Top tips for a stress-free renovation
10 quick questions to ask your contractor BEFORE renovating
Gain confidence by asking friends to recommend top-notch contractors. Then narrow the pool and set expectations with these 10 must-ask questions.
- Cost: Is your quote an estimate or fixed price, and what’s the payment schedule?
- Supervision: Who will supervise the job site and how many hours a day/week will they be here?
- Permits: Who will get the permits and co-ordinate inspections?
- Protection: Do you have full liability insurance for people and materials? Beyond insurance, how will you protect my property (for example, if you’re building an addition and it rains)?
- Timing: What’s our start-to-finish schedule, and when will I be needed on site?
- Communication: How will you communicate updates to me, and how can I reach you after hours?
- Experience: How many years of experience or similar projects have you completed, and can I visit one of your past projects?
- Employees: Do you work with the same pool of subcontractors/construction workers on every project, or will there be new tradespeople?
- Savings: How can I save some money? For example, can I buy some supplies myself?
- Codes: Are you up-to-date on all current building codes, and how will you handle any violations/changes if the project doesn’t meet code (important for older homes)?
3 tips to ensure your renovation increases your home's value
Renovating should increase the value of your home, but it doesn’t always. Consider three things before you start:
- Your neighbourhood’s market value. Will an expensive open-concept main floor reno put your home’s value above the market value in your neighbourhood?
- Future buyers. Even if you're not planning to sell soon, it’s wise to think of your project in terms of what most buyers would want. For example, eliminating a bedroom to expand another room may not appeal to every buyer, especially those with families.
- Return on investment. Some renos add insta-value, like updating kitchens and bathrooms, adding square footage, or changing carpet to hardwood. Likewise, replacement renos – like swapping out an old roof or rotten deck – are smart.