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"The ultimate Renovation from Hell"

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After months of endless mishaps with their restorations, one Ottawa couple have experienced the ultimate renovation from hell.

At the beginning of this year, they started planning a two bathroom renovation. However, they decided to tackle the kitchen as well, thinking it may be more convenient to do all three rooms at once.

The couple decided to go with a company that won them over as a one-stop-shop. A flashy salesperson explained that their business has a full design centre onsite, and uses hi-tech computer software that calculates precise timelines. Communication between the couple and contractor was said to done through the software as well. However, the promises the salesperson guaranteed quickly fell through.

What started as a renovation that was planned to be completed by July, just wrapped up in October.

“I wasn’t naive to think that things do not take longer than they say, but it started to get ridiculous. All of a sudden we were gone two months out of our house instead of one and it still wasn’t done,” says the homeowner.

Even with a “full design centre”, the couple still needed to go to individual companies to pick out their materials and finishes. The couple were told not to look at prices because the contractor received a discount. However, they soon learned they were well over budget on everything.

“I wish they told us we could not do a kitchen and two bathroom within our budget or that we had to do parts ourselves. I would have appreciated the honesty and, I would have made an informed decision." 

The reason why the renovation took longer than anticipated was that certain things had to be redone multiple times. They came home to find that the shower had a metal finishing that they did not ask for and did not like. Also, the tiles in the bathroom were chipped due to the contractor using a dull saw blade. The tiles had to be replaced not once, but twice. When they brought the problems up to the project manager, they explain his reply was, “well we think it looks good, but I guess we can change it if you really want us to.”

“More often than not we would go home and wonder what would be screwed up this time,” the homeowners say. “We came home to things in the wrong places, things mounted without our consent, and the wrong finishes.”

Although the the couple are not 100 per cent happy with their renovation yet, things are starting to come together.

The homeowners' tips to avoid a bad renovation:

1. Watch out for the flashy salesperson.
2. Do one project at a time to avoid being in over your head
3. Be detailed! When you think you are detailed, you probably are not detailed enough.
4. Do your research so you know the type of questions to ask! Also, do research on the contractor/company you are thinking about signing.
5. Emotionally, a renovation will pull you in all directions.
6. Do not assume a renovation will be completed on time.
7. Ensure you have a good project manager before you start your renovation.

By Samantha Halyk

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