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Renovation is nearly the meeting between a neophyte client and a strange universe : the wonderful World of Construction and Renovation, with its laws, its language, its ambience and its culture. Undertaking renovation works will make you experience the visit of an exotic unknown country, filled with unforeseen, where you’ll meet weird birds and from which you’ll come back transformed and maybe exhausted. Many times you’ll tell yourself ” I don’t believe it! ”


A renovation is a moral, financial and physical challenge. Behind the culture shock in the Land of Renovation, there is something else that we don’t realize. Construction and renovation it is arts and crafts. We are less and less exposed to handcrafted products. Most of what we purchase is mass produced by machines or humans living in a foreign country where working conditions are miserable. The lack of familiarity with the arts and crafts field influence greatly our perception. Paying 15 000$ or 20 000$ to renovate a bathroom is absurd. It’s the price of a car, you’ll tell me! Well, your car is mass produced in a distant country on a assembly line that takes less than two hours. On the other hand, your bathroom will take three or four weeks to be conceived by workers that will carefully proceed to each step of the construction : demolition, preparation, gypsum installation, ceramic installation, plumbing changes, sanitary appliances installation, electricity, finishing and painting. Each renovation project is unique and there is no assembly line for a bathroom!

It is for this reason that renovation is more complex than new construction. There are more surprises, unforeseen, and therefore it requires more planning, especially if we live in the house we wish to renovate. Some regulatory requirements are more binding if we modify what already exists instead of building something new.

Everybody goes through the process of renovation since the middle age of a house in Quebec is 50 years. Unless, of course, you always decide to move into a new home …

Nevertheless, here are some things to keep in mind to prepare as best as possible for your next renovation project:

  • Choose the right designer for your project
  • Foresee the unexpected (budget and deadline)
  • Don’t try to make some candle tip savings
  • Move out for the duration of the works
  • Make your renovations an investment
  • Inform yourself on the required construction permits in your city
  • Check if there are subventions for your type of project

There is a panoply of other advices I could give you.

This article is taken from the book Le Guide de la Rénovation Heureuse , from Jean-Benoît Nadeau, Montreal, Les Éditions du trécarré, 2018, 203p.

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