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How to Plan for your Renovation & Hire the Right Contracto

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Melanie S

on 27 February 2015

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Transcript of How to Plan for your Renovation & Hire the Right Contracto

How to Plan for your Renovation and Hire the Right Contractor

Presented by Nick Malfara.
President of Design-Spec Building Group Ltd.

Planning Your Renovation
The most important elements to begin with is a
Needs Analysis.
A needs analysis should outline both the sq. ft. space requirements and specific needs home owners require. This extensive list of needs will dictate the requirements both in terms of square footage, number of rooms and other criteria.

The next element is to establish what you are
Prepared to Invest
on your home renovation.

This is usually a hybrid of either what funds people have available to spend or available lending from their bank.
At this point, your architect or designer should, in a very broad sense, be able to determine if the general scope of work is in alignment with the desired budget.
Your budget should include for elements such as HST or other taxes on all parts of the construction, cost of appliances, light fixture and also include a contingency of 10-15 % for changes the homeowner makes on design or material selections and or site conditions that need to be addressed and generally involve some cost.
Then, evaluation needs to be undertaken to confirm that the desired budget will fit the needs, design criteria and sq. footage area of construction. This will usually demonstrate some disparity between the desired budget and the extent of the desired construction.
Planning Your Renovation, con`t…
Home owners can determine the real cost of construction by
having contractors price the work from a detailed set of plans

Once the needs/sq. footage requirements are established, homeowners should engage a qualified design build company or architect to prepare full and detailed set of plans for the renovation or custom home including full specifications and listing of all finished materials and elements. The designers should design both the architecture, structure and finishes in light of the homeowners desired budget.

Once plans are completed, contractors will use this to price the project and confirm or disqualify the established budget. If there is a disparity between the desired budget and the quoted cost homeowners have 2 options to mitigate the difference. They can increase their budget to meet their needs and design or they can pare back on both square footage being built/ renovated or the caliber finish materials being used.  Home owners will need to prioritize what is the highest on their list of needs and wants in order to meet their budget.

When the quoted prices are higher than the homeowner established budget, homeowners can
value engineer the project.
By this we mean that they can change materials to fit their budget.

Reasons for Hiring a Contractor

Renovating your home should be a positive experience - free from worry and unnecessary stress. You should have full confidence in your contractor and know that you are getting the best.

From start to finish
. A professional Contractor will help you to put it all together -  from ideas to design, products to plans, and construction to completion.

Experienced advice
. A professional Contractor has the experience and knowledge to help turn your ideas into great results. They listen, make suggestions, and look for the best way of doing things.

Technical know-how.
 Professional Contractors understand construction, how to deal with challenges and problems, and how to improve the comfort of your home.

Expert teamwork.
 Behind every professional Contractor, there is a solid network of staff, subtrades and suppliers ready to go to work for you.

A proven track record. 
Their business is an open book. You are invited to talk with past customers, look at their previous work and check out their reputation.

Reasons for Hiring a Contractor.. con’t
Accurate pricing. 
No need to be concerned about low-ball costing, inferior work or escalating prices once the job begins. Experienced Contractors know what it takes to do something right and how much it costs, and they'll tell you upfront.

A written contract.
 Trust alone is not enough. Professionals back it up with a written contract that spells your project out in detail-what, how, who, when and how much.

Liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage.
 Better safe than sorry. In the unlikely event of an accident or damage to your own or neighbouring properties, a professional Contractor’s coverage protects you from liability and cost.

 Like any other consumer purchase, a professional renovation comes with a warranty on labour. And with professional installation, there is no risk of voiding the manufacturers' warranties on materials and products.

Service, service, service.
 Professional Contractors are in business for the long term. They work hard to earn your trust and make every renovation a great experience.

How to find the right Contractor
Before picking out paint colours, flooring and fixtures, you first need to shop for a contractor. Since there are no laws in Ontario regulating who can call themselves a contractor, finding a reputable one can be a challenge.
Look for experience.
Asking whether your prospective contractor has experience in similar projects of size and scope, how long they’ve been in business, how they communicate weekly progress and how many projects they operate at one time can help avoid disappointment later on.

Ask for references.
Checking references is a great way to verify if your prospective contractor is legitimate. Make sure you receive references for jobs of a similar scope or dollar value. When contacting references, ask whether the contractor was on schedule, whether the quality and calibre of the workmanship was satisfactory, and how well the contractor communicated with the homeowner about changes such as backorders on products.

How to find the right Contractor…con’t

Find out if they’re members of any associations.

Ask if your prospective contractor is a member of associations like BILD or RENOMARK. These are volunteer associations that contractors have to qualify for, abide by a code of ethics and pay yearly membership fees to be part of. Members can be removed from the association if complaints by unsatisfied customers are launched. The contractor should also be licensed by the city in which you live in. If they don’t have a municipal license, that’s your first red flag that they are unaware of what is legally required to operate as a renovator or contractor in your jurisdiction.

Don’t rely on price only.

Sure, we’re all price sensitive to renovation costs, but selecting the contractor with the lowest quote may mean you’re hiring someone who is inexperienced or is skimping on quality when selecting materials. Get three detailed quotes and compare them based on the same materials, finishes and calibre.

What to look for … Credentials
What to look for … Website
What to look for … Customer Feedback
What to look for … Customer Feedback
Publications con’t
Our own DirectBuy experience
For our personal renovation in 2014, DirectBuy played a significant role with regards to a majority of the finishes selected for our home.

Main entrance… Door hardware,Chandelier,Drapery,Furnishing.

Our own DirectBuy experience
Great room… Flooring, Door Hardware, T.V, Fireplace Insert.

Our own DirectBuy experience
Kitchen…Door Hardware, Kitchen table & Chairs, Appliances, Lighting.

Our own DirectBuy experience
Master Ensuite… Lighting, Cabinet Door Hardware, Plumbing Fixtures, Soaker Tub.

For more information about Design-Spec Building Group LTD. Please visit our website
to learn more. Follow us on

Partial List of Services:

Construction services for all home renovations, additions and custom home building
Architectural plans including all required engineering ready for building permit submission
Professional interior design services
Home Theatre Design & Construction
Full Home Automation, Design and Implementation
Exterior landscape, pool and cabana design and build services
Full transcript