How to Choose a Reliable Builder for Your Home?
Choosing a reliable builder
The time to find out the quality of your builders is before you hire them. The last thing you want is for a start to be made on the renovations, only to experience delays, unexpected complications, lack of expertise or availability problems – all of which are more common than you might think.
Check licences and insurance
Never assume that your builders are who they say they are. Check with the state authorities to ensure they are fully licensed tradesmen, qualified to work for you. Also check that they have home indemnity insurance (a Certificate of Currency) in case the builder dies, disappears or the business folds. Don’t touch any builder without one of these.
Check for building disputes
Does your potential builder have any past or present disputes? You can check this with the Building and Construction Commission, and this will give you an idea of the builder’s track record to date. Those with disputes may be questionable in terms of quality of work or reliability.
Inspect past projects
It makes sense to be able to check ‘references’ – that is, past projects the builder has been involved in, and completed. This will give you an idea of the scale and scope of work done in the past and a benchmark for the quality of the workmanship and materials that you can expect. If possible, speak to the builder’s past clients regarding service and timescales for completion.
Ensure present commitments are not too demanding
What present projects is your builder involved in? This will impact availability for your job and how often he will be on the job site to supervise. Many builders over-commit and over-promise, leading to blow outs in completion times or hiring sub-contractors who produce sub-standard work. Pin your builder down to definite dates and project management commitments.
Home renovation guide: Tips to avoid getting duped when renovating your first place
Congratulations on crossing another milestone in life – getting your first home! But amidst all the excitement you are probably feeling jittery about the home renovation process. Fret not
In this guide, we will share some insider tips to avoid getting duped for your first home renovation project. Choosing your ideal contractor or interior designer, the theme, getting a loan and more, we got you covered.
TAKE TIME TO PLAN YOUR RENOVATION
Start planning your renovation the moment you get the floor plan, and not till you get your keys. Because with more time on hand, you’ll be able to ask around, meet different interior design companies and compare offers carefully. Since you’ll likely be spending a 5-digit sum for your first home renovation project, never rush into making a decision!
CONSIDER AN INTERIOR DESIGN THEME THAT SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE
We understand that almost every new homeowner wants the interior design of their home to be as up to date as possible. However, don’t try to incorporate too many trends into your home. It is essential to consider an interior design theme that fits your budget and lifestyle instead of following trends blindly. Do choose a pragmatic style that suits your needs, or even increase the value of your property should you rent or sell your home in the future.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR OR INTERIOR DESIGNER
In case you didn’t know, hiring an interior designer (ID) typically costs more than a contractor. Why? Because an ID is really a project manager, who will oversee the entire renovation project from ideation to completion. On the other hand, a contractor is a person who can carry out your specific requests.
How to Choose the Best Contractor for Home Improvement
Educate Yourself. It’s important to educate yourself about the work you want to have completed prior to meeting with contractors. This way, you’ll have a deeper understanding of renovation lingo, you’ll be able to provide the contractor with enough information to prepare an estimate that meets your goals, be able to interpret any estimates that you receive, and to figure out whether the contractor is overpricing their work
Check Contractor References and Past Experience. To select the best of the best, you will need to check company’s procedures, specifications, references and the way they communicate with you. If the construction company or contractor does not know how to communicate well with you (even when the others have no problems), then the possibility for misunderstandings in the project increases, and that means higher costs and less satisfaction.
Consider hiring a ‘Green’ company. Today, houses are cheaper to heat and cool and more comfortable than it was a case a few decades ago. If you want to regain the money you’ve invested in refurbishing or building a house, consider connecting with a green company that understands your needs and has the knowledge how to manage your task.
Read contractor reviews. Look for contractors affiliated with the Better Business Bureau, National Association of the Remodelling Industry (NARI), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or any other local building or remodelling association. Look at each Contractors website to see what type of work they perform, any examples of already completed work and their qualifications
Make a List of questions that the Contractor must answer. When you look at the specifications of potential contractors, make a list of questions, which you want to be answered. Those, who respond to your e-mail or call you, should have an advantage over the others. Nevertheless, consider whether your questions were answered clearly. This is particularly important for issues that you are not clear about or you did not understand. Here are some questions you need to ask each contractor: Did the Contractor omit a portion of the scope of work? If so, have them revise the estimate. Are they using lesser quality materials (paint, cabinets, tile, etc.)? How long will it take to complete the work? Are they insured with a General Liability policy? Can they provide a minimum of 5 to 10 references from previous projects? Are permits necessary and if so, is the cost included in the estimate? Is the Contractor willing to let you visit several of their jobs? What type of Warranty does the Contractor provide? If they do not understand what you are talking about, ask more questions. Good builders are the ones who know how to solve a problem. However, those who insist on answering your questions and want to explain you every little detail are the best.
How to Choose the Right Home Renovation Company: Check the Paperwork
There’s no shortage of home renovation companies. But if you’re looking to make changes to your home, where do you start the search for the right one?
Not all renovation companies offer the same services. Start by narrowing the field of choice based on your own needs. Are you looking for design and planning services as well, for example? Companies that offer these services bring value and convenience to your home reno
One thing that separates genuine professionals from others is that the pros will point out opportunities for improving your design. If your renovator says, “If you knock that wall down, your house will come with it,” you should listen. Hopefully, the contractor you choose won’t need to say that, but when a professional speaks, keep your ears open.
Licenses and Insurance
“Did you get the license number of the home renovation company that hit your house?” Okay, it’s not quite like that. But if a renovator has a license, they also have a license number. Get it before they start work.
You’re putting a significant investment into your home renovation. Protect your investment with proper warranty. Reputable contractors offer a warranty as part of their written contract. Fly-by-night “cash only” renovation companies are unlikely to return to fix a problem, even if they say they will. If something goes wrong after they finish their work, can you trust someone who cheats on taxes to honour their promises to you? Be safe. Get your renovation done by a company that doesn’t hesitate to put it in writing.
How to choose a contractor to renovate your home
If you’re looking at doing renovations, the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association says it’s important to do your homework before letting a contractor take a hammer to your house.
Here’s The Lowdown from Victoria Belbin, chief executive officer of CHBA-NL, on home renovations
Get it in writing
Belbin said the renovation sector is “buyer beware” — so it’s important to get things in writing before the renovation begins. “Your home is your biggest asset, and you need to protect your home. So if you’re engaging in a conversation with an individual who you want to do work with, and they say, ‘Ah, don’t worry about a written contract. We’ll work this out as we go.’ Don’t go down that road,” she said.
Find a legitimate businessperson
Belbin said there is an underground economy to the renovation sector, and that’s why it’s important to confirm that you’re dealing with a legitimate businessperson. “There are professional renovators in our marketplace that have long-standing reputations, and they provide very good quality work, and add value to your home,” she said.
The importance of permits
Belbin said, in most cases, they will also take care of the municipal permits that are needed for a job. “Permits are very important because then you know that if there’s an inspection required, there’s another party kind of monitoring the work that’s being done on your home,” she said.