Monday, 12 March 2018

Welcome to "Our Lady of Perpetual Renovations"

Ah! Lazy Sunday mornings. Coffee on the couch watching HGTV (the bain of REALTORs existence). You watch Brian Bohmer tear up flooring and snap down new laminate with ease, new colour on the walls and gorgeous chunky baseboard and trim with perfectly matched miter cuts. He makes it looks so easy and before you know it you are looking at your 12 year old, contractor grade carpet that has seen one too many Kool-Aid spills and thinking: "Damn! I can do that! We can have the house looking great by the end of next weekend."

You and your partner race to Rona and start choosing laminate and paint colours. Next it's on to Youtube for all of the "how to videos" and up comes the carpet. Whoa! That was gross! Good job you watched HGTV, look how much cleaner the house is going to be, how easy it's all going to go. Wait - should we paint first? Yes, lets paint first. Darn, the living room walls need to be spackled and sanded first. We should wash them down with TSP? What's that? Back to Rona.

And it begins. It has taken you a solid month and 10 trips to Rona for a compound, sliding mitre saw and more trim because unlike Brian Bohmer, you aren't a Journeyman Finish Carpenter with a film crew editing out your miss cuts.  You had to paint the living room twice because the first light grey paint you chose turned out lavender, but hey, the living room looks great. The only trouble is that now the trim in the living room doesn't match the trim in the rest of the house. Well if we are going to change out the trim in the bedrooms then we should paint first...and it begins again...Ugh! Our interior doors are really dated, we should change those too. Can we just buy the doors or do we need to need to do new pre-hungs?

Before you know it your one weekend project has turned into a year long epic battle. It has pitted you against the house and the house is winning. Every day as you get out of bed you are stepping over the mitre say in the hallway, there are paint rollers wrapped in plastic in your fridge, and flecks of drywall compound are everywhere.

I guess the moral of my drawn out story is this: professionals like Brian Bohmer and Mike Holmes make it look easy because they have been doing this kind of work for years. They have a crew of professionals working for them and they have the tools. That reno project that they just slammed out in 30 minutes actually took weeks if not months to complete. If you know that your flooring is finished and you want it replaced seriously consider leaving it to the professionals. Yes, it will cost more but sometimes the extra cost is worth not living in a reno zone for a year for substandard results. Know your limitations. Be careful what home renovation projects you decide to tackle on your own because Mike Holmes is not going to ride to your rescue.

Little known real estate fact #2: finished basements fall into 3 categories: Professionally finished, Talented amateur, and Shouldn't be allowed to have power tools!
Thank you to Joanne Roch of Royal LePage Northern Lights Realty for the photo of her own reno project!

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