As we may have mentioned in a few of our previous blog posts, it’s incredibly important to get a realistic estimate from your contractor before you undertake any home renovation, addition or remodeling project. While there is no set number for how many quotes you should get, the point of the matter is to receive a realistic estimate and prevent any unexpected surprises or costs along the way. To help facilitate your process, we’ve put together some tips on how you should go about selecting your contractor for your upcoming renovation, with the express intention of pointing you in our direction, because that’s just how these things go. (Absolutely a joke: get multiple quotes!)
But why do I need multiple quotes?
Well, for the most part, this is to provide you with a good understanding of the price points required for your project. This will allow you to establish an understanding of the costs of materials, services and labour, and will give you a proper understanding of the timeframe required.
What should I be looking for?
In addition to the best prices for quality services, you should be screening your contractor for comfort. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this individual or team, and you want to be sure that this is a person or people you can collaborate with and are comfortable working with. We can’t tell you the amount of client we have met who have in the past dreaded meeting with their contractor simply because they’re not well matched, and the renovation turned out poorly. Ensure that you can work with a person before you settle down.
What should I look for in quotes?
Basically, just make sure you’re getting a full scope of work and the costs for it. While the scope of work will depend on your renovation target, in general, you can look for components such as structural planning, plumbing, electrical work, cabinetry, flooring, painting, materials, trim and finishes. All of these factors will have a huge impact on the quote, and is important to understand the factors. In addition, you’ll want to allow for some unexpected costs. This is called contingency cost, and should be included in your quote, unless you are looking for a fixed price contract (where this cost will be included in the overhead.)
The two most common pricing methods for home renovation contractors is fixed price and cost-plus method. In a fixed price contract, the renovator will charge a flat fee for the project, where any overhead costs are included. In a cost-plus method, the cost of the project is variable and will depend on labour and materials used. Examine both methods carefully, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Review the certification and licences of your contractor.
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s always a good idea to review the certifications of your contractor before hiring. A good mark of standards is participation in the RenoMark program, which was created by BILD to help GTA homeowners differentiate between licenced and underground renovators and companies. This program is not used Canada wide and is an excellent means of identifying a contractor worth your time.
A RenoMark renovator must follow a code of conduct, provide written contracts, offer liability insurance, provide a minimum 2-year warranty and ensure that all employees have applicable licences and certificates.
Our teams specialize in design, and offer the highest quality services for luxury and mid-range custom home builds. Get in touch with us today and start building or renovating your home in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond! We look forward to helping you design and construct your dream home.