There are some things you should ask your potential contractor. Here is a list of questions that we think are most helpful for you.
Is the contractor a member of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Central Okanagan or another CHBA division? This assures you that the company is established in the industry.
Is the contractor a member of the Better Business Bureau? Is that important to you? Remember, these people will be coming into your home, your most intimate space.
Is the company insured with WCB? Do they have company liability insurance to cover their employees and tradespeople who they bring in to work on your renovation?
Are there references for projects that are similar in scope to yours that you can contact for a recommendation? Ask the references their experience related to the timeliness of the project, the communication between the contractor and client, the cleanliness of the worksite, the punctuality, the way budget was handled.
Who is doing the plans? All projects should have detailed plans. The plan eliminates confusion for everyone. Sometimes the plans are done by the contractor and sometimes a client may have his/her own architect complete the plan. This should be discussed upfront.
Are permits required? If the plans involve a structural change to the home, plumbing movement, electrical components or gas lines then your project requires a permit. Typically your contractor should handle obtaining those and coordinate the inspections.
Should we have a contract? We don’t do business without a contract, and we recommend that you have a contract with anyone whom you hire, whether it is us or another company. The written agreement outlines the scope of the work, the products to be used, and the budget. The contract is different from the project plans.
Who is hiring the tradespeople? Your contractor should have trustworthy tradespeople that they will bring in to complete necessary work. Ensure that the budget to pay the tradespeople is covered in your contract.
Who chooses the products and fixtures? Typically, the client should choose their products and fixtures. Any changes to the quality or price of the products chosen may affect the budget, so you must be aware of what you are selecting. A good contractor who has a relationship with suppliers can help make the choices easier. Ask the contractor ahead of time how they help you with this process.
What happens if changes need to be made? Clear communication between you and your project manager is critical. Changes you make may or may not affect your overall bottom line — but they can have a large impact on your overall satisfaction. Be sure you have a project manager with whom you feel you can communicate every step of the way so there are no surprises.
With any home renovation, there are bound to be surprises and/or challenges along the way. Any company who promises you that everything will be perfect, might not have been around the block enough times to know that the unexpected happens more often than we’d like.
If your contractor doesn’t communicate to you effectively in the pre-project phase, it is unlikely that communication will get better once the project is underway. Don’t be shy to ask good questions of the person you choose for your renovation.
At Gord Turner Renovations, we can assure you that no matter what happens, we are committed to seeing your project through to the end and helping you make the right choices to love your renovation. We hope you find this checklist helpful, and if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to have Gord come out and talk to you about your project, please call: 250-469-9379.