How to lose, lose, lose by “saving”


Todd Saunders hears it all the time. A homeowner, wanting to save money, hires someone to do a “quick-fix” job and ends up spending twice as much.

Renovators and contractors who are RenoMark™ registered just shake their heads when they hear stories like that. They know what happens when you decide not to hire the professionals.

RenoMark™ is a program used by many Ottawa top-of-the-line renovation companies. It guarantees perfect, insured, safe work by its registered renovators and contractors.

Todd is Senior Estimator/Architectural Technologist with Mr. Foundation, a RenoMark company. He tells the story of a fellow who had a crack in the foundation of his house. He called Mr. Foundation, and they correctly repaired it − on the outside, the way it’s supposed to be.

Good money after bad-1

A few years later, a crack appeared on the other side of the house. Knowing the costs involved from the first repair, the home owner decided to call someone who said they’d fix it more cheaply from the inside.

“That’s like fixing the shingles on a roof from the attic,” says Todd.

But the homeowner thought he was saving money. So he hired some uncertified company. They did the injection. Then the gypsum board had to be re-installed, taped, primed and painted.

Job completed, the homeowner thought.

But not for long. After the very first rain, water was running across the basement floor. The homeowner called Mr. Foundation in a panic. Help, he said.

Good money after bad-2

Total cost when all was said and done? $2,450 plus taxes for the injection. Cost to then have Mr. Foundation  excavate and repair properly from the exterior? About $1,500 plus taxes, with a 10-year transferable warranty.

Herb Lagois, owner of Lagois Drafting and Construction, knows the perils of hiring a “fly-by-night” contractor. He sees the consequences.

Recently he was asked to assess the cost of fixing a botched addition on the back of a house. The homeowner had hired someone  “down the street” because he thought he’d save money that way.

“The plan was awful,” Herb recalls. “It was sloppy work. There were many building code deficiencies. Everything was wrong – electrical, framing, siding.”

Herb figured it would cost roughly about $20,000 to $30,000 just to clean up the deficiencies. Then he asked his trades people to take a look. They came up with an estimate of about $70,000 to fix the place.

No one saved money on that job except the guy down the street, now long gone.

“You have to know who you’re dealing with,” says Herb. “DO check references.”

And to be really safe, make sure the company carries the RenoMark™ logo.