Learn the Lingo

You’ve just met with a general contractor who’s given you an idea of what your requested renovation will entail. He or she has spewed out a bunch of random words during your conversation and has left you with a basic contract full of terms that might as well be in French. Before you sign on the dotted line, check out our renovation glossary. You’ll be talking like a pro in no time!

“Poly and protect”: before a renovation begins, we make every effort to minimize the impact of dust in your home. “Poly” is essentially a clear plastic used to cover and protect areas of your home. From adding zippers in doorframes to completely covering the floor, we ensure all areas of your home are well-protected throughout the renovation process.

Scaffolding: a temporary structure found on the outside of a home or building. Essentially acting as a larger and sturdier ladder, scaffolding allows workers to reach different areas of the home with ease.

Change order: a written document which outlines modifications in construction plans and pricing.

Building code: before the renovation process begins, all plans must meet basic health, safety and structural requirements, as laid out by building codes. No structure is immune to these codes and permits may also need to be obtained depending on the project. The HRM has specific codes all homeowners must adhere to.

Subcontractor: sometimes a general contractor will hire a subcontractor with a particular skillset to carry out specific tasks, such as plumbing or electrical.

Caulking: caulk is a flexible waterproof material used to fill a gap or seam. Common areas for caulking include the seam around the tub and the gaps between windows and doors.

Crown molding: this is a popular decorative trim typically used to beautify the transition from the walls to the ceiling. Crown molding adds visual appeal to even the plainest of spaces.

Egress: this term is often used when discussing windows. Egress is essentially the action of exiting your home. An egress window is required in every bedroom to ensure a safe exit from the home in case of an emergency.

Flashing: typically used during roof maintenance, flashing protects a structure from water seepage by deflecting moisture away from seams or joints.

Insulation: this material, found in walls, ceilings or floors, acts as a barrier and is used to prevent heat or sound from travelling from one room to another. Poor thermal insulation is a common cause of heat loss.

Stud: you may have heard this term when talking about hanging something on a wall. Wall studs are usually vertical pieces of wood used to hold up drywall on interior walls. Many hangers used for heavy objects, such as bulky picture frames, shelves and televisions, need to be anchored in studs, as the wall isn’t strong enough to support the weight.

Load-bearing wall: this is a self-explanatory term that refers to those walls which essentially carry the weight of your home. If wall removal is in your renovation plans, one of the first steps before demolition begins is to determine if a wall is load-bearing, as its removal may affect the structural stability of your home.

At i love renovations, we know it’s not your job to be well-versed in renovation lingo, but it is our job to make sure you understand every step of the process and are confident in all decisions made for your most prized property. That’s why when we meet with you, we break down each step of the renovation, ensuring there are no surprises at the end of the day. So let’s talk about your next project! Check out iloverenovations.ca or call 902-488-5683.

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