YOU’VE SPENT HOURS PERFECTING YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS, GONE OVER YOUR BUDGET WITH A FINE TOOTH COMB, AND TALKED FOR HOURS WITH NEIGHBOURS, COWORKERS, AND FAMILY ABOUT THEIR RENOVATIONS. YOU’RE READY TO TAKE THE LEAPTOWARD YOUR DREAM HOME! ALMOST. BEFORE BREAKING GROUND WITH YOUR NEW CONTRACTOR, MAKE SURE YOU ASK THESE FIVE QUESTIONS TO AVOID ADDITIONAL COSTS AND ANY OTHER SURPRISES THAT MAY COME UP.
1. How much will this renovation cost?
This seems like an obvious one, but many contractors will avoid giving you a firm number and will provide a broad range following their initial walk through. Be wary of anyone who names a price just after walking through your home as they have not considered the home’s structure, the materials you’re choosing, or potential permits and City demands. We choose to gather all necessary information and contact our suppliers, the City, and run any necessary tests on your home before providing our quote. If our quote does come in a “range” and not a specific dollar amount then we will go over the factors with you and different routes the project could take. Never sign a contract without understanding where each dollar is going.
2. Who will be in my home?
Often times, the lead project manager who you sign a contract with may not be the person who will be conducting the work in your home. We think it’s important to know, and meet, everyone who will be in your space. This could be subcontractors from a separate company, architects, designers, or other team members you may not know yet. Your contractor should provide a schedule for you outlining who will be on site and when so you can be prepared.
3. What is our timeline?
This one is very important to discuss with your contractor so you are both on the same page, especially if you plan on living somewhere else while your renovation is underway. If your contractor knows that there will be weeks of waiting on permits or an architect before the work even commences then they should let you know so you aren’t spending unnecessary time out of your home. Often times a project sways from it’s schedule due to unforeseen events, however, you should always be updated of changes and given reasonable options when trying to get the renovation back on track.
4. What do I need to do to prepare?
While your contractor is putting your contract and schedule together, it’s often a great time to get things in order and speed up the process yourself. Whether this be putting your belongings in to storage, picking out fixtures and materials, or having your home tested for toxins, there is always something the home owner can do to expedite the process. We love to send our clients on a shopping trip and pick out their appliances and fixtures as there’s often a lead time on these items.
5. Ask for recommendations!
Chances are your contractor has done multiple renovations before yours and has seen many different finishes, floorpans, appliances, etc. They know what works well, what doesn’t, and what’s in style right now. If you have any doubts or need advice, they’re the best person to ask! Often times they will answer your question before you even ask it, because they don’t want to see another client go with a product they already know isn’t the best.