Renovating your home should be an exciting, positive experience. Your home is likely the biggest investment you will ever make, so protect yourself by working with an experienced professional who has the training, and resources to transform your space into something you will love. It’s a good idea to talk to a contractor as early on in the project as possible. This will help you understand the scope of your project, budget and timeline as well as what to expect over the course of construction.
1.) Project Management Skills: From start to finish a professional renovator will help you put it all together and turn your ideas into great results. They are experienced in managing timelines, the organization of tradespeople and will execute the job efficiently. Renovating any existing structure can unveil surprises. The experienced renovator will bring solutions to renovation challenges and will have the oversight to catch potential problems early in the project.
2.) Trade Connections and Technical Know-How : Professional renovators come with established working relationships and discounts with the sub-trades and building suppliers. Plumbing, electrical and gas renovations all require licensed contractors by law and are definitely not safe for the average DIYer. Contractors understand building science and can make suggestions on how to improve the comfort of your home.
3.) Accurate Pricing: Experienced contractors know what it takes to do a job right, they know what it will cost and they will be able to tell you a ballpark price based on the estimated scope of work. When the design is finalized and all finishes and details are worked out your contractor can give you a detailed price. Talk to your contractor early on in the design process to get a better understanding of what what is achievable within your budget.
4.) Permits: Every municipality, village or district has building permits which must be adhered too. More than just the cost of the permit, knowing the implications of the regulations will help to define the real cost of your renovation. What started out as a simple project may impact building code for wall structures, plumbing or electrical, impacting time and budget. Keep in mind that someone looking to buy your house in the future may ask about the renovation work and want verification that the work was done to code.
5.) Insurance, Warranties and Contracts: Adequate liability insurance and workers compensation coverage are essential for all building and renovation projects. Professional contractors know this and have the appropriate coverage. As the homeowner you should also be advised on what type of insurance you will need during construction. Reputable contractors participate in workplace safety initiatives and take time to educate their staff. They also check that all sub trades have workers compensation coverage. Reputable contractors are in business for the long haul, they will warranty their work and ensure you are satisfied with the final product long after the project is finished. As a final point, no matter how small the job, you need to have it in writing. Without a contract, you will have no recourse if problems occur later. At a minimum, details should include a description of the work, start and finish dates, and the price and payment schedule. Professional renovators use either their own contract or a standard industry contract.