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See What Real Renovations Really Cost – and How to Avoid Contractor Horror Stories

Today I’m collaborating with a Canadian company that offers services which anyone planning to renovate will find incredibly useful!

From creating solid maple counters from scratch to tiling a kitchen backsplash to building our own bed, Hubby and I have tried a lot of projects ourselves, but we definitely turn to the pros for certain jobs.  Sometimes it’s for jobs we hate and other times it’s because we know our limitations.  Even though we’ve tiled, we HATE it, so we hired out the tiling in both of the bathroom renovations we’ve tackled, and then handled other parts of the project ourselves.  As much as we love DIY, sometimes it just saves a lot of time and money to hand over certain tasks to experienced tradespeople, but the problem is that Hubby and I have had both good and bad experiences.  The folks we hired in Ottawa were great but, if you remember, we had some issues with the tiling company we hired in our current city.

Sadly, that one bad experience actually made up scared to hire out jobs again!

My unfortunate experience is why I was so interested in Reno-Assistance, because they help connect you to contractors who won’t waste your time and money – or bungle up the project!  The company’s president founded Reno-Assistance because of his own unpleasant experiences (like stolen deposits and terrible work), something his impartial contractor referral service can help his customers avoid.

It’s a really unique business model which offers lots of free resources to homeowners – even useful information for anyone not in a city currently served by the company.

The most unique aspect is that Renovation Advisers work with you to discuss your project, review your options, and send up to three verified contractors to provide a quote.  It’s such a fabulous service for first time homeowners, for whom the whole experience can be really overwhelming.  With Reno-Assistance, you get a real life person walking you through the process, which can help prevent costly mistakes.  Plus, the service is free – it’s the contractors who pay, which means that you’re getting quotes from serious contractors who really want your business and want to make sure they keep you happy to ensure that Reno-Assistance keeps sending clients their way.

Reno-Assistance will set up appointments for you and even send you a report about each contractor, so you know what to expect.  And after you receive your quotes, a representative will help decipher what they mean and help you choose the right contractor.  If, for some reason, you’re unhappy with the work or the contractor, there’s even a process to help come to a resolution.

There are also checklists and tips for every kind of project, from who you might need to hire to what steps you should take to ensure the project progresses smoothly.  There is a growing library of articles weighing the pros and cons of certain materials and things to think about before starting a renovation.  You’ll find lots of great bathroom and kitchen ideas, but there are tons of resources for every kind of renovation.

Perhaps the most interesting part is that you can see real renovations and what they actually cost.  Although I love blogs for design inspiration, with brand collaborations the real cost of a renovation to a blogger is blurred.  With Reno-Assistance, you can see real renovations done in real homes – paid for with real money!  I have been obsessively scrolling through pages and pages of beautiful room makeovers – I just LOVE seeing what people really paid, especially the bathroom renovations because I’ve got three of those under my belt.  It’s strangely refreshing to see a renovation where nothing was perked or comped.

Frankly, I cannot wait for them to expand because I desperately need something like this in my small city!  We are currently getting quotes for a new roof and it is agony to get anyone to commit to coming out here.  So many roofers have flaked or complained that they’re booked solid – plus I have heard horror stories about bad roofing jobs.  I’ve been Googling “DIY Metal Roofing” because we might have to install our own if no one will even come out for a quote.  I would love a service that books these quotes for me and only sends pros who have been vetted and want my business.

I’d love to hear what you think of this service – and feel free to share your WORST – or best! – experience with a contractor… Anonymous comments are always welcome.

This post was sponsored by Reno-Assistance, but all opinions and words are my own.  I genuinely think this is an exciting service – especially for first time homeowners/renovators.  However, I fully admit that I may be totally biased because they recommended teal as a kitchen trend for 2018



  1. Heather
    December 4, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    I could write a book or a blog about all the wacky contractors we have encountered and we are in the construction business!What you are describing sounds almost too good to be true. I hope it gains momentum because it’s a great idea. On to roof talk…….do you have an Amish or Mennonite population in your area? In my area of Pennsylvania, the good metal roofers are Amish or Mennonite, seems to be their specialty.Sheet metal seems to be a viable DYI option. I am watching neighbors do their own roof and in theory, it doesn’t look too hard for someone handy. They are putting the wood furring strips right on top of the existing asphalt shingle roof. The sheet metal will go on top of that.I can’t imagine standing seam could be a DYI project but who knows?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 12, 2017 / 3:01 am

      Maybe you should write a book! And tell us all how to avoid them. We don't have Amish or Mennonites – interesting that they are the pros. That's so neat. Maybe your neighbours will want to reno-cation in a lake house on Superior and do my roof too? Lol. I can switch with them and make them a bunch of weird arts and crafts 😀

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