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If you are a contractor or a client, here is the information that you need to know:

YOU ARE A CLIENT

Check with your provincial authorities to find out about current recommendations for renovation projects. In some parts of Canada, contractors are allowed to present quotes and carry out renovation projects starting in the upcoming days and weeks.

For example, in Quebec, all renovation projects will be allowed to start on May 11th 2020. In Ontario and Alberta, there is no set date for construction and home renovations to be relaunched. As such, strict guidelines are still in order. Please consult your provincial government website for specific information.

In the meantime, RenoQuotes is here to put you in touch with our network of contractors. We encourage clients and contractors to follow the rules and guidelines enforced by provincial authorities.

Consult our article for tips on how to organize your project remotely: How to Receive Quotes Remotely

Be sure to check out the following article for general information about renovations during this extraordinary situation: Renovation projects in the time of COVID-19

YOU ARE A CONTRACTOR

Guidelines vary from one province to another. As the information is changing daily, we encourage you to consult your local government website for specific information.

In any case, you will have to adapt your practices when presenting quotes and carrying out the work. In some areas, only remote communications are permitted. For advice on how to present a quote remotely, check out this article: 3 tips to present quotes remotely

If you meet with a client in person and start working on a project, strict hygiene and social distancing measures must be adopted. Here's another article that could interest you: What you need to know about construction sites reopening

Do you need financial help for your renovation company? Check out this article: Guide to financial assistance programs for Canadian businesses

 
 
 
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Renovation Project: How to Receive Quotes Remotely

Last modified: 2020-04-30 | Approximate reading time 6 mins

Amanda Harvey

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. Once the quarantine measures have been loosened, the project can be launched without any further delay.

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).

Plan projet de rénovation_renovation project plan

Preparing your renovation project

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: 

Plan de projet réno_renovation project plan

There is no need to create such a detailed plan but drawings can be useful for contractors. 

Receiving quotes remotely: how to proceed and what to know?

First of all, we must specify that when things are running regularly, 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, therefore, 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.

Personne qui utiliser ordinateur_personne using a computer

What technological tools can be used for remote quotes

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:

  • Video calls
  • Emails
  • Calls (without video)

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:

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Skype
  • WhatsApp
  • Google Hangouts or Google Duo
  • Zoom
  • Houseparty
  • Marco Polo

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 entrepreneurs submit bids remotely. If you wish to see the entrepreneur's point of view in this situation, consult it by clicking here.

Evaluating the quotes and choosing the contractor with whom you will do business

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 criteria to remember when you receive contractor proposals:

  • The contractor must have the mandatory certifications;
  • They have a good reputation;
  • They have a certain level of experience for the type of work you are looking for;
  • They present a clear and detailed quote;
  • They communicate clearly and understand your needs.

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).

Pinterest sur ordinateur_pinterest on a computer

Choose the materials

Since big-box home renovation retailers are considered essential services, most of these stores remain open during this period. However, this doesn't mean you should just go there to shop. 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 most interest you 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.

Check out our renovation blog

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!

You can search among the blog posts by using the search bar on the main page of the site or by browsing the categories.

Use our cost calculators and our price guide

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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