Renovation Tips from Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot

From finances to flooring, these popular TV hosts give their advice on home renos  

Todd Talbot and Jillian Harris battle it out to win homeowners over on Love It Or List It Vancouver.

For once the battling hosts of Love It Or List It Vancouver, Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot, agreed on something and came by the Vancouver Home and Design Show to share a few tips on home renovation.

Local decorator Jillian Harris and real estate expert Todd Talbot were two of the presenters at the 2013 Vancouver Home and Design Show October 17 to October 20. On screen the duelling duo compete to convince homeowners to keep their redesigned home or buy a new property. Harris and Talbot were able to set their differences aside and discuss common renovation issues. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

Talbot says to never underestimate “the power of a rock solid plan.” Even though renovations can be of one the biggest investments a homeowner makes, certain monetary details are often overlooked. Talbot recommends factoring in absolutely everything into your budget plan, including: materials and labour, disposal, tools and equipment, permits, decor and furniture, a sanity fund (for takeout or a hotel room when things get to be too much) and an emergency fund for any possible mishaps.

Permits Can Payoff

Talbot admits that it can seem like a pain to get permits for small renovations, but he points out that they are important because an inspector can help you mitigate any possible problems. Permits also assure future buyers that your renovation is to code. “Not having a permit puts doubt in people’s minds. If you can’t show one, you’re going to lose the sale or you won’t get as much money,” says Talbot.

Don’t Get Sidetracked From Your Plan

Harris understands how easy it is to get caught up in the midst of a renovation and want to fix everything at once. However she urges homeowners to avoid adding last minute tasks to the list like deciding to paint other rooms just because the hired painters are already there. “If it’s not in your original plan, and you want to stick to your budget, don’t say ‘hey, while we’re at it…'”

Make It Personal

Harris suggests framing mementos such as a favourite family recipe, an old love letter from your grandparents, your dad’s old fishing hooks or even an item of clothing. All of these things are free and can become an original piece of art.

Mix Old and New

When Harris decorates she often mixes modern and vintage pieces in the same room. She encourages homeowners to recycle, refurbish, and reuse furniture too. In fact, she loves the three R’s so much that she is co-owner of a new home decor shopping website called Charlie Ford Vintage that specializes in preloved items.

Keep It Timeless

Both agreed that when choosing the look of your cabinets, counters or floors, it’s best to think about colours and finishes that will be timeless. Although you’re staying where you are now, it’s possible you may want to sell your home in the future. “You can’t win with trends,” says Talbot when it comes to resell value. Harris suggests getting more creative with items that that are easier to change such as lighting, pillows and accessories. 


Catch more of Todd and Jillian’s tips each week on Love It Or List It Vancouver on the W Network.