Staying safe

Don't go near the NIGHTMARE of botched renovations

http://renomark.caGot a toolbelt? A saw?

Go ahead and call yourself a carpenter. There’s no one to stop you.

Someone slaps a sign saying “contractor” (or carpenter, electrician, plumber, designer) on a truck and advertises low-cost work. Or there’s a carefully-worded classified ad that tells you all you have to do is call and someone will be there in a jiffy to renovate your bathroom or kitchen, or put an addition on your house.

And so begins many a nightmare. There are too many stories of terrible renovations done by amateurs that leave people high and dry and without recourse.

It’s not the kind of nightmare you want to be part of. Renovation is a huge decision, perhaps even a turning point, a change of lifestyle or a new foot forward into a different stage of your life. You won’t want to trust something like that with people who don’t know what they’re doing, or who demand cash, or who won’t put anything in writing.

Even among the professionals, finding the right renovator can be a bit tricky. If you’re lucky, you’ll find exactly the right company through word of mouth and proven success – for instance, when you have seen a beautiful renovation in your neighbourhood, found the name of the contractor, and received references from people who have had a happy experience with that company.

One of the most effective ways of finding a renovator you can trust is to start looking at all the renovators who are affiliated with the RenoMark® program. This national program is designed to differentiate between the amateurs and the professionals and to put your mind at ease. It’s a program of professionals who pay to be part of it and who agree to abide by a stringent set of rules, in writing, with warranties. Ottawa Renovates sponsors the list of RenoMark® renovators and designers in the Ottawa area (see our directory in this issue.)     

There are thousands of stories in the underground economy. Many of them — too many — are renovation horrors.

Professional renovators can tell you about them. They know, because they are often the people who are called in for rescue work, to clean up the messes and put projects on the right course.

They have seen too many people who have learned the hard – and expensive – way about fly-by-night operators. Step one in a renovation? Learn about RenoMark®.