House Pointers

I took on two MASSIVE renovations over the years.
One house(~$170 000 in renovations), and one condo ($9 000 in renovations).
View All 8 Albums of the Renovation Photos Here!

Pointers I've learned


Things you can do that NO other kit-built home has. Things to give a personal touch for VERY little extra money:

Dad's Real Estate Advice (Paraphrased):

Real estate prices will go up and down your entire life. You can't predict it. No one can perfectly. But when you buy low. You sell low. Buy high. Sell high. So unless you are going to "live under a bridge" (i.e. Rent lol) or carry 2 properties for the short term (expensive). It doesn't matter the timing of your purchase+sale. Buy something massively undervalued. That has been re-listed many times. Buy fixer uppers. The worse the better!!! Aim for the hilariously destroyed. With condos, buy the shittest unit in the best building. Finally, make sure if you "get stuck" in this place for 5 years, you can be happy.

If a Basement Suite

The Best Tenants are those you Cannot Hear, see, use all your hot water, etc.




The Most fun part. Become a construction-archaeologist


Dumpster Rental / Dumping costs a TON of money. Here's how you



Turned a $30,000 drainage-quote into 1 fun month(~$3000) of Bobcat-digging, waterproofing, laying pipe/rock, and Bobcat-filling back in.



You wouldn't think this stuff would have to be said but...

Hot Water Tanks

Renovations 2008-2009. Major Combat Operations. ( $ 123,246.00)
20Address Letters "936"
200Appliances (Stove, Fridge, Dishwasher)
340BBQ (New)
400Basement Shelf Board Perimeter
120Bathroom Fans (3)
950Bathtubs x 2 bathrooms lower
40Bedroom Fan (window Mounted)
210Blackout Thermo- Curtains+Bar+Mounts front upstairs bedroom
5200Bobcat (4 weeks)
40Chocolate Bars
1100Cinder-block Wall concrete re-bar for tool-room
1000Closet Doors
500Concrete Basement Trenches,
340Concrete wall (260ft.) 21 2 x 8s Not Used. Planned for Rear Steps.
2100Concrete wall (260ft.) 3/4" rebar. 3 length in footing, 4 in wall. 1700ft.
3800Concrete wall (260ft.) Labour to Frame (Nate + McArthur) built in 2.5 sections including pinning to foundation wall
1800Concrete wall (260ft.) footing wood,
4480Concrete wall (260ft.)Concrete 5 trucks (32 cubic yards)
800Concrete wall (260ft.)Labour to Pump, hold pipe, smooth
500Concrete wall (260ft.)Labour to do decorative chamfer (Nate + McArthur)
800Concrete wall (260ft.)Pumpingx2 visits
1000Concrete wall Digging footing labour, hired
1000Concrete wall Removing Framing Labour (65 hours hired)
300Copper Pipe+fittings Temp
1500Counters Basement
1200Deck Footing (form, Concrete, Wood)
3000Deck Framing + Decking+ Railings, Trim, misc.
500Deposit for city tree, Never Returned
100Dishwasher Plumbing
1500Disposal 2 Fridge, Stove, Couch, Cabinets, Furniture, Garbage, Insulation. Hired Company
400Door Knobs (26)+5 Locks
100Drain spouts, gutters
70Driveway Lighting
90Dryer Ducting, Steel x 2
250Dryer Washer
150Earthquake Proofing Hot Water Tank Straps.
800Electrical BCHydro for 200 Amp Service for 180 ft of new wire from transformer on Pole
3000Electrical Mast
600Electrical Staples 25 boxes 9 different sizes
6000Electrical Supplies Wire Box, plugs, switches, Shielding, Plates
2100Electrical: Baseboard Heaters 15
200Extension Cords x 4
900Exterior Door x 3
100Exterior Lights (2)
200Exteroir Trim (Doors, Window Casements, deck etc.)
1500Fill Removal
8000Finder Fee to Realtor Frank that found the house.
900Floor Levelling Agent x 26 bags
1200Flooring Basement
300Foam Insulation 16 Panels
500Foundation Dimpled Plastic
600Foundation Sealer Guy
1300Framing (650 2x4s)
300Framing Brackets
500Front Concrete Wall (below window)
400Fuel Bobcat
50Garbage Bags for debris and covering Tools
40Garbage Cans x 2
300Gas Truck
300Glue for Pipe 20 jars
300Glue, Cleaners, Chalk 300
300Gravel 1 dump truck
300Hans Dad to fix when Pipe drilled through Emergency
300Hatches 11. Chimney, Shut-offs, Meter
70Hose Spigot (Anti Freeze, anti Back Flow
40Hot Plate
800Hot Water Tanks, basins, Piping x 2
400Initial Paint
300Initial: Building Inspection
1900Insulation (85 bags)
1400Interior Doors x 14
500Internet+ Shaw Cable and Plug
110Jerry Cans (4) Lawnmower / Bobcat / Chainsaw
3000Kitchen Cabinets Basement
100Kitchen Hoodfan
500Kitchen Sinks+Facets x2
800Laminate Underlay 500 sq ft.
300Light Bulbs
100Misc Rebar in Sidewalk, Footing, Wall, Door Frames,
500Moving Kitchen Wall
100Nail-gun rental
500Nails Screws
200Navy Jack 6 loads
300Network Closet
30Orange Fencing
80Patio Bricks
2000Perimeter Concrete Paths
1000Perimeter drain
50Photocopying plans
600Pizza (2 x 20) to pay Volunteers
5000Plumbing Supplies
480Plumbing Valves (1/2" 22; 3/4" 8) we were unable to return. Still have
170Plumbing: Anti Knocking Plumbing Adapters (Washing Machine + Dishwasher x 2=6)
200Plumbing:Anti Scalding look like "Propane Tanks" on Cold water side of Tanks
150Plumbing:Anti Syphon Parts
200Plywood Attic Floor
1000Pressure Treated Wood
300Primer 6 5 gallons
280Pro: Chimney Cleaning (Initial)
250Pro: Cleaning Pipes- Initial. Original Pipes Clogged with Grease.
1600Pro: Colin Banks to install + Sand Drywall 2 weeks)
400Putty 19 buckets
500Read Concrete wall
600Rock x 2 loads
250Safety Gear (Masks, Gloves, Coveralls, Ear Plugs, etc)
300Sand for around Pipe, 1 truck
200Saw Blades (Jigsaw, Circular, Chop Saw, Finishing, Trim, Hacksaw, Plumbing Cutters)
70Smoke Alarms (3)
70Solder 5 rolls
250Sonar to detect pipe location under driveway
1000Steel Framing
100Tape Measures
400Tapes (Tuck, Duck, Electrical, etc)
500Temp Bathroom
300Temp Wiring Hot Water Tank
200Temp Wood (bridge, supports)
700Tile Backer Board 25 sheets @ $28
2500Tile, grout, thin-set, sealer 3 bathrooms
800Tool Rental (Concrete Saw, Jack Hammer 4 times, Cutters, Concrete Mixer, PowerWasher, Chainsaw Etc)
3000Tools (Saw, Sump Pump, Hilti-hit, Chop Saw, Burk-bar, Shovels, Wheelbarrows, Rakes, etc. etc.)
300Tools large Drillbits, concrete, Joists, Etc. 20ish
150Tools: Brushes and Rollers, trays
2500Trades People (Rock wall, Deck, wiring, cleaning
1000Trim, Baseboard, Doors
300Vapour Barrier 11 rolls
2900Windows x5 New @ Vancouver Island Windows
Total: $ 123,246.00