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Last modified: 2021-08-16 | Approximate reading time 6 mins
We can imagine that like the rest of us, you’re stuck at home right now. It’s likely that prospective short and medium-term renovation projects are lining up, and you’d like to launch them once things have returned to normal. If this is the case, why not get ahead with the preparation stage? Indeed, there are several things that can be started remotely when it comes to the organization of the project. For example, you can get in touch with contractors and even receive quotes remotely.
In this way, you can sign contracts with the contractors who will be responsible for carrying out the work.
In this article, we will present a few tips for starting a renovation project during this period when it’s not possible to receive contractors on site (except for urgent work).
At this moment, the approach for renovation projects is a little different than usual. It’s especially important to get a very precise and detailed idea of the desired results and/or the problem you're looking to resolve because you will have to clearly express your needs to the contractors you will contact.
Create a detailed written document to present the project
Take the time to write down the objectives of the work and write down certain relevant elements, in particular the materials and the budget, especially if it is a large project. Of course, you’ll be able to discuss the work and make decisions with your chosen contractors.
You can send this written plan to the entrepreneur, as this will allow them to better understand your expectations and needs. If you have other relevant documents such as house plans or photos, don’t hesitate to include them in your written exchanges.
You can also use the checklists that we have prepared to help guide you throughout the different preparation steps for your projects. These articles include a useful checklist:
There is no need to create such a detailed plan but drawings can be useful for contractors.
First of all, we must specify that when things are "normal", it’s always preferable that the bidding process takes place in person. This is because communication in person is generally easier and less prone to misunderstandings. In addition, if the contractor sees the work to be done in person, they'll have a slightly more complete picture of the situation.
That said, for the vast majority of renovation projects, it’s entirely possible to submit a remote bid when necessary. Right now, aside from emergency work that can still be assessed in person, this is the only possibility for obtaining a price from a contractor as well as signing a contract for a project that will eventually take place.
If you want to take advantage of this situation to advance your renovation projects, you can begin the organization stage. Through our platform, you’ll be able to send projects and get in touch with contractors who will be ready to carry out the work as soon as possible. In the meantime, they’ll be able to submit a quote using the technological tools which are very useful right now!
The question of budget and price presented on the quote
From the point of view of contractors, it’s undeniably more difficult to offer a project price when they’re unable to travel to assess the needed work. This is due to the fact that there’s a greater chance for something unexpected to be added to the budget afterwards. Under these circumstances, you can expect several contractors to present you with a base price while indicating that there should be leeway for unforeseen events.
If this is the case, both you and the contractor should make sure that this condition is written on the quote and any additional document related to the contract. It’s especially important to avoid misunderstandings, and this is the kind of important detail to address.
First step: the initial contact has been created between you and the contractors who will submit a bid for your project. Now, in order to be able to present you with an idea of their techniques and their planned prices, they’re going to need your collaboration. To communicate, you’ll use technological tools that are part of our everyday life, namely telephones and computers.
Here are the main communication channels you can use to receive quotes:
The first option is best to clearly communicate with the contractor during the bid period and to be able to show what needs to be renovated.
Nowadays, there are a variety of messaging and video calling apps that can be installed on smartphones, tablets or computers. Here’s the list of the most frequently used ones:
You probably already have access to one of these applications. To communicate with contractors, you will need to agree on which of these applications will work for both parties. Once this has been determined, be sure to schedule a date for the call, so that you’re both available.
If you don't have the tools to make video calls, you can still use a combination of email and phone calls without video.
Using email, you’ll be able to include photos, video files, plans, and a clear written description of what you plan to do for the project. In doing so, the contractor will have as many tools as possible to assess the project and get back to you with a detailed quote.
We‘ve prepared an article to help contractors submit quotes remotely. If you wish to see the contractor's point of view in this situation, check out this article.
Even if the situation is atypical, the criteria for selecting the contractor with whom you do business are the same as usual. Here are the main things to remember when you receive contractor proposals:
Make sure you always get a written version of what was said during the call. This will simplify communication and avoid misunderstandings. See our article “practical guide for choosing your contractor” to learn more about this (note that this article was written before the pandemic).
Since big-box home renovation retailers are considered essential services, most of these stores remain open during this period, even when restrictions are stricter (as was the case back in March). However, this doesn't mean you should go there just to browse. Store trips should be reserved for high priority purchases or urgent work.
Nevertheless, you can consult the websites of these companies to choose the materials that you are thinking of buying and that suit your budget. If you ever have to buy tools and materials while respecting quarantine, some retailers also offer delivery.
If you are starting an aesthetic transformation, we recommend that you create an account on Pinterest to organize all your ideas for materials, colours and textures. You will find a huge variety of ideas and you'll be able to create a well-organized file that can even be shared with the contractor with whom you end up doing business.
Each week, we publish articles that address the different facets of renovation. You will find ideas and inspirations for your projects, answers to your questions, price guides and practical tools such as checklists for large projects. More than ever, we hope that our articles will be useful for visitors who land on our website!
Did you know that we have a great price guide for renovation projects, as well as several cost calculating tools? You can use them to get a general idea of the budget needed for the renovation project you want to implement. They are very easy to use and their content has been validated by contractors.
Here are the links:
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