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Renovation Tasks That a Pro Should Handle

Published December 9, 2021
Updated: June 30, 2023
Est. Reading: 7 minutes

Every building, whether it be a commercial property or your own home and residence will require a new look every once in a while. As we age and the times change, both our tastes and our needs in our home change. A dated house may simply lack the newer modern style that really speaks to you now, or the age of the house may be affecting it from a quality and condition standpoint, things may be worn or beginning to fall apart and are in need of correcting and repair more than they are a cosmetic upgrade.
Renovating your space can bring other benefits such as increased market value, added space, reduced energy consumption, and more. Renovations come with many benefits. However, they arguably come with just as many challenges. Knowing where to start your renovation can help reduce some of the challenges however.

If you aspire for your completed renovation project to be flawless, DIY may not be the best option. If you have a sufficient budget, some parts of the renovation process might require help from professionals. Here are some of the tasks involved that may need a little boost from the contractors with experience in the industry. 

1. Planning and Design

Planning and designing is arguably the most vital phase in your renovation project, which is why it is best if you leave it to the professionals to navigate your project to success. If you hire an interior designer, they can help you create a cohesive design based around all of your renovation ideas, suited to your budget. Contrary to popular belief, hiring a professional interior designer can actually save you time and money since their knowledge and experience in the industry allows them to already know what types of materials will fall right into your budget and, at the same time, achieve your ideal room design. They also will be more familiar with the realities of the construction process. How much material you’ll need, timeframes, often overlooked steps in the process, code requirements, etc. Lofty renovation goals are great, but knowing what is feasible to complete in your home, with your budget in your timeframe is a different story.
Creating 3D renderings in a program like CAD allows you to make adjustments before spending money on labour or materials, allows for a better understanding between yourself and the trades that will be in your home (a picture is worth 1000 words after all).

An experienced designer or renovator will know what materials and suppliers to either work with or recommend to perfectly meet your needs and budget. They’ll know which materials have a proven track record, and which materials often pop up as the focal point of a warranty call.

For example, to a layperson looking to do an exterior renovation of their home, a window from the Home Depot may look just as good as a window from a dedicated supplier such as Lux, PlyGem or Marvin windows. But a professional will know which windows are known for their high quality, durability, and energy efficiency. If they’re made of high-quality materials that resist warping, rotting, and peeling. They’ll be familiar if the windows you’re choosing are also highly energy efficient, and will help you save money on your heating and cooling bills. Do the windows feature energy-saving elements like Low-E glass and argon gas insulation? They’ll be familiar with what it’s like working with the installers for the company, and what they’re like to deal with should a manufacturer's defect arise.

A pro can often also recommend swaps and alternatives. Say you have your heart set on a certain Marvin windows collection, but it’s a little out of your budget, an experienced professional can likely recommend an alternative supplier whose products will have a similar look and qualities, but be a little easier on the pocket book.

A professional will have done the research and have the knowledge of how the design choices you want to make perform in the real world.

2. Construction Process

If you're dealing with structural renovation, it is always best to hire a team that will get the job done with caution. Structural carpentry includes:

  • Identifying and moving load bearing walls
  • Adding beams to support a more significant weight upstairs
  • Creating new openings on exterior walls for doors (or removing existing doors) 
  • Adding new windows

Structural renovation involves almost any renovation that alters the structural integrity of a home. Typically when removing a preexisting wall or piece of structure. Sometimes that can be a large task, like changing the whole floor plan of the establishment. Or a seemingly innocuous task, such as expanding the door into the dining room (which turns out to be load-bearing). Many of these projects can at first seem easy for an enterprising DIYer, as with a bit of practice, most capable homeowners are able to do minor framing and a bit of drywalling and mudding to either add additional walls or remove secondary, non load-bearing walls. But many of these tasks require a contractor's expertise. DIYing this phase can lead to unwanted accidents and unfavorable results, and in some cases catastrophic long-term damage to the home. By hiring a team of professionals, you can save time and money with the guarantee of having excellent outcomes that can last for several years. 

3. Weatherproofing

When it comes to weatherproofing a home, the most significant projects you might take on include:

  • Roof replacement or repair
  • Fixing the foundation
  • Dealing with water infiltration
  • Installing or repairing windows and siding

A home needs to be protected from the elements outside. A cracked foundation can let water seep in over time slowly and wear away at the integrity of the concrete, or it could cause larger flooding issues during heavier rainfalls. Repairing this yourself is a task that is far beyond the skills of most DIYers. It involves digging down to the level of the cracked foundation and exposing the whole area, cleaning, preparing, and properly sealing the damage. It is easy to miss smaller cracks or holes that, if left unrepaired, will set you right back to the start shortly after wrapping up the job and filling in your trench.

Leaking windows and doors fall into a similar category as the section above, if there is water damage to and mold in the surrounding frame of the window or door, new framing will be required. Installing a new window or door in a way to correct and avoid leakage is also a challenge had they not been installed correctly the first time. Keep in mind that doing this task on your own might disprove the manufacturer's warranty. Make sure to check into the requirements and hire the right people for the job if necessary.

Repairing, installing, or replacing the roof of your home is a task left to the pros. The roof is the first line of defense against the elements. It needs to be thoroughly sealed and avoid any pooling of water. It is also an area of the home you don’t often see. A poorly installed roof may be causing issues long before you ever notice them, and by that point, the damage may be far greater in cost to repair than hiring a professional, to begin with. Roofing contractors are trained and experienced in repairing existing damage to roofs, replacing underlay and shingles to create a weatherproof exterior, and if you choose, will also be responsible for installing your roof access hatch so you will have easy access to your roof if any maintenance is needed.

4. Installation of HVAC, Electrical Wirings and Plumbing/Gas Fitting

Hiring a professional electrician is necessary for the safety of yourself and the whole building. Working with electricity can be extremely dangerous if you do not approach it with the right expertise, safety training, and equipment. The same goes for plumbing and gas fitting. Hiring a professional plumber will ensure that your water and sewer pipes are plumbed correctly. Ensuring drains do not back up, and that they vent properly to prevent sewer gas from coming back up the pipes. They ensure water lines are properly installed and do not rattle, or worse yet, leak. Ensuring water heaters are installed and vented properly to make sure they are burning efficiently, and not allowing carbon monoxide to build up in the home.

HVAC technicians ensure that ductwork and air returns are properly installed so that the home has no cold spots where airflow is too weak to heat properly.

Overall, professionals should handle the installation of HVAC, electrical wiring, and plumbing/gas fittings due to several reasons, which include:

  • Security: These installations involve working with potentially dangerous materials and equipment, making it advisable to work with professionals who have the necessary training and experience. 
  • Compliance: Strict building codes must be followed when installing HVAC, electrical wiring, and plumbing/gas fitting. The professionals know the regulations, so they can make sure your installation is compliant. 
  • Warranties: Professionals offer warranties on their work. This means that if there are any problems with the installation, they’ll be responsible for fixing them.

Considering these things, their assistance is indeed necessary for the efficient and safe installation of HVAC, electrical wiring, and plumbing/gas fittings.

None of these tasks are tasks that should be handled by a DIYer. Knowing that these tasks were completed by trained, licensed and insured professionals should take a weight off your shoulders knowing that everything was done right, and should any issue arise, it will be taken care of.

5. Insulation and Drywall 

Before you close the new framing in with drywall, you should hire a professional to install insulation first. Depending on the type of insulation you are wanting to go with, there are different requirements and some specialized tools. If you’re looking to do spray foam insulation, it will be a given that you will need to hire a pro, as it requires special equipment to install, materials not often available to the general public, and special training and safety equipment.
Fibreglass baton insulation also comes with its own set of challenges. Ensuring no gaps are missed, the insulation is not packed too tightly, the vapour barrier is installed and sealed properly. These are all tasks that if done incorrectly can lead to cold spots, water damage, or mold in your home.
Drywalling is a task we recommend leaving for the professionals also, but for different reasons than many of the other items on our list. Mudding and taping drywall to leave a smooth and seamless finish is a task that takes time to master and perform effectively. It is a task that is frustrating for first-time DIYers, and when done poorly may leave small pockmarks in the wall, uneven walls when viewed at different angles, or cracking joints in the mud over time.

Renovation processes might be a hectic and stressful task, especially if you plan on tackling and renovation involving any kind of structural alteration, exterior weatherproofing, or specialized trade requirements. It is always the best option to contact the right construction experts, like the team at Reborn Renovations. Always choose to invest your money in guaranteed quality work.

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