How to Find the Right Contractor for Your Renovation Project
Last modified: 2018/10/05 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Even when using a referral service to find a contractor for your renovation project, this does not mean that you should sign a contract with your eyes closed! A small investigation on your part can be very helpful. Choosing a certified contractor will guarantee, in part, the quality of the work. Here are a few important things to know when choosing a contractor:
First, know that since you are submitting your renovation project to RenoQuotes.com, you are going to get at least three (3) quotes from qualified contractors. This will be very helpful in that you will be able to compare prices (including work and materials) and contractors, in order to choose the option that best suits you! Never settle for only one quote.
Meeting your renovation contractor
When you start meeting with potential contractors, get them to talk about themselves, their experience and their business. Ask them questions about other projects on which they have worked and get to know more about their work methods. In other words, ask them if they will have their own team do the work or if they will hire sub-contractors. Try to see in what time frame they believe the work will be completed and how things will work in terms of payment.
*** If the contractor tries to offer a better price for a cash job, beware, even when the offer is tempting. It’s always much safer to have documented and written proof for major renovation contracts
*** It is important to check if the contractor has work-accident insurance and liability insurance.
In order to make this process easier, RenoQuotes.com has already done the work for you. All of the contractors that are in our network have been thoroughly verified. Also, if possible, contact former clients to get their impressions. The contractor should be able to provide names and contact information. Ask the clients about the work they had done.
See if they had any problems, ask how the workers proceeded to do the job and see if the work dates were respected as promised, etc. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to make an informed choice within the group of contractors that have presented quotes. Before you start up a renovation project, don’t forget to check with your local authorities to know if you need a special permit for your renovation project.
If such is the case, take the proper steps to obtain it. You need this permit. If you don’t have it, in the event of a problem, you would be held responsible. A few important things to known:
- A legitimate contractor should provide a commercial address
- They should always visit your house before they give you a price quote
- If a person shows up at your door selling doors and windows, roofing, thermal insulation material, outdoor siding and/or the services that come with these products, make sure that the company has all the valid permits required for an itinerant salesperson.
- In Quebec, you can check with the Office de Certification Commerciale du Québec
- In Ontario, you can check with Consumer Protection of Ontario
- In Nova Scotia, you can check with Access Nova Scotia
- In Alberta, you can check with Service Alberta
Getting quotes and signing the contract After you’ve made the initial contact with the renovation companies, now comes the time to start talking about price quotes. As mentioned above, getting at least two quotes will be beneficial, as you will be able to compare between the two. If possible, get at least three (3).
These basic pieces of information should be included somewhere on the quote: a description of the work that needs to be done, the required materials, the detailed price for each element, the terms of payment and last of all, a calendar indicating the dates at which the work will be completed or, at the very least, the beginning and end dates.
Always keep the quote! You could add it as an annex on the contract. In general, the contractor should only ever ask for a small deposit at the time of signing (some don’t ask for anything). If they work with deposits, make sure that you never pay more than 10-20% of the total amount.
For the rest of the payment, you can make an arrangement on the spot. Just be sure that you won’t pay the whole sum before the work is completed. It may seem obvious but it is worth repeating: a written contract acts as a guarantee. If there is a problem with the quality of the work, it will be easier for you to assert your rights if you have a contract which includes a lot of detail regarding the details of the work that was supposed to be done and that was included in the supposed agreement between you and the contractor.
It will also prevent the fact that they could end up doing extra work without your consent and try to get you to pay afterwards. A proper contract should include:
- The contractor’s name and their contact information, including their business address;
- Licence and permit numbers, if applicable;
- The work dates (beginning and end);
- The contractor’s written guarantee that they will adhere to any municipal regulations and building codes that are applicable in your area;
- Liability insurance policy number, along with the name of the company;
- A detailed description of the work that is to be done, as well as the materials and the quantity that will be used for each of these;
- The total cost of the work and the payment method;
- Extra notes which vary from one contract to another. For example: writing down that the workers will have to clean up after the work is done.
RenoQuotes.com only wants to refer top quality contractors. Therefore, shortly after the contractors have visited your home, a member of our team may contact you to evaluate your experience with the ones you met. For example, if it turns out that the contractor never showed up, we will take note of this and remove them from our network!
Are you looking for a general contractor for your renovation project?
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your home or commercial renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the best contractors in our network. Fill in the form (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from home renovation specialists.
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