Beginning a home renovation project can seem like a daunting prospect for homeowners – often, you aren’t even sure where to start or what you should be looking out for when dealing with a contractor. For what can often be one of the most expensive endeavours you’ll undertake, there are several important things to keep in mind throughout your project to help ensure a smooth process along the way, resulting in an ultimately successful result that you will love for life.
When beginning the search for a contractor, it’s important to do thorough research. Check out the contractor’s website, ask how long they have been in business, and ask to see photos of their past jobs. Even better, ask if the contractor will allow you to speak to their past or current clients. The more forthcoming a contractor is about their business, the better – be wary of those who are reticent to share their past work.
Be up front with your contractor at the start about your budget, so that they can make realistic recommendations, and to help avoid budget creep down the road. When establishing a contract, make sure you have one that is straightforward and easy to understand. If necessary, have a lawyer look over it for a second opinion.
A contractor who is a member of their local Home Builders’ Association and a member of a professional program like RenoMark can help provide you with further surety – they must have WSIB, provide a warranty on their work, and follow a Code of Conduct. In an unregulated industry, knowing that your contractor goes above the industry standard will help to provide you with some peace of mind.
Constant, clear and honest communication with your contractor is essential to the success of your project – RenoMark contractors must reply to clients within two business days. Your contractor should frequently be on the job site to supervise, or have dedicated supervisors to ensure the project remains on track. Your contractor should be comfortable with you, as the homeowner viewing the construction site to track progress as long as all safety procedures are followed.
Once your project is finished, ask your contractor to explain to you what items may need more frequent or continued maintenance. Depending on the materials used, plumping valves and fixtures, grouting and wood surfaces may all require some extra attention down the road – and your contractor should be willing to change or replace items covered by your warranty.
Navigating your home renovation process can seem overwhelming, but keeping these concepts in mind will help you to avoid common hurdles and find the best contractor to suit your needs, ensuring your finished result is one you can enjoy for years to come.
Peter Glaw is the founder of Premier Quality Renovations, a leading renovation firm in the Greater Toronto Area. With over 45 years of experience, Peter’s passion, integrity and thirst for knowledge through continued education has earned him the highest respect from colleagues and Industry Standard Boards. Peter is a long-standing and trusted member of RenoMark and the Building Industry and Land Development Association in partnership with the Canadian Home Builders Association. Please send your thoughts or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.