Measuring up your Home Renovations

It's a homeowner's renovation nightmare: when it comes time to install the beautiful custom-made kitchen cabinets they're a few inches too long for the wall. Or perhaps you've discovered that both tubs and doors have a right- and left-hand side and you've bought the wrong ones. Hopefully you noticed before applying caulking on the tub or screwing in the last hinge on the door! Expensive or long-awaited purchases, which are the wrong fit, mean extra cost and lost time.

Fortunately, most material mistakes are easy to avoid. The trick for homeowners is to know where errors commonly occur before you place an order. That way, you can learn from the mistakes of others instead of your own!

The Rules of Ordering
No matter which product you're ordering, these six crucial steps can help you avoid getting the wrong item:

  1. Measure carefully. Incorrect measurements are the culprit behind many ordering problems. Measure two or three or until you're sure that the numbers are accurate. Although some product purchases require you to do all the measuring, others require a professional to measure. It may be a good idea to have the store or the contractor make the final measurements shifting responsible for any errors onto them. The fee should be minimal or nothing.
  2. Provide visual aids. When ordering items or simply scouting for them, give salespeople floor plans, sketches and-best of all-snapshots.
  3. Bring samples home. This is the only way to know for sure how a product will look. Many products that look perfect in the store mysteriously change colour at home. Different lighting conditions as well as contrast with other colours in the room change our perception of the original colour.
  4. Tap into salesperson experience. When it comes to measuring mistakes, home centre employees have seen them all-from cabinets, plumbing fixtures, flooring, to doors and windows. Visit a few stores on a "dry run" and read up on specific products so you can ask salespeople pertinent questions.
  5. Buy matching items from the same batch. This is especially important with tile, which often varies noticeably in colour from batch to batch. Mismatches often occur when insufficient quantities are of a product are ordered the first time.

    You'll find lot or batch numbers stamped on the item or packaging. Make sure everything you order is from the same batch. Then write down the numbers or keep the packaging in case you need more. This is especially important if there is a long time lapse between your purchase and insulation-you may have to contact the manufacturer directly if you need additional tile.
  6. Double-check paperwork. It's better to scrutinize the packing list before you lug your purchase home and unwrap it. Ensure the product names, model numbers, grades, sizes, prices and quantities are correct. Keep a copy of the receipts in a safe place in case any problems arise.

Are wrong products refundable?
If you receive the wrong product through manufacturer/supplier error then it should be relatively simple to get a refund.

If you measured incorrectly or made an error in placing your order, chances are you will pay, at least partially. You may be charged a 15% to 25% restocking fee to return regularly stocked products. If the item is custom-made there will likely be no refund.

Doors that open into a wall or bathtubs that have the tap on one end the drain on the other, might be novel for a moment but returning to the store and exchanging items can be a waste of your valuable time and money! Remember to measure up first!

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