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Make sure to consider the renovator’s experience, construction schedule and references
After all the activity of the holidays and the New Year, January is the time that many people’s attention turns to planning a renovation for their home.
Renovations and repairs may include a smaller job like a bathroom refresh or finishing a basement to meet changing life needs, or maybe it’s something more substantial.
Regardless of the project, understanding the process and planning is key to achieving the results you want.
Your first step should be to develop a very clear vision of what is required. Take time to articulate what goals you want to achieve with your renovation and develop a clear description of what you want to change.
Write down your priorities and items that you’d like to have if your budget allows. Make sure everyone in your home participates in the discussion so you have a complete picture of what is needed.
Then it’s time to find a professional renovator that will guide you through the process. The good ones get booked months in advance so it is in your best interest to start this process early.
You will be putting a lot of trust in this person, so look for a renovator who is a member of BILD’s RenoMark program. This means that they have committed to the RenoMark code of conduct and BILD’s code of ethics.
For most people price is a crucial consideration when choosing a renovator, however, it’s important to note that you often get what you pay for. Make sure to consider the renovator’s experience, construction schedule and references.
You should verify that the renovator has the appropriate licenses, WSIB coverage and insurance. Take the time to check three references to get a good understanding of how the company operates.
Once you have selected your professional renovator, he or she may bring in a designer or architect and together you will work through your project outline to create plans and specifications.
This will help determine the budget estimate and any building permits and approvals you will need. In some municipalities obtaining building permits and approvals can take many weeks and even months. This is another reason to start the process early.
When you are comfortable with the preliminary design, budget and timetable, you’re ready to draw up a written contract with your renovator. The contract sets out the precise scope of the work, the price, a schedule of payments, a reasonable timetable for completing the work, product-specific details and a warranty clause.
The contract should be reviewed by a lawyer. A RenoMark renovator will provide a contract for all projects. Remember good contracts provide protection to both parties in the event of a dispute or problem.
Since it’s impossible for me to provide all the nuances of planning a renovation in this column, the RenoMark website has an abundance of information and resources, including design inspiration and the latest renovation information, to ensure you can renovate with confidence. Don’t hesitate to check it out.
Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @bildgta, or visit www.bildgta.ca.