Renovators' Manual

The new definitive guide for home renovation in Canada

In Canada, the renovation sector creates great jobs and employs even more people than the new home building sector. Annually, Canadians invest more in renovation and repair of their homes than is invested in building new homes. Approximately 90% of Canadians have said they want to live in their homes as long as they possibly can. There are many opportunities in the renovation industry.

Home renovation starts with a building that may be decades old, sometimes with hidden problems from the wear and tear of time, weather, older materials and more. Renovators need to understand and apply building science to every project they undertake. Created as a companion text for the Builders' Manual, this first edition of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Renovators’ Manual takes a deep dive into applying building science to renovating for a wide variety of circumstances. Knowledge is a key element of any successful renovation and this manual delivers.

Here is a brief overview of what’s in this manual:

  • Building science fundamentals – what renovators need to know about how houses work
  • The House as a System – the house is not simply a collection of components
  • The Renovation Hierarchy
  • A history of Canadian housing
  • What renovators might find on site and what the preferred solutions look like
  • How houses fail – learning from building science mistakes
  • Building hazards – asbestos, mould, radon, pests, and what to do
  • Disasters – fire, floods and wind
  • Renovating to high levels of energy efficiency, including Net Zero
  • Septic systems - what renovators need to know
  • Introduction to renovations for accessibility and renovations to historic buildings
  • Contracts
  • Renovator checklists
Preview Table of Contents

Who should buy this book?

Canadian Home Builders’ Association Renovators’ Manual is not an introductory book on home renovation. This is a guide for people who want to go beyond the basics, to gain an in-depth understanding of the building science and the "house as a system" approach and apply that knowledge to renovating homes. It is a companion text to the Builders' Manual, which focuses on new home construction.

The Renovators' Manual is written for:

  • Renovators
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Trade contractors
  • Manufacturers and suppliers
  • Government officials
  • Building product and hardware retailers
  • Educators and students in building-related courses
  • Consumers planning to renovate their home

Renovator's Manual on grey desk

Now Available!

 CHBA Members receive $10 off. You must be logged in to the website for the discount to apply.


Bundle: Save $20

Bundle contains the Builders' Manual and Renovators' Manual. Both books will be shipped together.

 CHBA Members receive an additional $20 off the bundle pricing. You must be logged in to the website for the discount to apply.


About the Canadian Home Builders’ Association

CHBA has a long history of taking an active role in supporting training and education for the Canadian homebuilding and renovation industry. This document represents the first time an authoritative guide has been assembled specifically for renovators. It has been reviewed by seasoned renovators, researchers, educators, energy advisors, product manufacturers and subject matter experts from across the country, and was written to support professional renovators in long and fulfilling careers renovating the places Canadians call home.