Ready to renovate? Other sources besides TV for advice

TV may be a great source of home renovation advice, but nothing replaces good planning, says the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association (GVHBA).

To help homeowners make informed decisions, the GVHBA Renovation Council — in partnership with BC Hydro, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation and FortisBC — is presenting its popular fall home renovation seminar on Tuesday, Nov. 20 from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Dr., Vancouver. More than 300 registered last year.

“Homeowners considering renovations can obtain creative ideas from the internet, television, newspapers and magazines, but careful planning is needed to de-mystify the renovation process,” said Bob de Wit, CEO for the association.

Homeowners will be guided through the various stages of the renovation process, including design and planning, legal and contracts, selecting a renovator, municipal permits and inspections, and living through a renovation. Presenters include prominent Metro Vancouver renovators, a construction lawyer, a municipal building official, and a technical expert sharing the latest in green renovations. The seminar moderator will be GVHBA Renovation Council Chair Jeff Bain, an award-winning home-renovation professional.

The exhibition area — featuring more than 40 RenoMark renovators and suppliers of home-improvement products and services — will be open from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to allow homeowners ample time to discuss their renovation plans with the experts before the seminar program starts.

De Wit said $7.6 billion will be spent on home renovation and improvement in B.C. this year, of which $3.8 billion will be spent in Metro Vancouver alone, so it is crucial that homeowners do their homework before they sign a contract with a qualified renovation contractor.

Seminar attendees will learn about RenoMark, an industry-led national program designed to provide greater confidence to homeowners when hiring renovation contractors. To be accepted into the program, contractors are obliged to abide by a 10-condition code of conduct.

“Home renovation continues to be popular and there is no shortage of fly-by-night operators taking advantage of trusting homeowners. Dealing in the cash-only underground economy to avoid tax, rather than working with a professional renovator, exposes homeowners to liability issues and close scrutiny from municipal bylaw officials, provincial safety authorities and others,” said de Wit.

Although admission to the seminar and exhibit area is free, pre-registration is required. Register online at or call 778-565-4288. Public transit is nearby and there is ample onsite parking. Attendees are asked to contribute a food item for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.


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