At some point, every home needs to be upgraded to become more functional for the family members who live there – or for resale. However, a major renovation can be frustrating, unless you’re working with a reliable, knowledgeable general contractor. Here are some suggestions to help make your project go smoothly:
1. First, do your homework in advance. Identify needs and wants, such as design features and style, with an open mind about costs, timing and resale value.
2. Ask reliable sources for recommendations, but don’t make commitments without meeting a number of contractors. Ask about adherence to budget and timing as well as advice on expectations. Ensure each contractor is registered in good standing with your municipality, and can adhere to building codes, secure permits and provide liability protection.
3. Interview at least three qualified contractors. Find out about their choices for architectural drawings or plans, subcontractors, suppliers and materials. Confirm the product and labour warranties they provide. Once satisfied, request that these and other details be included in a quotation with costs, completion dates, payment schedules for workers and materials, plus allowances for changes.
4. Meet on-site regularly, keep a journal and get receipts for purchases. Don’t pay cash, or hand over your credit card. If necessary, ask your bank to issue a new card with strict limitations.
Debbie Tsintaris is a LOCAL REALTOR® in the Waterloo Region offering expert real estate services in Waterloo and surrounding areas in Southwestern Ontario.