Winter Renovation Survival Guide

Winter is an unusual time to undertake a renovation. Still, with the proper knowledge and preparation, it can be a great time to add value to your home.

Planning and working closely with your renovator is the secret to a successful winter renovation. Talking to your renovator in advance about potential challenges can help you save time and money in the long run. Snow and cold weather are two of the most significant factors that can hamper a winter renovation. They require preventive measures, so nothing’s left to chance.


Major renovations often require you to vacate your home for a few weeks. To ensure that your contractor has easy access to and from your home, arrange for snow shovelling and salting of steps and walkways in your absence. Some renovation companies may offer the service for an additional cost, so ask about it in advance and ensure it’s in your renovation contract.

When you move out of your home, it will likely cool down significantly, even if the heat is still on. It increases the chance of water freezing inside your pipes, which could cause them to burst. To minimize the risk, have a plumber heat the water line coming into your house or call your municipality to shut the water off at the street side.

Homeowners doing a winter renovation in semi-detached houses or townhomes should be mindful of their neighbours. These homes have shared walls, and if the temperature drops, it can affect the comfort level of those living on the other side of the wall. If the shared fence needs to be correctly insulated, talk to your renovator about installing temporary insulation to prevent heat loss. This issue should be discussed in advance, as it may result in additional fees.

Special precautions

Special precautions may be required when renovating homes with flat roofs. Major renovations may compromise the structural durability of the house. Snow can build up and hold the weight.

Ensure your renovation contract outlines the full scope of work and associated costs. Avoid renovators who urge you to forego a written contract. Verbal agreements make it hard to hold your renovator accountable for sub-par work.

Make sure you always work with a professional renovator. An excellent place to find one is at – home of the national RenoMark program. All RenoMark renovators agree to abide by a Code of Conduct, which holds them to several obligations. In addition to providing a written contract, they offer a minimum two-year warranty, are covered by at least $2 million worth of liability insurance, and carry all applicable licenses and permits.

Your home is your largest asset, so it deserves a pro, no matter what time of year it is.

Source: RE/MAX Canada

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