Have you done any renovations on your home in the past few years? did you hire a Contractor for the work? (An often misunderstood role.) If you didn’t, you may have become the contractor yourself meaning you had a legal responsibility to coordinate and establish compliance with health and safety requirements for everyone working at your home.
Our former premier, Gordon Campbell, found out the hard way about this little-known piece of contract law when he was found by a WorkSafeBC report to the be the contractor for an accident in which a roofer was killed when he fell through the skylight of Campbell’s vacation home. Because he had failed to assign the written role of contractor to his general contractor, Mr. Campbell became responsible for coordinating WorkSafeBC coverage for the trades working on his property.
Fortunately for Mr. Campbell, the roofing company which employed the deceased worker carried WorkSafeBC coverage. But how many of us employ contractors, handymen, or cleaning staff, who we do not know for a fact to carry WorkSafeBC coverage?
If something were to happen to a worker at your property, and the worker did not carry WorkSafeBC coverage, you could be held legally liable, and financially responsible, for the worker’s injuries. Before hiring someone, what should you do?
If you hire someone to work on your site (for example, a nanny, gardener, cleaner, window washer) you need to be absolutely sure they are registered with Worksafe BC, meaning that they are paying their insurance premiums and their account is up-to-date.
You can ask the contractor personally if they carry their own coverage, but Worksafe BC recommends you seek a clearance letter to be sure.
In the event that a worker is not registered and suffers an injury in your home/on your site while on the job, WorkSafeBC pays for the worker’s entire medical and wage-loss costs but may come back you to recover those costs. Under certain conditions, as the site owner, you may therefore need to register with Worksafe BC as an employer. (There are times when you do not need to register but it’s always work checking with Worksafe BC to be absolutely sure.)
You’ve met with your contractor and finalized a design, quote and contract, now it’s time to let the contractor take over and begin the renovation!As a homeowner, how do you live through the process and keep your sanity? Get outta there! If you can, get out. The renovation process will be much less stressful if you’re able to find solace away from the dust, noise and tradespersons in your home. If you’ve been considering a vacation now is the time to go! Not all of us can afford to pay for a renovation AND a vacation. If you can’t just pack up, then at least ensure you are mentally prepared for the change and the approaching chaos in your home. There will be challenges with losing your personal space and frustrations with dust and noise. Make sure you’re ready to handle that stress with ease. Stay Organized. Before the renovation begins, pack up and store items and furniture so they are not in the way of the construction zone. If you’re getting a kitchen remodel, plan to use another room as a kitchen “stand-in” or decide early on how you will be preparing meals. Early planning will cut out some of the stress of losing the use of a kitchen or bathroom. Take the Backseat. Try your best not to hover over the renovation project. It’s important to ask questions and be involved in the process, but being concerned with minuscule details will only stress you out. Trust your contractor. Try to relax knowing that sometimes unpredictable weather and delays in product shipments can’t be controlled. Expect the Unexpected. Unexpected problems are bound to arise, that’s why it’s a challenge for contractor’s to put an exact price tag on renovation costs. It’s impossible to predict what problems are hiding behind your walls (especially with older homes), if there’s funny plumbing, irregular framing, asbestos or issues that may arise that can’t be planned. Always ensure you can afford a little bit more than what’s estimated to prevent a financial headache. Think of those Around You. Be a good neighbour. Remember, the noise will affect their lives too, consider bringing over a bottle of wine to thank them for understanding. Keep Calm and Carry On. Be patient and try to enjoy the process. Any time the noise and dust bothers you, visualize how the final reno will look, and you’ll remember why you agreed to the chaos in the first place!
Curb appeal is a term used to describe how your home looks like from the exterior and how appealing it looks when viewed from the curb. This includes areas such as the lawn, patio, front door, exterior paint, trees, shrubs and more. In a simpler sense, curb appeal is what the buyers initially see the moment they step out of their car. Curb appeal contributes greatly to the desirability of a home. Most real estate agents confirm that curb appeal can affect a buyer’s decision to purchase a home more than the square footage or the price of the home. It often means the difference between a house sitting for months or selling in a few weeks. If your home is not particularly attractive from the outside, there are many ways to improve the curb appeal of your home without shelling out thousands of dollars in renovations. There are dozens of small, inexpensive home improvements that you can do to your house to add instant curb appeal. Adding curb appeal to your house not only makes it easier to sell, but it also gives your house that nice and finished look in which you can take pride in. The following steps will help to quickly create curb appeal for your home. 1. Tidy up. Make sure you don't have old rusty junk lying around the yard, unless it is being used stylistically in a garden. Get rid of things that are just lying around. This would probably be the first step of improving the look of your lawn. Remove items such as old rope, boots, cracked pots, worn hoses, wrecked flower boxes and other things. 2. Trim up. Cut the grass and edge the borders with a weed trimmer. Take care to get rid of all weeds, including ones by the walls and around the mailbox post. Add a layer of mulch to cover up dull areas in the landscaping or flower beds. 3. Build a healthy and green lawn. Adding some starter sod can make a big difference very quickly. Sod can be bought at lawn and garden stores and comes in rolls or squares. After you lay it across your yard, water it well and you'll immediately have a lawn, with roots taking hold within two weeks. 4. Add some colour to your yard. Planting flowers will enhance the curb appeal of your home. Buying colourful plants that have already started blooming will immediately make a difference. They can either be planted in pots or in the ground. Use your imagination and choose flowers that bloom in colours that look good with your home. 5. Paint. Giving your home (trim and shutters too) a new coat of paint easily breathes new life into its appearance. However, make sure you select a colour palette that matches the architectural style of your home. For example, if you live in a historic home, you’ll want to stick to an authentic palette. 6. Update your front door. Greet guests in style with an eye-catching front door that makes a statement. You can find exterior doors in a variety of materials from traditional wood to sturdy steel. The key is to select a door that suits your home’s architectural style. If your current door is in good condition, you can make it stand out by painting it a bold colour or adding windows, sidelights, mouldings and more. 7. Illuminate paths and walkways with outdoor lighting.Install lighting fixtures that will complement the style of your home as well as help to create dramatic effects. Use fixtures with built-in motion detectors to enhance safety. 8. Add decorative accents. Top your exterior off with finishing flourishes such as trendy new house numbers that are clearly visible from the street. And while you’re at it, why not add a new mailbox? Or frame windows with new shutters? 9. Dress-up your front porch or entry. Make sure you have an inviting place for potential buyers to sit and admire the landscaping. Even a small space has room for a chair or bench and a round table, or a stool to place a drink on. An outdoor accessory or two is fine, but keep it simple and uncluttered. Keep in mind that simplicity is the key to creating curb appeal. A few flower beds that border and define walkways, curbs and lawn areas, and a few flower pots next to the home is often enough. Remember: Breaking projects up into small, manageable chunks —as your time and budget allow—is the best way to go, because even just a few design tweaks can make a big impact to your home’s curb appeal.
Renovating your home is a big job. It does not matter if you are renovating a kitchen or renovating your entire house, the entire process takes a lot of planning ahead, patience and money. When you decide that it is time to renovate your home, there a few things that you need to do to make sure that your home renovations go smoothly and as planned. Here are some great secrets and tips to help you plan out and complete any home renovation project.
The Key is Planning Ahead: Finding the secret of success when it comes to any size home renovation project lies in the planning stages. In order to make sure that your renovation, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a contractor, is successful, you will need to take the time to think the process through and plan ahead. Part of the planning phase of your home renovation project includes knowing what you want to do with the room, finding the right tools and equipment if it is a do-it-yourself project or hiring the right general contractor, and staying within your budget. When you begin to plan your home renovation project, you should sit down and make a list of the things that you want out of your room and how much you expect to pay. Sticking with your list will make your project more successful from the time it is started to the end.
Staying Within Your Budget: Of course, the next thing you will want to do when you tackle any type of home renovation project is to carefully stay within your budget. Your budget will depend completely on what you have to spend and If you are doing the project yourself. Hiring a contractor will ensure that your project is done correctly, but will add to your budget. If you find that you are going over your budget, then you can start looking at ways to save money, such as installing cheaper appliances or completing your renovation project in smaller stages. Completing your project in smaller stages is often the key to success for many homeowners that find that they have many things that they need to do to their home. If you start with the rooms that you use the most and then gradually work your way through your project, it will be a great way for you to stay within your budget. Another tip that will help you stay within budget is to work with the items that you already have. For example, if you want a new look for your kitchen, instead of replacing your cabinets, consider finishing the cabinets that you already have and adding new hardware.
It is not possible to complete our renovation projects and stay within your budget and time allotment. Many homeowners fail in their home improvement projects because they do not have the ability to plan ahead, shop wisely, and to see their project through to the end. If you find that you do need to hire a contractor to complete your work, make sure you choose wisely and find one that you can trust and one that comes highly recommended.