When planning a home renovation, the big question is which company you should hire. We’ve all heard nightmare renovation stories and in some cases even lived through one or two ourselves. As hard to believe as it may be, it a “bad contractor” isn’t always to blame. It is true that there are some contractors who give the industry a bad reputation, but more often than not problems happen because the contractor and home owner are just not the right fit. By fit we mean personality, style and methodology. And once the homeowner or the contractor begins to lose confidence in each other, the problems are hard to avoid.
Choosing the right home renovations company is also important because even for small projects like a bathroom renovation you are giving a relatively unknown group of people free access to your home, quite frequently without you being even present while they work. Renovations aren’t cheap, and some of the work you will not even be able to see for yourself (as it is hidden behind walls). The stuff behind walls, plumbing, electrical, insulation, are usually the most expensive part of renovations. This is why it is essential that you can trust your renovation company completely.
Since choosing the right company is so important, it is always recommended to interview at least three companies before choosing one to do your project. Careful not to fall for the cheapest option, usually that means the contractor will cut corners to keep the price low and since the corners that are usually cut are behind walls, this is not something you want to happen. Ask about the quality of the work behind the walls, what products they use and why, ask if they will be willing to show you the work before covering it up (in a way that doesn’t interfere or delay work of course) and observe the responses.
Whether you decide to choose Woodridge Construction Inc. or another home renovation company, these are some important things to consider:
- Beware of the cheapest bidder. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. With home renovations, you usually get what you pay for, even if you can’t see it. Some unscrupulous companies low-ball an estimate to secure the contract and then “find” reasons for the budget to keep increasing or even worse, they simply save on materials which can be even dangerous to you.
- Beware of a the “yes” contractors. These contractors typically say yes to everything you ask. It is always better to work with someone who is willing to say no or tell you the truth, they will honestly tell you if a decision you are making can be costly or potentially dangerous.
- Use a company with a strong planning element to their services – even if little or no design is done. A well run construction project takes careful planning.
- Take time to thoroughly check references. A company that has been in the market for some time, will have references from other home owners. Often in their websites but always with them. Call those previous customers and ask questions about the experience of working with the renovation company, especially ask if there was something that could have been done better and why.
Some specific questions you can ask during the interview process are:
- How much of your business is repeat or referral based?
- Can you give me some specific examples of projects like mine that you have completed recently?
- Are you licensed, bonded and/or insured in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo or in Ontario?
- What is your policy on unexpected changes?
- Will you get the necessary permits for the renovation?
- Who will be in charge of completing the actual work once the renovation begins?
- What is the timeframe for completing the project? How do you handle delays?
- What specific measures will you take to ensure that my home stays clean and safe?