We have all heard renovation horror stories. The best way to avoid them is to choose the right contractor. Your ideal contractor needs to be licensed, have liability and workers compensation insurance. By doing your home work and following the tips below you will be able to find a qualified contractor that will do a beautiful job that will last for years to come.
Adaptable: One of the first things you need to look for when choosing a contractor is to check to see if you are comfortable and enjoy working with them. Is this someone whom you can trust and is willing to listen to you. Most home owners do not have a clear idea about what they really want done in their kitchen, bathroom or basement. It could be simple as some kitchen cabinets or specialized basement waterproofing that needs to be taken care of, where the home owner relies solely on the contractor to guide them along the way.
Reputation: It is all about the reputation, make sure your contractor has a stellar reputation! Verify the reputation of the contractor by cross checking with the Better Business Bureau – BBB (link takes you to the Toronto ON section ), the leading information source that helps people find businesses and brands they can trust. The initial phone call, how long it takes your contractor to return your call and the initial meeting you have with them will give you some indication about whom you are dealing with.
Estimates: Get multiple estimates from at least three contractors for comparison. These estimates need to be written in detailed on a company letterhead outlining the plan, time frames and costs. Estimates also need to cover a list of materials, brands, warranty, permit obligations and how client s’ changes will be handled. Most kitchen cabinets Toronto contractors will provide you a selection when it comes to brands. Final estimation costs will depend on the brand of the cabinet that you select. Check with your local hardware retailer who will be able to furnish you with qualified contractors who can provide you with estimates.
Experience: As the home owner you are looking to have your project completed professionally and in a timely manner, hence look for a contractor with prior experience in similar projects. If possible, ask to see some of their work done for other clients and research previous complaints. Experience goes a long way when doing complex work such as waterproofing your basement. According Stefano a basement waterproofing Toronto contractor who has been in business for many years, most problems due to substandard work show up only after a few years, costing the home owner much more to fix or waterproof at a later stage.
Type of Contractor: Decide what kind of contractor you need. A general contractor manages the project by hiring trades people and taking care of the needed permits. Most general contractors have a good rapport with the permit inspectors which ensures that proper codes are being adhered to. For smaller jobs choose a specialized contractor who handles specific projects and does the work himself.
References: Get references from past clients that the contractor has worked for. Ask for a list of names/contacts that you can comb through and contact and not a couple of pre selected clients whom the contractor puts forward. Your ideal contractor needs to put their time and effort into to earning your business.
Payment plan: Agree on a payment plan and do not pay for an entire project upfront. A 15% down payment is normal. The payment plan needs to ensure that payments sync with work that has been done.
Final walk-through: Schedule a final walk-through to check off all details pertaining to the project. Kitchen cabinets need to be aligned, wet basements need to be dry, trims and walls need to be painted professionally. Make a list of things that still need to be done checking them off before making the final payment.