Home renovation tips from Bryan Baeumler
Bryan Baeumler's home renovation tip #1: Cutting into structural components. "A lot of people don't see how the weight of a house travels down from the roof through load-bearing walls to the foundation. If you interrupt that weight distribution, you can weaken the house, or even cause it to fall down." His advice: along with the all-important building permit, have an architect or structural engineer look at your plans before you start your home renovation. There are usually several alternatives that will maintain the structure safely.
Bryan Baeumler's home renovation tip #2: Do-it-yourself wiring. Laypeople should never mess with the electrical components of a home during a home renovation. Just a few of the more common mistakes are not grounding wires properly, mixing aluminum with copper wiring (which causes oxidization and failure) or simply wiring things wrong. The stakes are high: faulty wiring can burn your house down or even electrocute someone. Unless you are fully trained in electrical work, call in a pro for your lighting.
Bryan Baeumler's home renovation tip #3: Ill-informed drywalling. Drywall is one job an enterprising homeowner can tackle safely and is therefore a popular home renovation project, but making sure you use the right materials and methods can make a big difference in the process and the look of the finished job. Many DIYers use standard mud to tape the seams, slather on too much, and then spend hours sanding and sanding. It's much more efficient to start with a thin layer of a quick-dry compound, which dries in about 90 minutes, then cover with two or three light coats of a lighter compound, drying and sanding between each coat. Finally, go over the seams with a damp sponge to remove all traces of sanding dust before you paint.
Bryan Baeumler's home renovation tip #4: Rube Goldberg plumbing. True, a bad plumbing job may not be as dangerous as faulty wiring, but a leak in an upper floor can cause a tremendous amount of damage, and if it's inside the walls, you might not even see it until it's too late. Plumbing looks straightforward, but there are many little tricks of the trade that an amateur might not know about. This is another job that should, in most cases, be left to the pros.
Bryan Baeumler's home renovation tip #5: Not planning, budgeting or scheduling the home renovation job properly. Baeumler says one of the best time and money savers in any home renovation is sitting down beforehand and working out a realistic plan of what you're going to do. Start with a realistic budget, and allow another 10-15% contingency fund for the unforeseen (and there is always, says Baeumler, something unforeseen). Once you have your budget, create detailed plans or drawings; when you have a plan on paper, it's easier to stick to it—and stick to your budget in the process. Next, map out a schedule that accounts for each step of the project. And above all, he says, be prepared to adjust all of these things—budget, plans, and schedule—as you go along. Every renovation, just like every home—and so far, every enterprising DIYer Baeumler has met—presents a unique and completely different set of challenges.
Image of Bryan Baeumler courtesy of HGTV