Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cottage Renovations Can Be Like Pealing An Onion

When you are renovating an old cottage a lot of the time you have to start by pealing back the layers like an onion before you are able to get to a point where you can start putting it back together.

In old cottages there are usually half a dozen renovations over the years that have happened, so of the renovations could have been done properly, but a lot of the renovations where done by people with small budgets and limited knowledge of what they were doing.

The last renovations are the kind that are considered cosmetic and happen over and over again in cottages just to make the place livable, workable and a little more enjoyable.

These renovations pile one on top of the other until there is no way to know what is behind the wall coverings or the drop ceilings. What makes it worse is that the cost to remove all the layers rises for every time some renovated it cosmetically. This increased cost and scale of job can be a road block to a lot of cottage owners as it becomes to big a job to think about and to large a cost to pay for.

What usually ends up happening is that the renovations finally get done when the cottage is sold to another party who has put it in their budget to renovate and restore or the cottage gets transferred to the next generation in the family that comes in with fresh ideas and want and need to fix the cottage up to make it more habitable.

When planning the renovations with your contractor you have to leave some wiggle room with your design, the contractor will have be given a little freedom to do as he thinks best because as they peal back the layers the plan for what is to happen can change slightly.

A lot of the time when contractors start demolition they find things hidden behind walls and ceilings that require fixing or repairing. One of the big things that ends up happening is that we find there is a lack of insulation or the insulation that was there is damaged or outdated. Rooms can be come slightly smaller when you have to add insulation to the outside walls and more studs are needed or the ceiling needs to be built done to accommodate spray foam on the roof.

This is your cottage and chances are you will not be around for a lot of the work because you live somewhere else and you really don't want to be there for all the noise and dust that a renovation causes anyways. So you will have to trust your contractor will do the right thing, you can still have input into the renovation as your contractor can send you pictures and emails but a lot of what happens when it comes to what is behind the walls and ceilings your contractor will have to use their best judgement.

Remember that you hired your contractor because you trusted them, so let them do their jobs and fix your old cottage. If you don't trust them, well that's another blog for another time....

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc. 

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