people to shop around. Sometimes a Designer or Contractor will miss out on something that another will catch. Human error is inevitable, but ignorance will leave you with an empty wallet and wishing ‘what-ifs’. This situation was quite minor, as we’ve all seen Holmes on Homes. If you are looking to start a renovation or build, contact my team, and we will be happy to arrange a complimentary consultation. It may save you from a real headache.