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Home Renovation - Important Steps, Helpful Tips

When preparing to have renovation work performed on your home or condominium there are some important steps you should follow that will not only protect you legally but also ensure that the work done is a quality job.


 Step one: Be very clear about the kind of work you want done and the kind of contractor you'll need. If it's a large job you'll often want a general contractor who will arrange for the required trade contractors to do specific work. If it's a smaller renovation you have in mind then a specialty contractor can often handle the job.

Step two: Finding a contractor you can trust. This step can be take time since trust between parties is not always easily built and answering the necessary questions doesn't happen overnight. Common ways of finding a contractor include talking with friends and family and asking who they used, what the experience was like.

To make you search easier provides a business directory with a number of different types of business types from which you can begin your search.

Once you've narrowed your search ask for quotes, check references, look at previous work and don't proceed until you have something in writing.

Selecting a Contractor:

Step one: Sorting through bids and making a decision. Making a decision after you've interviewed suitable contractors is a very important step. Since there are no golden rules that apply to this stage you largely depend upon good judgment. If the references check out, a review of past work is suitable and you feel comfortable then great. Quite often you'll make this conclusion early on, but not always.

Work Phase:

Now that you've decided upon a contractor it's time to write up a contract. Quite often the contractor will do this for you. Who ever prepares the contract it should have two clearly identified parts to it.

Part 1: Clearly detail all the work the contractor has agreed to do for you. It should list materials, time and a schedule for the work to be completed, arrangements for any building permits, price and how and when payment will be made.

Part2: Proof that the contractor is properly covered by insurance so that you are protected. The contractor should be able to show you proof of business liability insurance, Workers' Compensation coverage, bonding and/or licensing as required by provincial or municipal legislation, and proper business registration (a Business or GST/HST Number).

Helpful Tips:

Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time

Prepare a realistic budget, doing things on the cheap can cost more long term.

Keep reserve funds if you can.

Make sure you've got a signed contract.

When in doubt contact your local Home Builder's Association.

Consider a home inspection by a third party before you begin.


Source: British Columbia Home Renovation

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