A Vancouver home renovation can be exciting and fun. It is a chance to give your home a facelift and make it feel new. On the other hand, renovations can go horribly wrong. The best way to avoid the latter situation is to know what not to do. That is why, today, we are tackling what you should never do during your home renovation.

Twelve things not to do during your Vancouver home renovation

1. Hire a contractor without vetting them

You have to put a lot of trust in the contractor who handles your Vancouver home renovation. Given that, it is important to make sure you get the right person to handle the job. The only way to ensure that is to properly vet the contractors you are considering. Research them, look at portfolios, and check references. While this may seem like a lot of work upfront, it can save you from a nightmare situation down the road.  

2. Start without a plan

Before starting any renovation, it is important to have a plan. Without one, you could end up doing a lot of work without really getting anywhere. Not only is this frustrating for everyone involved, but it will also waste your time and money. Instead, have a plan in place that you have agreed upon with your contractor. That way, from day one, you know that you are putting your time, money, and energy where you want it.

3. Ignore the city

Building Codes and Permits can be daunting – or even downright frustrating. In spite of that, it is important that you always follow them. If you do not, you could find yourself being hit with a Stop Work Order. Even if you can get through your Vancouver home renovation, it may all be for nothing as illegal construction can lead to fines or to the government demanding you rip all the work out.

4. Make structural changes on your own

When it comes to structural changes, your house is on the line. Making the wrong changes can cause your home to shift – or even destabilize it. That is why you need to have professionals doing this work. Similarly, work like plumbing and electrical should only be handled by certified professionals.

5. Deal with asbestos

Asbestos is not safe to work with. Professionals have systems in place to ensure asbestos is removed properly, protecting you and your loved ones’ health. Do not take the risk. Just work with professionals and follow their recommendations.

6. Buy your own materials

Contractors do not just know the right materials for your job, they can generally also get them at lower prices. If you buy your own materials, you may not get the right materials. Even if you do, you will most likely end up paying more. Then, on top of that, your contractor may have materials and suppliers they prefer. So if you hire an expert, communicate with them rather than doing something on your own and then leaving them to deal with it.

7. Scrimp on appliances

Appliances are important. The last thing you want to deal with is an appliance that is always breaking. That will be an annoyance – and an expense. That is why, when it comes to appliances, we believe in the adage: “Buy cheap, buy twice.” Save yourself the trouble by just paying once for good quality appliances.

8. Change your mind halfway through

When you are in the midst of a renovation, you may feel fed up with it. At that moment, it is easy to doubt all the decisions you made and to feel like you should just change everything. The problem is, halfway through those changes, you will probably feel like changing everything all over again. If you engage in this, you will end up never finishing a renovation and will spend a great deal of money. Instead of changing midstream, trust that you made your choices for a reason and wait to see how they turn out. Most people love their renovation when they see the final look.

9. Micromanage the renovation

You hire professionals for a reason… You trust them and their expertise. If that is the case, why would you micromanage them? That is just going to waste your time and your contractors. You will end up paying more for your Vancouver home renovation because your builders are spending more hours on site. Just step back and let your team do their work. Unable to do that? Take a vacation during your renovation!

10. Completely forget about your budget

Breaking your budget may seem like a good idea at the time; but, when the bills come, you may regret your choices. Your contractor does not want you to do that. They want you to be happy with your renovation – and that includes feeling comfortable with the bill. Want a specific renovation or furnishing that is outside your budget? Ask your contractor if there is another way to approach the renovation to do it within your budget.

11. Let your timelines get out of hand

You need to have a renovation timeline. If that timeline changes, get another one put in place. Otherwise, you may find yourself in renovation hell, where your home is never finished. If your contractor will not give you a clear timeline or keep it updated, that should be a significant red flag.

12. Forget about the rest of your house

When you are in the midst of a renovation, it can be easy to let the rest of your home fall apart. Then, when the renovation is done, you may love one or two rooms, but there will be issues with the rest of the house. Avoid this by maintaining the rest of your home. Then, when your renovation is done, you will be happy with your home overall.


The last thing you should ever do is listen to any of this advice about your Vancouver home renovation!