29 Oct What are the steps in the process of completing a renovation?
Every professional renovator or builder follows a similar process to successfully complete a renovation. Keeping in mind that each contractor may add their personal touches, here are the basic steps.
Step #1 – Before most clients contact a renovator, they may have a general idea created by looking at photos online or visiting suppliers. This is the “dreaming” stage of a renovation. Some homeowners have no idea, but likely know exactly what they do not want which can actually be helpful.
Step #2 – Starting with a solid plan is critical. This may require the assistance of a designer or planner who can inspire the homeowner and put their dream to paper. A designer can assist with everything from a basic floor plan to selecting all products and paint colours. Having a specific design allows renovators to provide a detailed and accurate estimate for your project. This is certainly worth the investment as it saves time and money in the long-run and ensures your project will be completed as you envisioned.
Step #3 – Hiring a professional renovator begins with a simple google search! It is extremely important to verify the renovators you are considering are professional and reliable by checking their website, social media, and reviews. One important question is: are they members of any associations, such as Canadian Home Builders, Better Business Bureau, and Chamber of Commerce? This should give you a good indication as to whether they are reputable. Contact two or three potential renovators to meet during normal business hours. Please avoid requesting to meet in the evenings and weekends as these professionals typically begin their day early and this may seriously impacts their family lives. Provide each renovator with the same scope of work and set of plans to ensure you can compare the estimates “apple to apples”. Remember, pricing is only one factor in hiring. Professionals provide detailed quotes and a list of references upon request. I chuckle when a potential client questions the validity of a high estimate, yet, they accept the low estimate without question. Said best by Benjamin Franklin: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
Step #4 – Once you have selected a renovator, coordinating the project is made easy with good communication. A signed contract is required and a scheduled start and completion date will be established which should be fairly accurate, weather and unknowns permitting. A professional will provide a list of items required and will arrange selection, purchase, and delivery of materials, organize sub-trades, and complete the work with their own crews. All professionals treat client’s homes with respect, including the pets, locking doors, controlling dust as much as possible, and constant communication with the client.
Step #5 – During the project, unknowns can and most likely will occur. Common unknowns are the discovery of rot, hazardous material, improper structure, electrical issues, or changes requested by the client. These will often create the dreaded “extra”. A professional renovator will promptly communicate what they have discovered, give a fair price, and ensure it is repaired to the proper standard.
Step #6 – Completion of the project should come with a final inspection where the renovator and client ensure all items are completed and satisfactory. If there are warranty items to address, the renovator should address them promptly to assure the space is fully functional. When everything is satisfactory, the renovator is to be paid upon the completion of the project.
This is a simplified overview of the renovation process, however a lot is done from the renovator’s point of view and should always be handled by a professional to ensure your renovation is a success. The main point to remember: hire a professional and half the battle is won.
Dan Monk, P.Eng. / Red Seal Carpenter
Owner – MONK Renovations