10 Things to Know During a Home Renovation

Jillian HarrisHome Renovations9 Comments

Jillian Harris What You Need to Know During a Reno

Good morning everyone! Not too long ago I shared a blog with you that listed 15 things you need to know BEFORE a home renovation … welp, today I’m back with more tips for you but this time around I’m sharing things you need to know DURING a home renovation! These are a few little things Justin and I learned from others annnd a few of them we learned ourselves … the hard way! LOL!

Be warned … this is a little bit of a dry blog but it’s SO important for anyone going through a build and renovation … even MORE important than my favourite paint colours … LOL!! Don’t stress though … I’m in the process of writing a blog that’s TOTALLY dedicated to my fave colours and the paint I used in my home … stay tuned for that one!

In the meantime … let’s tackle these!!

Jillian Harris What You Need to Know During a RenoJillian Harris What You Need to Know During a RenoJillian Harris What You Need to Know During a Reno

1. Hold Back 10%

Always hold back at least 10% from your contractor until you’re 100% happy and all deficiencies are taken care of, that way if something has gone wrong or hasn’t been fixed, it will need to be corrected prior to full payment.

2. Warranty Letters

Ask for warranty letters from your contractor and subcontractors for your home renovation, these letters outline how long their workmanship and materials are guaranteed for … if something fails within this period of time, they are required to fix it.

3. Verify your Contractor is Paying your Sub-contractors

Make sure to ask for a Statutory Declaration of Progress Payment Distribution letter. This letter serves as confirmation that your contractor is paying your subcontractors. This is REALLY important because you could pay your contractor in full and they could take off to Mexico and may not pay your subcontractors which would result in them putting a lien on your house and you could end up double paying!

4. Occupancy Letter

Make sure you get an occupancy permit before you move in, you MUST have this to stay there … the city needs to make sure that everything in your home renovation is up to code and that things are working properly BEFORE you move in.

5. Review Your Invoices

I never took the time I should have to do this during our home renovation because I was so busy but I would highly suggest reviewing your invoices every time and look out for any discrepancies, if you find some make SURE to bring them up BEFORE you pay, it’s very difficult to question something after you pay and later down the road!

6. Put Up Nest Cams

If you can, I would recommend putting up Nest Cams in your home so you can keep an eye on the property when you’re not there. They also come in handy if there is a problem, you can go back to the footage and review anything you need.

7. Take Photos

Once a day or even as little as once a week, it’s a good idea to walk around the site and take photos of EVERYTHING before your house gets drywalled. Later down the road, if there is a problem, like a leak, you can go back to those photos are see where the issue may be coming from and what’s inside of your walls!

8. Ask Your Contractor Lots of Questions

Ever heard of the phrase. there’s no such thing as a stupid question?! Welp. It’s true. Make sure to walk through your home and the site with your contractor and ask as MANY questions as possible, more information is ALWAYS better than not enough!

9. Communicate via Email

Try to communicate via email as MUCH as you can, that way everything is tracked! If something seems wrong with your home renovation or different than you asked, you can always refer to your emails to verify!

10. Invest in Wine

Yup that’s right … you simply can’t pull off a full blown reno without vino … AKA the “problem solver” 😂😂

Jillian Harris What You Need to Know During a RenoJillian Harris What You Need to Know During a RenoJillian Harris What You Need to Know During a Reno

photo credit

There you have it! I hope you found some of these tips helpful … if YOU have any advice you’d like to share on home renovations, PLEASE comment below, I’d love to hear your tips!!



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  • Love this post! Not doing a Rennovation, but a new build. Good tips for both!

  • Anne Hammer  • 

    Great information, very detailed. Thank you for sharing.

  • KarsFarnars  • 

    I’ve found that a lot of the reno’s we have done ended up costing more than originally thought. (Especially if doing it ourselves..) Have a contingency fund in case of emergencies and if you are lucky enough to not have to use it, spoil yourself with upgraded hardware!

  • Thanks Jillian! We’re going to be building in the spring and we don’t have a clue what we’re doing! Lol. This blog totally gave me some insight into some of the things we never would have thought of! Thanks!!

  • Dawn Elsborg  • 

    Thank you very much for the information. I will definitely keep this posting on file for when we do our renovations on our home which is also in Kelowna, BC.

  • Sharyn Gonzalez  • 

    Yep, 2 liens later and a legal battle we are still going through this months later.
    no. 11 Make sure you know a good litigation lawyer

  • Thank you for this post – just what I needed! I’m preparing a home renovation and this will be very helpful for me. And yes from my previous experience we all need wine!

  • Maryellen  • 

    I know you said a more detailed post is coming but any chance you could share your kitchen cabinet paint color? Please, please please 🙂