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Reno Expert: Finishing Touches – Dec/Jan2017

Reno Expert: Finishing Touches - Dec/Jan2017

Photography: Product pick photography courtesty of Leviton

Fight the temptation to rush through the final steps of a project

When facing a major renovation, the demolition part is usually fairly quick and easy. When properly coordinated, framing, plumbing, wiring, and insulation can all get done in a timely manner. It’s the finishing touches—the last bits of trim, paint, caulking, and other little details— that can seem to drag on. For a perfect finish, make sure you don’t rush those steps.

If you’re doing a DIY job, it’s easy to let the little things slide. Contractors get a fair bit of work from frustrated homeowners who give us a call after a well-meaning spouse has let an ongoing project stall for too long.

And along the lines of the cobbler’s kids going shoeless, one of the guys I work with jokes about how he’d replaced most of the flooring in his house when he moved in, but he never got around to re-installing the baseboard trim until they decided to sell the house—five years later!

Jim’s Pick


Instead of unplugging countertop appliances to charge your phone, why not install one of these USB-equipped outlets that allow you to power everything at once?

Whether you’ve hired a contractor or enlisted your partner to do the job, you want to make sure that every last detail is taken care of. I’d recommend doing a room-by-room spot check. Here’s a checklist of items to look for:

  • Are all the walls painted, without any drips, splotches or brush marks showing?
  • Is all the trim in place and painted, with any holes or gaps filled?
  • Have all the handles and draw pulls been installed on all the cabinets?
  • Are there any gaps in grout lines?
  • Is the shower or tub caulked with an even bead all around?

Finally, I’ll share a little anecdote about a guy named Ramsin Khachi who does some gorgeous, high-end design/build work in the Oakville area. After his company wraps up a project, one of his team members goes into the house with a lengthy checklist to make sure the above-mentioned details, and more, are taken care of before they consider the job done. One of the items on the list is to check all the light switches and electrical outlets in the home, specifically, the tiny little screws that hold them in place. He makes sure the slot in every single one of them matches, running in a perfect vertical line. Now that’s attention to detail.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?