Bluewater Interiors Designs by Roxanne

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There’s a saying that goes like this….

“The best DYI’ers know when not to.”

I have not idea who said this!

There are a lot of people out there doing renovations and think they can do it all themselves. And it inevitably blows up in their face. They do a shoddy job and it just looks awful (like doing your own taping and plastering) or they screw up the wiring for the pot lights they installed.

Knowing when to stay in your lane and knowing when to call in the professionals is important when renovating. BUT….and yah, there is always a ‘but’….knowing the right skill you need is over the moon important.

So let’s talk about trades….

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The Jack-of-All-Trades!

One piece of advice before we begin, never hire a ‘jack of all trades’ to do a specific job. Like I said, knowing the skill set for a trade is important. 

A ‘jack of all trades’ will suggest that he can move that plumbing for you, no problemo! And it will be cheaper than hiring a plumber, right? 


Hire a plumber.


There are two different types of trades:

  1. Highly Regulated:  electricians and plumbers fall into this category. This is compulsory regulation required by government to work in these industries.
  2. Voluntary Regulation – welding ticket or a carpentry apprenticeship. These are not mandatory to work in the field, but are highly suggested.

Ever hear of Red Seal certified trades? 

This is a program that sets common standards for trades in Canada.

Essentially, a tradesperson (in one of the 56 trades recognized by the Red Seal Program) who completes an apprenticeship, can take the Red Seal exam. If passed, they get a Red Seal Endorsement that enables them to work anywhere in Canada.

This is a good thing if your trade has a Red Seal.

So when hiring a trade, ask if they are certified, who they completed their apprenticeship under, or ask to see their papers.

The Trade who cries “Oh yeah, I can do that for ya, no problem!”

There is another type of trade that is specialized in one thing, but tells you they can do other jobs as well. Let me give you an example…

A client hired painters. They were fantastic painters! No streaks from the rollers, edging was immaculate! My client happen to mention she was looking for some one to tape and plaster drywall. Guess what happened? The painters said ‘we can do that for you no problem’. The client is elated because it is one thing off her list to do. Can you guess what happened? Even though they were fabulous at their trade, they were not so good at taping and plastering. The client had to hire a professional drywall finisher to come in and fix everything costing her time and money.

Moral of the story – ensure that the people who say they can do the job, can actually do it….and do it really, really well!

That being said, hiring someone who specializes in a particular trade is your best option. Which is what my client did. Her guy only does plastering….and my god, he is amazing at what he does!

Hire the Right Trade

Let’s talk about trades you want to hire for their certification and knowledge.

  • Brick + stone mason: for exterior work or interior (e.g. fireplaces, stone walls, etc)
  • Tilers: floors, backsplashes, showers
  • Floor installers: for all types of flooring, except tile
  • Painters: exterior painters and interior painters are two different skill sets.
  • Drywall finishers: taping/plastering new drywall, finishing corners, ceilings.
  • Trim: baseboards, crown moulding, casement on doors/windows, wainscotting, grid walls.
  • Cabinet installers: for kitchen cabinets, built-in units, closets
  • Gas Fireplace installer: they should have a gas fitters ticket

And not to mention the highly regulated electricians and plumbers!

A Final Word

Two takeaways from this blog…

  1. Know when not to do something and call in the professional. It will pay for itself in the long run.
  2. Hire the right trade with the specialization you require.

This will ensure that you and your trades stay in your respective lanes.

Until next time, stay safe…


P.S. If you want help with your renovation check out my Renovation Design Plan service. The best thing about this service is it is tailored to YOUR needs. Set up a 20 minute chat with me to see if it is the right fit for you.

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Hi, I am Roxanne

Interior Decorator + Designer

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