There are a lot of articles online giving Vancouver home renovation advice. But is all that advice good – or even safe?
The internet includes great tips about renovations, but also some advice that should not be implemented!
With that in mind, here is the Vancouver home renovation advice you should never listen to.
The worst Vancouver home renovation advice – and why you should not listen to it
1. Cheap materials can be made to look luxurious
You’ll often read blogs that suggest cheap materials can be made to look high-end. They often put the responsibility on homeowners, saying that these items just need the right treatment or design aesthetic to appear luxurious. Then, when the look does not work out, we often see the homeowners blaming themselves.
We’re here to tell you: You are not the problem!
When it comes to your home, quality matters. The reality is that cheap materials usually look cheap. The same is true of cheap finishings and appliances.
The other consideration is lasting power. Low-cost materials often won’t hold up over time as well as better-made materials.
What if you cannot afford high-quality materials for your entire home? There are a couple of ways to approach this.
First, you can go for a different type of look. For example, if you go for a rustic look, you can easily use second-hand furnishings and furniture.
Another option is to pick key pieces to splurge on. For instance, you could put money into a high-end oven but then get a more modest fridge.
By choosing certain items to spend a bit more on, you can elevate your overall design while keeping your home renovation affordable
2. Go with the most expensive option
There is Vancouver home renovation advice that swings far in the opposite direction, suggesting that the most expensive option is always best.
This also simply is not true. The most expensive products are not always best – and are not always right for your wants and needs.
Instead of judging products by their price tag, we suggest looking at their quality, reviews and how they fit with your home and lifestyle. This way, you can pick the perfect product for you.
Ask your renovation professional for advice on choosing the right products within the right budget for your project.
3. Tearing down a wall is no big deal
If someone writes this, they are not a professional contractor. No professional would diminish the work that goes into tearing down a wall. There are a lot of factors to consider, including your home’s stability, Building Code issues and city permitting requirements, which could cause your entire project to come to a screeching halt if they’re ignored.
Before tearing out any wall, make sure you consult with a professional contractor. They will assess if the wall is load-bearing. If so, you cannot remove it. If the wall can be removed, then the contractor will advise you about how this can be handled and the team required for the renovation.
4. Update to what is currently trendy
Some people believe that homes should be trendy. Some writers claim that, if your home is not trendy, you will never be able to rent or sell it.
Again, this is false! Trends come and go. That is why they are trends. Most people cannot afford to design and redesign their home with every passing fad. Most people also do not want to have constant renovations happening.
Instead of making your home trendy, we suggest keeping it timeless. Having a timeless design means your home will never go out of style. Then, if you do want to stay trendy, accomplish this with a few interior design accents like a new piece of artwork or throw pillows. These types of items can be easily changed, allowing you to enjoy current trends without breaking the bank.
5. A historic home needs to be modernized OR should never be modernized
People have strong opinions on both sides of this issue!
Some claim that historic homes should never be modernized, while others argue that these places should always be brought up to date.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle. There are cases where modernization is needed and there are times where it’s better to preserve the historic elements in a home. In fact, designated heritage homes in Vancouver are regulated in terms of how they can be renovated; another excellent reason to consult with a professional contractor before getting too deep into your renovation design.
That is why we recommend that, if you have a historic home, you speak with a professional contractor about the best choices for your place. The contractor will inspect your home and will speak to you about what you are looking for, then they will advise you about the right course of action.
6. You can always DIY
We know DIY projects are all the rage these days. Weekend warriors and Ikea hacks are so popular on Pinterest and blogs that it’s hard to miss them, and since they look so easy, it’s hard to not want to attempt them.
That is a nice idea, but it is usually not that easy. In fact, in some cases doing a project yourself is downright dangerous.
Our rule of thumb is this: if it is a small, superficial job, you can DIY. If there are structural changes, electrical or lighting elements, or major renovations, these should only be handled by accredited professionals. Even with small projects, remember to consider what is manageable for you before you begin. You do not want to realize halfway through a project that you have bitten off more than you can chew!
7. You don’t need to hire a professional home renovation contractor
This is another piece of Vancouver home renovation advice that is just flat out unsafe. Home renovations are serious projects. They can involve dealing with electricity, plumbing, and the building’s structural integrity, requiring qualified tradespeople.
If you have a non-professional handle this work for you, you can end up with significant damage to your home. You could also be hit with a stop work order by a city building inspector, which is a very costly and frustrating process to correct. Even worse, you and your loved ones could get seriously hurt or killed by mistakes that are made.
Given the safety risks, we strongly advise only working with professional home renovation contractors. Doing so will also make sure your project stays safe and within budget – and that you are happy with the end results.
Looking for good Vancouver home renovation advice? You can always find it on our blog! If you have more specific questions about a project, drop us a line to discuss it and how we can help you with your renovation.