Want to add value to your home? Choose the right home renovator
It is tempting when prospecting for a renovation contractor or home builder, to choose the one that promises the moon at the lowest price. Be careful. What may sound great for your budget may end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
Sadly, it is not uncommon for us to see substandard work when we start renovating a home. The worst example was a $100,000 full-gut renovation that we were asked to completely redo because the previous contractor dangerously violated the building code, creating a terrible financial burden for the family while miring them in legal proceedings with the contractor.
Don’t let your dream home become a nightmare. Happily you can avoid this scenario, while adding value to your home, by following a few key steps.
Prior to interviewing at least three contractors, ensure that they are properly licensed and insured, covered under warranty and are members of a builders association that is committed to quality work. These credentials should be prominently displayed on their websites. Find out how long have they been in business. Even something as simple as having a storefront office is important. You know where to find them if something goes wrong. You do not want to be left with a major problem like a leaky ceiling with no one to take responsibility.
The next step is to ask for client references. A contractor who offers three to five references indicates a happy client roster. In addition to asking clients if they are thrilled with the finished product, ask about the communications process. Was the contractor in regular touch or missing-in-action for periods of time? What about delays or unexpected problems? How did the contractor handle these issues? Did they feel that they were in good hands? Were they happy with the subcontractors they brought in?
Ask the contractor about their subcontractors. An evasive response is a red flag. A solid contractor will have excellent long-term working relationships with tradespeople. And of course, the home renovator’s team of project managers and carpenters should be experts in their field, backed by a variety of experiences that complement one another.
One of the values of hiring an experienced and trusted home renovator is ease of process. While a dedicated site supervisor is an additional labour cost, this level of care helps ensure that your renovation runs smoothly, which will alleviate stress and can save you money by catching mistakes and mitigating delays. You want to ensure that the wrong tile or cabinetry delivered to your home, which sometimes happens, is not installed.
Your new or renovated home is a major investment. There is value in the final outcome. Not only does the value of your home increase when you invest in quality labour, it provides peace of mind during the renovation and long after it is complete.
This article originally appeared in Neighbours of High Park Magazine.