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The Dangers of DIY

The Dangers of DIY

Let us start off by saying, we’re all for homeowners picking up the tools and adding some sweat equity into their home— that is, as long as it's done correctly. It's not only because some DIY handiwork can look quite unwelcoming, to say the least, but also because it can be quite harmful to your home. We want every home to be as warm and welcoming as the people who own it, and we want to make sure your home lasts a lifetime.


So, with that and the winters-worth of HGTV watching you did in mind, our team would like to bring some final concerns to your attention before you start tearing into your home improvement projects. As home builders and renovators for over 37 years, we’ve gained the experience and know-how to make sure every project we take on goes as smoothly as possible. We too started in your shoes some time ago, but since then have grown to become a team of experienced and capable designers, project managers, carpenters, painters and more.


If you have any questions after reading this article, we encourage you to reach out to us by phone or email, and we would be more than happy to answer them for you. As we said before, it's our goal to ensure your home lasts a lifetime whether you trust us to do the work or choose to do it alone.

Blowing the Budget

As projects move through their various stages, it's not uncommon for bumps in the road to appear. These can be minor things like patching superficial cracks in your foundation walls, or they can be quite costly like having to rebuild an entire addition because it wasn't up to code. As the homeowner, it's easy to continuously add these costs onto your budget, but by the end of a multi-week project they can end up leaving you with a much bigger hole in your wallet than you had initially anticipated. And the last thing you want is to complete your chef's kitchen makeover only to be stuck eating instant mac and cheese for every meal to help recoup some of the additional costs. Right?

Why Hire a Professional?

Hiring a professional to tackle your renovation not only means bringing in experienced builders, but you also receive a project manager dedicated to you and your project. Our team of project managers have years of managing project budgets and strive to keep your budget in check through every step of your project. From your initial consultation where you’ll meet with your project manager to set a reasonable budget that reflects your style, all the way up to the final days, your project manager will work with you to achieve your dream. And should unforeseen costs arise, they’ll also help you understand the associated costs and then work with you to update your plan to stay within budget or assist you in setting a reasonable new budget should you decide to increase it.


Calculator and Budget


Proceeding Without a Plan

Proceeding without a plan is one of the worst DIY dangers of all. Right off the start, it sets you up for a frustrating renovation. Plans not only give you direction every step of the way, but they can also help you address problems or concerns before you even get started. Yes, a technical drawing including exact measurements is ideal, but even a simple sketch with measurements will suffice. It's one thing to want to build a large patio structure by the pool, but it's another thing if it'll fit or not. You’d hate to purchase all your supplies and have your yard all torn up only to find out your fourth support post is going to go in the pool.

Why Hire a Professional?

From day one, our team will develop a plan specific to your yard or room. We’ll capture the exact measurements of your space and then from there create a final product that fits perfectly in your space. Your plan will be referenced by your team of builders every step of the way to guarantee your project is completed down to the finest details as expected.


Drill, screws and floor plan


Cutting Corners

Just like how there’s a right and wrong way to bake cookies, there’s also a right and wrong way to build. In Ontario, everything from decks and home additions to renovations and basements must comply with the Ontario Building Code. And for those of you not familiar with it, picture multiple 3” binders packed to the brim with pages. And as a DIYer with a full-time job as an accountant, you don’t have time to come home and learn every page of the building code. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be followed. The Ontario Building Code is used to ensure every project and home meets a minimum safety requirement. This way, your family and friends can enjoy your newly renovated space without having to worry about falling through the floor or some other accident.

Why Hire a Professional?

Did you remember to grade your yard? Are your wall studs spaced properly? Are the structural pieces of your home supported correctly? These are all things you may miss, but our team of builders certainly won’t. Every member of our team has an understanding of the Ontario Building Code and is highly-trained in their chosen profession to ensure nothing but the utmost quality. We strive to complete every project right the first time so that you can rest easy knowing your home is safe and sound.

Uncovering Underlying Risks

Hidden risks are one of the most severe concerns of DIY work. Projects may seem quite simple and you may feel as if you’ve made your space as safe as possible, but hidden dangers such as rogue wires in walls, animals, asbestos, gas lines beneath your lawn, among many other things can cause severe problems for your renovation— many of which can also be fatal for you. Even improper use of machinery, power tools and safety equipment while on ladders can cause you serious harm.

Why Hire a Professional?

Professionals are just that, professionals. They have the training to work safely on ladders and at heights and have experience operating large machinery and various power tools. Not to mention, our team is equipped with the connections and tools needed to address any hidden safety concerns. We have access to asbestos and mould remediation teams, know exactly who to contact when searching for underground pipes, have electricians readily-available should they come across rogue electrical wires and know the proper measures to safely and humanely have stowed away animals removed from the job site. Not to mention, years of experience working in homes and yards in various conditions. You name it, our team has more than likely dealt with it.

Disastrous Design

While not as severe as some of the other dangers of DIY, design can be a tricky subject for many people. Sure, you can search your favourite social media channel for inspiration or pick out pretty paint colours at the store, but a proper design should tie in all the elements of a room and home while representing the homeowner's personality and lifestyle. After all, it is your home. When it comes to design, you either have an eye for it, or you don't. And knowing how much colour, texture or décor is enough can be the difference between a harmonious room and a room that clashes. On the other hand, knowing when there's not enough of a particular element can also be the difference between a space that feels better suited for a museum and something the reflects your family.

Why Hire a Professional?

Another significant part of our talented team is the designers. With years of schooling and a passion for the latest trends, they're here to work with you to design a room or space that reflects your personality, is timeless and of course, breathtakingly gorgeous. They know exactly when there's too much of one element and not enough of another. And because no two families or homes are the same, they design every project specifically for you. No one-size-fits-all kitchens or backyards here.


Design Elements


Forgetting About Function

Your project is finally all wrapped up and your home is back together, but now you’re noticing your toilet is a little too close to the tub, or that there’s simply not enough storage in your kitchen. Or maybe you're noticing your patio shelter only seats three when you have a family of four. These are all things that can be overlooked when renovating a space. Homeowners can get so carried away with the design process that they forget about the function. The function is a significant part of any renovation because you not only have to look at the final product, you have to live in it too. Making sure there's adequate space and storage while balancing style is a tricky task that many homeowners fail when they choose to do it themselves.

Why Hire a Professional?

But fear not, our team of designers are also storage specialists, family-time fanatics and masters of layout. They not only know who to design the most beautiful renovations, but they also know how to pack it full of function for your family too. Anyone that’s ever said a room can be beautiful or functional, but certainly not both, hasn't met our team of designers.


Floor plans



As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, we’re all for homeowners putting their own hard work into their homes as long as it’s done correctly. We hope that this article has opened your eyes to some of the risks of choosing the DIY method for your next renovation and hope that it has either given you that last little bit of confidence you needed to tackle your project yourself or has stopped you from a season of stress, confusion and frustration. No matter which group you fall into, if you have any questions before or during your project or would like to receive an estimate, don’t hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our talented team members.

Family-Owned and Operated for 40 Years

Canadian Home and Renovation Team has 40 years of experience as renovators and builders in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph.

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58 Woolwich Street North Breslau, Ontario, N0B 1M0, PO BOX 324
Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph - (519) 576-0937
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Professional designers, craftsmen and renovators in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and surrounding area since 1980.
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