5 Tips for a Great DIY Renovation
Mike Holmes Jr. of HGTV’s Holmes + Holmes gives his top suggestions for a successful home renovation.
Mike Holmes Jr. knows a thing or two about renovating homes. He’s been doing it since he was 14 years old, and has starred in several home renovation television shows with his father since then. They recently finished up their newest show, Holmes + Holmes, which chronicles the total renovation of Holmes’ own bachelor pad into a beautiful two storey home. Holmes will also be showcasing his expertise at the Calgary Renovation Show from January 13-15.
Through his years of doing renovations large and small, Holmes has picked up a few tips for redoing your own home, whether it’s DIY or with a contractor. Here are his top tips for renovation success.
1. Start from the inside out
If you’re going to do any major renovations, it’s important to look at what’s most essential. “Never do your dream kitchen if you need a new roof,” says Holmes. “If you can’t keep the weather from coming inside of your home, you need to prioritize your renovations.”
2. Expect the unexpected
As a renovator by trade, Holmes has seen his fair share of unexpected situations. “The thing about renovations is, especially on old homes, you literally never know what you’re going to get. We’ve had cases where we’ve uncovered windows that you couldn’t see from the inside,” he laughs. The takeaway? You never know what you’re going to come across, so be prepared for everything.
3. Think long term
When it comes to renovations, you want your work to last. “Don’t just slap things together to make it look pretty,” says Holmes. “Make sure you use the proper materials behind those tiles. It’s all about using the right products and materials.” It’s worth it to splurge on that higher quality waterproofing or tile sealant.
4. Do your research
It’s important to know what kinds of materials and techniques you’re using in a renovation. Holmes stresses doing research to understand the process and the products for your job. “Go out and see what there is,” he says. “Go online and do some background work. I sound like a broken record, but it’s all about doing your homework.”
5. For major renovations, leave it to the professionals
“There is stuff that people can do DIY – they can learn to tile floors, they can paint walls,” says Holmes. If your renovation is small and you want to keep the budget low, then DIY is a great option. But if the job is larger scale… “A lot of people think, ‘it looks easy, anyone can do that!’ But the truth is there are professionals for a reason.” On a major renovation, leaving it to the experts makes it easier and safer.