Canadians spend a lot of money on home renovations—more, in fact, than we spend on new homes. In 2017, total spending on renovations reached $72.7 billion, well above the $53 billion spent on new home construction. With so many Canadians renovating their homes, the demand for skilled tradespeople to take on these projects remains strong.
To really succeed in your career as a home renovator, it is important that you maintain a high quality standard in your work. Home renovators often find clients through word-of-mouth and, increasingly, online reviews. Whether you run your own business or you work for a contractor, building a good reputation early on is essential to advancing in your career. So be sure to avoid these four common mistakes once you leave home renovation college.
1. Not Having the Proper Permits: Be Prepared in Your Renovation Career
If you’re working as subcontractor, you generally won’t have to worry about pulling permits, but it is an important part of the job if you’re the general contractor. While it can be tempting to skip permits for simple tasks, don’t. The homeowner could be ordered to modify the renovations you made and they may be prevented from selling their home until the problems are fixed. When that happens, they may try to hold you responsible for the costs. Your instructors at North American Trade Schools (NATS) are licensed and have real-world experience, so they are a great resource if you have further questions about pulling permits once you’ve completed your training.
2. Rushing the Job: Good Work Takes Time After Home Renovation College
Once you’ve graduated from home renovation college, you’ll likely want to prove to employers and clients that you can get your work done quickly. Likewise, if you’re running your own business, you may even find yourself with more clients than you anticipated. However, it’s important to get your work done efficiently and not let the work you do suffer because you want to get jobs done quickly.
While you may be tempted to rush projects or to try to cover up minor mistakes because you don’t have time to fix them properly, rushing your work is never a good idea. Clients and employers may be impressed with your speed at first, but they’ll be far less impressed when those rushed jobs lead to leaky roofs and cracked walls.
Home renovation training provides you with the skills you need to excel in your career
3. Overcharging & Undercharging: Get the Price Right as a Home Renovator
Knowing how much to charge for your services when you’re just starting a career in home renovation can be tricky, especially if you’re trying start up your own business. If you charge too little, you run the risk of going over budget—which can mean money out of your pocket or an unpleasant conversation with the homeowner about why they will need to pay more. However, if you charge too much, clients will think you’re overcharging them, and they may spread the word that your services are unaffordable. Talk to your colleagues and other professionals in the industry, such as your NATS program instructors, and discuss with them the best way to charge clients based on your experience.
4. Being Underprepared: Expect the Unexpected in a Home Renovation Career
During the demolition stage of renovating a home, you don’t know what you’re going to find under the floors you’ve ripped up and the walls you’ve torn down. Mold, termites and other problems can significantly increase the cost and time of a project.
Dealing with new challenges is what makes working in home renovation so exciting, so when your boss or a homeowner asks you how long a project will take or how much it will cost, be realistic and prepare for unexpected surprises. It’s often better to give a range of possibilities than committing yourself to one figure.
Learn to prepare for common challenges that may occur on the job at home renovation college
Are you ready to begin your home renovation training?
Contact North American Trade Schools today to learn more about their programs!