By: Gary & Gina Semeniuk
Time to Renovate. Lets talk about it...
Tags: homes for sale, renovations, homes, york region, keswick, sutton, jacksons point, pefferlaw, georgina. lake simcoe, lakeside, living.
So you want to renovate Huh !!!
You have bought that dream home and saved in order to do a renovation and you just feel overwhelmed by what you see and hear what has happened to your friends, family or those featured on Holmes on Homes!
Don’t worry I am here to give you some insight on all the renovation woe’s. First you likely didn’t just wake up and say I am going to renovate my home today and I will flag down the first contractor that drives by and away we go.
So now that we have clarified that, here is what you need to. Just like your life has a plan, so should your renovation. Jot down idea’s, get pictures from magazines and get inspired, think of how much you want to spend on your renovation and then make sure you have either saved or have a resource to tap into such as a line of credit. Now that you have that figured out, it’s time to think about a contractor to hire. My suggestion is to interview at least five and make sure they are from your area or are always working in your area.
The best way to find a contractor is first through friends, local Chamber of Commerce or through a Realtor. Typically a realtor will have association to one or more good contractors, most times because they have their own ongoing projects or have it as a part of their concierge service as many times people need things done prior to selling a home.
First thing when you start to interview potential contractors is to be in control. Remember, you are the one signing the cheques, absolutely do not be pushed by a pushy contractor, it almost always will not end well.
Take the time to actually go out and look at their work and talk to previous clients. When you are making the decisions also weigh in on how they expect to be paid. In my case as a former contractor, when we signed a contract I did not take a deposit until 48hrs prior to a start of a job, when then on a typical job ask for 30% up front, 25% at the end of week one, 25% at the end of week two, 10% at substantial completion of the job and 10% upon completion, payable in thirty days, reason being it will keep your contractor accountable and sure to come back, that way if there are deficiencies you have leverage in the form of the 10% holdback. If your contractor tries to sell you on doing it any other way you really should have red flags going up as to why and walk away.
Also a quality conscious contractor will offer such things as a two year warranty and will have references and be sure they are not just clients but also suppliers, last thing you need is to hire a contractor that does good work but doesn’t pay the bills, you may just find if you hired this type of company you could well end up with a lien on your home from a supplier or sub trade and that is just as bad as a contractor that does poor work.
Make sure your contractor has the appropriate insurance and WSIB clearance, we provided proof with every quote and don’t be afraid to call their insurer to be sure the policy is in effect, otherwise you could be in for a world of hurt should something happen to your home of yourselves, you can be sure that your own insurer will cancel your policies and then!!!!
As you can see this is serious business and so it should be. It is a function of life that should be taken seriously and the process should also be fun along the way, remember a renovation will only be a short period of interruption in your life if you do your part.
A final few thoughts from a successful contractor’s perspective. Remember when you are interviewing to respect everyone equally, people would often question why we were usually about 20 to 30% and my reflection was, look at how we showed up, looking established, actually spending a number of hours at your home to prepare a proper quote and providing proof that we actually have employee’s, proper coverage to do the job legally, an office, etc.
As I would often say to my clients, cheap is always cheap the first time and you would not believe how many times we got called in to rescue a botched job, so the 20- 30 % now becomes 120-130% and you will never see a short term return on your investment and likely no fond memories of a project that was supposed to enhance your lives.
Need more help with your decision??? Or to get educated, we also offer DIY talks and other educational seminars or lunch and learn. It is a part of who we are as professional realtors.
Gary & Gina Semeniuk, Sales Representatives.
The York Region Eco Team/Keller Williams Realty Centres, Brokerage.