Design Tips

A construction spec book by Reno Bible, the one thing you'll need for your next reno.

Why you Need a Construction Spec Book for your Next Renovation

Can you imagine buying a cabinet or a bed from IKEA and not having the instruction manual by your side? Instead, you’re left with just a bunch of little nuts, bolts, screws, and an Allen key. How long would it take until you reached for a bottle of wine to save your soul? That’s like going into a home renovation without a specification book, or what is better described as a construction manual.

This little guy includes explicit information about the requirements for a product and how the product is to be put together. This document shows and describes in words what cannot be shown or communicated through drawings. Created during the design stage, it is widely used by designers and architects to document all necessary information to bring your design vision to reality. It is half the part of the whole contractual document, and plays a key role in project fulfillment. In essence, specifications are about data communication, and the exchange of information between the client, the designer and the contractor. We break down what a specification book is and why it is vital to your next home renovation


Finding tiles you love may be easy, making sure the grout coordinates with them and ensuring they are installed in the pattern you want on the right walls with a coordinating tile edge is a whole other ball game. The use of a specification book provides all the necessary information of design intent and how to put together various design elements and details. It also provides information on specific preferred products to be used, ensuring quality of product and performance. The Reno Bible specification book is our way to offer clients great designs which are then communicated in detail to the contractor so the renovation process is stress-free for everyone.


Taking on a renovation is stressful enough, so having a good relationship with your contractor is a great start, but will that guarantee you are always on the same page? Let’s say on the off chance that your contractor can NOT read your mind and does not deliver the things you wanted? Imagine you had a specification book that describes the products you want, where to buy them, how to construct a design element or feature, so he can create the home of your dreams. After all, this is your home, this is your personal space and it’s your hard earned cash. A specification book can help minimize project risk and provides additional support should it come to any legal disputes.


In this age of the internet, products are at the end of our fingertips. Endless selection of beautiful products in various colours and finishes can get your imagination going. It’s one thing to dream about your perfect kitchen, but when it’s time to buy all the new and beautiful things, how do you know good quality from not so good quality, but more importantly how do you know you have enough in your budget to have all the items you want and need? Reno Bible offers beautiful, well thought out designs in a range of budget options from economical to mid and high-end. This assures that you receive products that you can afford in a design of your choice.


Renovations take time and money, never mind patience and sometimes slowly counting back from 10 to calm your nerves. Let’s face it, no reno goes smoothly and there will be some tantrums along the way. As designers, we know the frustrations that can happen, so we are the first to arm ourselves with a specification book to have some control over what we can during the reno process. We search and scour the earth for items that we love, suppliers we trust and rely on, so we can recommend quality products fit for your budget and timeline. We know what products are in stock and which have a longer lead time. The last thing you want is to find the perfect flooring halfway through your reno, only to find out the lead time is 6 to 8 weeks and work is on hold until the flooring is in.

A specification book from Reno Bible arms you with all the information you need to know about every product before you start your reno. This includes links to the product, where to purchase- so you can check stock availability, current pricing, and be in control of your renovation from the start. It provides you with some piece of mind through the process knowing all the products in the spec book are ordered in a timely manner and the reno show must go on.


The specification book should be used by the whole project team throughout the construction phase. It is a living document and does not stop being used at the design phase. Contractors and trades can now refer to the spec regularly, so that means whenever they need information on the requirements for installation of any product, they can refer to this document where it will be defined and explained. Does it not give you a sense of peace knowing that all the information for the product you chose and love has been communicated to the contractor? Imagine the better night sleep you would have if your contractor had all the information on hand, rather than calling you to make more decisions they are not prepared to make.


Designs always look great when presented in a mood board. You can immediately say if you’re feelin’ it, or nah. There are a million products in a million different colour and finish options. Designers know what works in what space, and the atmosphere they aim to create. There’s a lot to know, such as knowing which products perform better than others, and which are better suited for a particular function in a space, but that’s another blog. What I’m getting at is that having all the products in one document such as the specification book, you have a much better overview of all the products for your design, and they all work well together. This will help you to better understand the vision for the space.


Renovating an outdated and battered kitchen or washroom so you can finally bathe in a spa-like shower and really understand the meaning of a staycation is super exciting. You can get the vanity of your dreams, or add that double shower to spice your life. The possibilities are endless. But, you know what else can be endless? The many little items you didn’t know you would need to think about during your renovation. Choosing the grout colour for your tiles, the material for your shower curb and wall niche, the hinges for the frameless shower glass door in a finish that coordinates with the rest of your chosen fixtures. Yikes right?

We always say ‘design is in the details’, and now, it’s also in the Reno Bible specification book. It’s a great checklist of all the items, large and small, you will need for your reno so that they coordinate with each other to create a beautifully designed space that looks finished and saves your sanity along the way.

Up next, Interior Designer vs Contractor: who and what you need for your upcoming reno.

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