Why Renovate?
August 9, 2012
September 5, 2012
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Old tools on a wooden table

Men, you have a problem. A serious problem. I’m a project coordinator for a renovation company and your wife wants her kitchen remodelled. She calls me to explain what she wants done, she sets up a time when I can come over to take a few measurements and ask some questions, and then her and I work out a plan to give her exactly what she wants: a brand new kitchen. When I sit down with the two of you to go over what it’s going to cost, you look at me, and say to me with all kinds of seriousness and manliness, “How much less would it be if I did some of the demolition work myself?” Stop right there. You don’t want to do the demo work yourself. This work is best left to renovators. Here are a few reasons why.

You might get hurt.

Okay, chances are if you’re asking me about doing the demo work yourself, you are probably physically capable of doing it. This doesn’t mean that accidents can’t happen. Sure, a few pulled muscles or a couple scrapes and bruises come with the territory, but what happens if you seriously injure yourself? Are you insured? Will your place of work be okay with you missing some time away? The money you saved on your project could quickly be eaten up by medical and loss of income costs. The contractor you deal with should have Workman’s Compensation Insurance in case of injury on the job. If they don’t, you want to get a different contractor.

You could delay your project.

Contractors work on time lines and a good contractor has budgeted time for each phase of your project. So, demolition starts of Monday, re-framing, a couple of days after that, followed by electrical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall, taping, painting, finishing, etc. So, if the demolition is supposed to be finished by Wednesday and you’ve only got half of it done, other parts of the project have to be delayed. If we run into scheduling conflicts with another job, guess which project gets put onto the back burner? Not only are you waiting weeks, or even months for the project to continue, but you’re also stuck without part of your house during that time. If it’s your kitchen, I hope you really like take out food. If it’s your bathroom, I hope you have another bathroom in your house. Cleaning yourself in the spare bathroom sink for a few weeks will make you wish you’d left the demo alone.

Your contractor might walk away.

I know that you want to save a few bucks on your project, but I don’t walk into an auto service centre and ask the mechanic how much money I’d save by removing the tire for him. I’m also sure that if I told you how you should be doing your job, you wouldn’t be too happy. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ask your contractor some questions, and discussing alternatives to save some money is always an option, but if you start suggesting doing some of the work, how much of the project is left for us to do? If all you want me to do is install the vanity, sink, and toilet in your bathroom that you picked up from your big box retailer, I’m probably going to suggest that you contact the installation department where you bought your products.

You might break something.

Contracting companies who do things by the book all carry liability insurance. If I’m busting out a wall in your home and hit a water pipe by accident, causing your basement to flood, there is no doubt that you’d be really angry with me, but at least the insurance would cover all of the damages. If you hit that same water pipe, you’d be out of luck. I’d hope that your home insurance covers that kind of damage.

Your time is better spent on something else.

When I get home from my day at work, I like spend some time with my family, read a book, take my dogs for a walk, and watch a little bit of TV. The last thing I want to do is grab a crowbar and start removing tile in my bathroom. The thing you have to ask yourself is what is your free time worth? Even if you are taking time off from work to work on a project, that still is your free time. You’ve earned that free time, so do something you want to be doing instead of trying to save yourself a few bucks on your project.

You’re not being emasculated.

Woah there, big guy. I’m not trying to compete with you in the “who’s the manliest” competition. I know that some men want to be involved in the renovation process because construction is manly and our DNA screams at us to beat our chests and show others how manly we are, especially if that female we’re trying to impress is watching. Hey tiger, you need to realize that you’ve already impressed me and your lady by being able to afford this project in the first place. I’m just here to earn a living. You don’t need to pick up a hammer and start tearing up your kitchen for our benefits.

Leave the demolition to the your contractor. We’ll hire the right guys with the right tools to get the job done in a timely and cost effective manner. Your wife will be happy that you’ve gotten around to planning out her new kitchen, and hey, you can always sit down with her on the sofa and watch the real Demolition Man. I mean, isn’t watching Sly Stallone take on a blond Wesley Snipes more fun filled than just about anything?