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Renovation Contractor - How To Stand Out From Your Competition

By: Karine Dutemple

Renovation Contractor - How To Stand Out From Your Competition

By: Karine Dutemple

Advice for contractorsRenovation Contractor - How To Stand Out From Your Competition

Owning a renovation business in a sea of contractors can be challenging. With easy access to information online, clients can make snap judgments about you and your business, all with the click of a button. But with the over-accessibility of information comes a problem; in a saturated market, how does a new business engage with clients and stand out from the rest?

We at are here to provide the key skills necessary to create a personal brand, focusing on your people skills over practical skills to make room for prospective clients who will understand you, as this will foster a sense of connectedness and engagement.


How to stand out from the competition


Source : Canva

Have Confidence

Confidence is key, as they say, and remaining confident in your personal brand as well as the services you offer will lead clients to trust you. If you exude confidence, it shows that you whole-heartedly believe in the services that you offer. If you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect someone else to believe in you? Remain likeable while being confident, as your prospective customers are judging every move you make.

The more genuine and interested you appear, the more your clients will like and trust you. From the first smile you exchange to the way you shake their hand, these little gestures seem insignificant, but in the end, will set you apart from the rest and keep clients coming back!


Get Online

Entrepreneur en ligne

Source : Canva

If your business isn't already online, now is the time to make it happen! As we've said previously, we are an internet-focused society, and staying relevant means tapping into free, available online resources. 

Use social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn to get word about your renovation business out there. If you're not comfortable working with a computer or social network, consider hiring an intern to complete these jobs for you.

Also worth considering is building your own website, a task that can be contracted out. Having a space where customers can write testimonials on your Facebook page or website is another excellent way to reaffirm that you stand behind your work. The short amount of time it will take to use social networks versus the potential business it could create is incomparable. 


Differentiate yourself from your competitors

Se différencier des compétiteurs

Source : Canva

In an industry where so much of what is offered is similar, what are you able to offer a client that no one else can? It is important to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd, providing unique services adds value to any renovation business. A good method is offering extra assistance for little to no charge.

Consider finding smaller, less noticeable jobs around the home and offer to complete them without cost: vacuum the floors in the room you were working in, tighten up loose siding, sprouting or screws, dust the ceiling fans and other hard to reach places. 

Providing an extra bit of finesse to the jobs you've already booked can push clients to become return customers. As well, they could potentially recommend your services to all their friends! 


Be a Problem Solver

Is there something within the contracting market that clients feel is "expected"? Poor behaviour, unreliability, hidden fees etc? Attempt to dispel your client's fear through affirmative action! 

Make good use of your time by finding out customer anxieties surrounding contractors and contract work: be receptive to prospective needs, stand behind the work that you do and take responsibility for every action.

With that in mind, use your responsibility and reliability as a selling point by assuring your prospective customers that you will only charge them once they are completely satisfied. This gains instant trust with any client and demonstrates that you stand firmly behind your work. Taking responsibility also forces a close connection to your customer as well as your crew: if the customer is happy, everyone is happy.


Commit To Your Brand

One last point for you, as a contractor, is to stand behind your brand! Now that your business is up and running, it's important to keep up with that initial confidence and focus by remaining firmly positioned behind the business principals you've set in place. Don't go back on your word, and most importantly, trust yourself and what you've built. If you're confident in the product you've created, then rest assured that your clients will be too.

Get new clients for your home renovation company by standing out from the crowd can help you get clients. We get requests from clients looking for trusted home renovation professionals just like you.  Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive information on how to get new clients for your renovation company through our service.

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Last modified 2023-04-28

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Hiring Foreign Workers On Behalf of Your Renovation or Construction Company

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To determine the appropriate salary, use the National Occupational Classification (NOC) table. The completed and signed Déclaration de l’employeur - Programme des travailleurs étrangers temporaires (Employer Declaration - Temporary Foreign Worker Program) form. Indicate the months of experience you deem necessary to perform the work needed and attach all supporting documentation. A signed copy of the work contract that both you and the employee have agreed to. The worker’s temporary selection application form. Verify that the section “Authorization given to employer” is completed and signed. Photocopies of any supporting documents related to the worker (passport pages, current résumé, diploma and transcript, work experience related to the job, former work permit if ever there is one, etc.). Fees of $432 per worker (non-refundable) to review your request. Who’s exempt from the LMIA? To know if you can jump over this step, check out the LMIA exemptions via the International Mobility Program. Here’s a list of reasons you could bypass the need to obtain permission from the Government of Quebec for an LMIA and/or Quebec Acception Certificate: The job offered lasts less than 30 days The individual is a company transfer The worker won’t receive monetary compensation The employee is a member of the International Experience Canada (IEC) or has a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) It’s a free trade agreement Note that, for jobs provided by the LMIA, you’re still required to obtain a work permit via Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If an exemption code applies to your situation, you must indicate it in your job offer. 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Pay costs related to obtaining necessary company authorizations, such as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Verify that the worker has a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), or if they’re exempt from it, as well as a work permit. Help the worker obtain their documents (identification papers, SIN, medical file, etc.). Offer, free of charge, medical insurance, as long as the worker isn’t covered by the RAMQ. If it’s a low-income position (paid less than $25/h): Assume transportation costs to and from the work site and affordable housing. Report to the CNESST among others the hiring of a temporary foreign worker. Respect the previously mentioned commitments established during the hiring process, such as salary and method of payment, number of work hours, type of tasks, etc. Fulfill the terms and requirements mandated by the LMIA and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Advise the governments and submit a new LMIA request if needed should the work conditions change along the way. Keep all important documentation for 6 years. Comply with employment-related laws, both provincial and federal. Naturally, as an employer, you’ll need to respect these laws and fulfill your obligations toward your labourers, whether they’re foreign or not. Otherwise, you could be sanctioned for non-compliance. Well, at least now you're more informed!

6 min read 09 Dec 2022

Brick Recycling: A Favoured Alternative

At a time when everyone is conscious of environmental protection issues, we're looking to recycle and upcycle everything that's no longer needed. As such, the urge to upgrade your home's brick cladding is reason enough to think this over. However, we tend to overlook the fact that terracotta bricks, which are everywhere, are among the greenest solutions out there. Reclaiming bricks is an easy endeavour considering they’re recyclable and reusable. Here's everything you should know about brick recycling. How to Use Recycled Bricks Source: Canva When a structural shift or collapse occurs damaging brickwork, repairing a wall is still an option after carefully cleaning the bricks and replacing those that are cracked or broken. An experienced mason can comfortably do the job, provided that some bricks made ten, twenty, or thirty years ago are available. Since this is usually a major feat, it explains why there's a real demand on the market for used bricks. In other words, many contractors need recycled brick! When renovating, your old brick may very well become valuable. The use of secondhand bricks, however, will vary depending on their condition: “Reclaimed bricks” that are still in good condition: Used for a construction or renovation project, but the dismantling process must have been meticulously done, and every brick cleaned to perfection. That way, you’re saving on material costs, but the upcycling process is time-consuming and tedious, which almost always outsets the cost-effectiveness of the initiative. Otherwise, if not reused to build a structure, the salvaged bricks can be used in landscaping projects to create walkways, retaining walls, or patios. Overly damaged bricks can be upcycled: These can be broken down and converted into aggregate or granular material. Once crushed into pieces, it becomes a sought-after material used as backfill or drainage stones for foundations and transportation infrastructures. These can also be used to make mortar, concrete, or bituminous coatings. In other words, even though it might seem like a complex process, it’s an excellent way to upcycle bricks for numerous projects. In Quebec, aggregates such as brick, concrete, or gravel account for 40 to 60% of construction, renovation and demolition waste. However, brick has a never-ending lifecycle because of its natural composition (clay shale). Once buried in the ground, having undergone no chemical or industrial transformation, brick disintegrates and returns to its original state without releasing the slightest toxic emission. However, the energy spent on waste management could be used upcycling it! Where to Donate Bricks for Recycling? Source: Canva Bricks are almost always salvageable, whether we're demolishing a deteriorating building or modernizing a house's façade. Once properly cleaned, they can be reused immediately, without any processing or transformation. Recycled Brick Resale Companies With selective deconstruction, a structure’s specific components can be removed to later be reused or recycled. Ultimately, that’s how certain businesses can provide their customers with recycled materials that aren’t available elsewhere. This is especially true with Websters and Sons, a Montréal-based company with a huge inventory featuring bricks of various colours and from different eras, some were even taken from heritage buildings. This company specializes in the purchase and resale of recycled bricks. DIY Used Brick Resale If you’re unable to find a business nearby that’s interested in purchasing your bricks, you can always put them up for sale on a classified ads website. Albeit demand isn’t at an all-time high, the rarity of the product ensures that you’ll have, in no time, some takers. Ecocentres Luckily, the majority of ecocentres accept construction materials, thus bricks. Most of the larger cities in the province of Quebec have local ecocentres, and these salvage sites are accessible to the general public. Several municipalities encourage residents to recycle bricks at designated locations. How to Find a Brick Recycling Centre? In some cases (if the brick you want to recycle isn't in good condition, for example), looking for a company willing to take your stack of bricks can be quite difficult. However, knowing that the construction industry is responsible for one-third of waste materials in Quebec, this approach can significantly reduce your work's environmental impact. Companies such as Maçonnerie Gratton use their expertise to restore recycled bricks, whether it's reusing the original bricks or opting to have recycled bricks used in a reconstruction project. The Brique-Recyc machine, featured in the upcoming sub-section, further allows on-site recycling. Are you looking for experts for your masonry project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Brique-Recyc, a Brick Recycling Innovation Source: Canva Fitted with a diamond blade saw and guided by a laser system, the Brique-Recyc is both a time and money saver. The machine removes mortar and cleans bricks in less than seven seconds, dust-free. Instead of breaking 15% of the bricks, as seen with the previous method: the standard cleaning method, this machine retains upwards of 99% of the bricks. Brique-Recyc Function The machine’s mode of operation is simple enough: Brick is dropped onto a conveyor belt powered by the push of a button. The brick disappears into a metal casing and exits a few seconds later, polished and perfectly cleaned. The old mortar is salvaged and will later serve to make cement, while brick can serve to build a wall from where it’s just been extracted. Close to a dozen bricks can be processed using the same method, in only a few seconds. The machine recycles a 1,000 sq. ft. (92 sq. m.) brick wall in 440 hours, while 600 hours would be needed to rebuild a wall using new materials. On-Site Brick Recycling Until very recently, it was easy and cost-effective to haul new bricks from the United States or Ontario instead of cleaning old bricks and reusing these to build a wall. Conventionally, salvaging brick was an especially slow and costly procedure that people preferred, by a long shot, to dealing with the headache of moving new materials in and out of urban building sites. Both cheap and eco-friendly, reusing bricks for the same wall would prevent 5.9 tonnes of carbon gas emissions. This calculation accounts for the manufacturing of new bricks, transportation (Quebec ceased making new bricks in 2016), construction process, and disposal of old bricks. The Brique-Recyc machine is easily transported and can be used in restricted areas, even on scaffolding. When the bricks are cleaned on-site in a short amount of time and immediately reused, it thus becomes cost-effective to recycle this material instead of disposing of it. Therefore, your renovation project could be both cheap and eco-friendly—talk about a win-win!

6 min read

Cynthia Laferrière 03 Aug 2022

How to Use Artificial and Augmented Reality in Construction Industry

Virtual reality, a well-known concept for many years, and augmented reality, made famous by the popular mobile game Pokemon Go, are ever-evolving technologies. Having first demonstrated their potential in video games, they're increasingly being used and developed across various industries. Moreover, they represent a considerable appeal to investors, professors, scientists, and real estate developers. They're intended to facilitate learning, assist communication, and reliably modernize specific so-called conservative disciplines. Since the construction industry is a more traditional and unpredictable industry, the use of augmented and virtual reality allows for better construction site management, from design to completion. Augmented, Virtual, and Hybrid Reality Virtual Reality Virtual reality is probably the most well-known concept of the three, and it provides total immersion in a fictional 3D universe, often inspired by real-world reality. Reproduced by computer software and displayed via a headset, simulations allow for the person who immerses themself in the world to interact with the objects and characters in real-time. Augmented Reality With this concept, it's more a question of adding virtual elements on top of real-world images. The computer-generated content also allows the user to interact with the environment, in real time, but it doesn't necessarily require a headset. Instead, the user is able to see the information on a screen (phone, tablet, computer screen...) or while wearing a pair of eyewear. The idea here is to enrich something that already exists by understanding its meaning. For example, if we add a storey to an existing house, what would the house look like in the end... Hybrid Reality Just as the term suggests, it consists of a mix of both virtual and real worlds. In this case, real-world elements can interact with virtual objects. With the use of eyeglasses, this type of reality is highly interactive and frequently takes the form of holograms. Source: Flickr Augmented & Virtual Reality: Bona Fide Apps for Construction Industry Apprise First, let's go back to the beginning: training. No matter what profession you pursue, imagine being able to assimilate the exact procedures by practicing technical manoeuvres, whether on a construction site or in a factory, all in a virtually or semi-virtually controlled setting featuring various potential situations. And this, without any real accidents, while limitlessly exploring your creativity and repeating the process as many times as necessary to reach full comprehension, without wasting materials. Moreover, if the instructor has access to your assignments and can review them later, or even immerse themselves with you to fine-tune the work and demonstrate by example, then the possibilities for improving skills and learning processes are huge. To some extent, you can also train a worker in safety practices and equipment operation by simulating the eventual work site using GPS data and computer software. Design In due part to building information modelling (BIM), one can further understand the pertinence of innovative applications related to augmented and virtual reality. These tech tools propel ideas into the near-real world to determine their viability. As a matter of fact, suppose a 3D rendering of a building materializes on your tablet, or the construction details of a building appear before your eyes when you point your phone at a vacant lot. You could virtually implement load-bearing walls in specific locations, add wiring, reconsider the width of a storey, view the final result with completed landscaping, and so forth. As a contractor, you would be able to use your tablet to show your team the worksite well ahead of time, as well as communicate the probable risks and the security measures that must be taken according to the worksite. Designers and ergonomists would be able to spot potential problems related to the way objects, nature, and humans intertwine. In a nutshell, by managing remotely, one can take measurements from home, as well as spot conceptualization errors beforehand, keep the labour force better informed, meet all deadlines, and there would even be an interface that could give workers real-time guidance. Share The construction industry involves countless conversations and meetings between the various parties involved in a project. Sharing of information must often be done as swiftly and accurately as possible, from design to delivery. Since not all parties involved are on-site or present at the same time, incorporating virtual realities during certain stages makes things much easier. For example: To interact remotely, but in real-time, during an inspection or when something unexpected occurs; For all (specialists, managers, and the labour force) to agree on the steps to follow and the best decisions; To see the same thing at the same time, and to advise accordingly while providing illustrated instructions and technical guidelines. Market Imagine a sales pitch intended to convince an investor that’s supported by a 3D model, to which elements are added as you mention them! Also, consider the option for home buyers to tour a building before it's even built, or for clients to actively participate in designing their landscape by seeing their ideas in real life through a smartphone. The space, textures, colours, overall look, process, etc., are now all accessible, not just on paper. Seeing the project unfold in 3D helps enhance communication and avoid mid-project changes that can delay the process. A happy client is a loyal one who will also refer you to other potential clients. Blending digital technology and business allows companies to reduce delays and build a solid reputation. First, the client receives a quote faster, accepts it or alters it remotely. Then, manufacturers and contractors receive the list of materials needed and understand the exact steps involved in the project. Finally, the workers and technicians aren't on the road unnecessarily since everything is compiled and adjusted in real-time. Source: Milan Herzog - Pixabay Advantages of Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Construction Industry Ease learning and assessments. Optimize information retention through hands-on practice with less equipment. Control plans at will before approval and allow you to virtually immerse yourself in an at-scale environment. Safely simulate situations and reduce work staff. Optimize project costs by wasting fewer resources, avoiding travel time, and increasing productivity. Anticipate problems and minimize last-minute changes. Encourage collaboration and information communication regarding useful know-how during the course of the project. Tools Most often, the tools used are VR headsets, glasses, sensors, and touchscreens like tablets or smartphones. Namely, among the heavy hitters are Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, NEXT-BIM, Microsoft HoloLens, and the Stellar X platform. As technology develops, it's likely that we'll one day see the symbolic yellow hard hat worn by construction workers adapted to include a camera and sensors that can transmit information to augmented reality tech tools!

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