A Day In the Life of a Renovation Contractor

Articles & Interest

By Dave Jurinic of Toronto Custom Concepts

My goal as a professional contractor is to help homeowners achieve their renovation dreams, but my job includes running a small business and everything that entails. With every small business the owner has to manage employees, financials, the office, marketing, insurance, equipment, paying trades, employment law, construction law, taxes and much more. To help me accomplish all these tasks I have to wear many hats and rely on many people. 

Professional renovators need help and continuous education in all of these areas of their business. I rely on the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) to help educate me and my employees about the most important changes that are occurring in the industry. Just in the last year there have been changes in the Construction Act that changes how liens work and change how payments need to be managed. Without this education from the association I would end up breaking the law, which is what happens too often when contractors are keeping up with changes in the industry. 

Every week I have general business costs that I have to pay for, like paying my accountant, rent, software and computers, insurance and more. I have to account for these costs and set an annual budget. I then have to predict how many renovations and custom homes I will build that year so that I can apply these costs on every project above the actual construction and management costs. I do my best to keep these overhead costs low so I can be as competitive as possible and offer my clients the best possible price. 

I also have to manage my relationships with my sub-trades and clients because without their support my business would not be successful. This means that I take the time to call them and see how things are going and if there is anything I can do to help them out. These relationships that I build help me get more projects and ultimately are the primary reason why I am successful. 

I spend a lot of time following up with potential clients and preparing quotes. This aspect of my job is time-consuming, but if I don’t do it, I won’t have any new projects. I have to determine how serious the homeowner is about renovating and then I can determine and justify how much time I can commit to pursuing the job. I don’t have a problem with answering people’s questions, but I also have to run my business. As a result, I have to limit how much time I spend on following up on leads.

Last, but most importantly, I manage construction projects. I will work with clients to help them achieve their renovation dreams, coordinate with the trades to build the project, work with the building department and consultants to make sure the project meets all the building regulations and permits, and manage all the costs and billing throughout the process. This part of my job as a contractor is my favourite and I get to see these amazing projects come to life me. 

Dave Jurinic is the Director of Operations at Toronto Custom Concepts

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If this column has generated any thoughts or questions regarding a past or future renovation, please send your questions to renomark@bildgta.ca and look for our answers to your questions in the next Ask a RenoMark Renovator column.