Most would agree the hardest part of a home renovation is finding the right contractor. You need a professional you can trust, someone who won’t overcharge but won’t cut corners. You need someone with stellar recommendations, who is in high demand but also gets the job done on time and communicates clearly.
It shouldn’t be so difficult to find a construction contractor that fits these criteria, but anyone who has gone through a home renovation can tell you it is.
From a Contractor’s Point of View
There are a few reasons contractors are hard to track down, as one SF Gate article illustrates (1). These are some of the challenges facing contractors (especially smaller companies):
So where does that leave you?
Go Big to Go Home
As we stated, these issues tend to plague the smaller renovation companies, yet homeowners are often hesitant to choose a larger organization. The prevalent idea remains that a big company automatically means a more expensive company.
However, don’t discount a large company without at least getting a quote. At Reborn Renovations, our clients are often pleasantly surprised by the number we come up with. Even if we don’t offer the lowest price, we are always fair, and we stand by our work.
The first rule of searching for a contractor is don’t choose the company with the lowest bid. There is usually a good reason.
A 2019 Houzz article says it best:
“[A low bid] could mean that the contractor is counting on using less expensive subcontractors and materials, taking more or less time to complete the work, or planning on less supervision and communication than the others.” (2)
That’s simply not the way we operate.
You can be sure a company that has managed to expand to such a degree is organized by someone with a head for business. They’ll have a reliable team of laborers, quality materials, a warranty, and more than one person on their team who is capable of returning a phone call.
But whether you choose a large company or a small company for your home renovation needs, there are a few universal tips that can help ensure you will not be taken advantage of by a home renovation contractor.
Tips for Choosing a Renovation Contractor
Knowing where to start a home renovation can be daunting, and ensuring you have the right contractor for the job is one of the first steps. Here are our recommendations for selecting a quality contractor to complete your home remodel or transformation.
If you know someone who has had excellent, personal experience with a house renovation contractor, you are halfway there. If you aren’t so lucky, you can do your own research. Check Google, Facebook, and HomeStars.
Romana King of MoneySense is quick to point out that online searching should only be used as a preliminary tool (3).
Go more in-depth by looking up the company on Better Business Bureau. Ensure they are licensed and verify their insurance. You can even use the Canadian Legal Information Institute database to ensure they haven’t been involved in any court cases (4).
You can also ask other trusted professionals for a referral. If you have a plumber or repairman you use regularly, ask them if they could recommend any home renovation contractors.
Once you have a few potential candidates picked out for your renovation project, ask if they have any past clients who'd be willing to speak with you about their experience working together. Also ask if they have won any awards, been acknowledged in any publications like a renovation contractor magazine, are a member of any renovation committee such as CHBA, BILD or CICBA.
The earlier you begin searching for a contractor, the better. Brandon Turner from BiggerPockets discusses the importance of being proactive vs. reactive. Where home renovations are concerned (rather than home repairs), homeowners often have the luxury of taking their time finding a contractor (5).
Begin compiling a list of contractors as soon as the idea pops into your head. That way, you won’t be scrambling at the last minute.
If they balk at answering any of the following (inspired by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association website), they may let you down in the end (6):
As we’ve discussed, it can be exhausting to track down just one contractor. If you get someone to come out and give you a number, it’s tempting just to stop there so you can get the ball rolling!
Don’t fall into this trap.
Most sources will recommend getting at least three bids or estimates. If there is an outlier, you’ll know something is wrong. Putting your finger on why one is so different may require more research and—you guessed it—more estimates.
When you are spending tens of thousands of dollars, and your future happiness is at stake, it is not the time to skimp on research (7). HomeAdvisor states that once you have your bids together, the right one will likely be somewhere in between the high and low ends (8).
The Benefits of Choosing Reborn Renovations in Calgary
Reborn Renovations offers quality, experience, an impressive portfolio, and a group of loyal customers who back our work with stunning recommendations (9,10). We pride ourselves in making the renovation process painless, from the design stage to the final walkthrough.
In the home renovation business, reputation is everything. It has allowed us to serve our community, form advantageous relationships with vendors, and hire the best subcontractors in the area. We are a team of home renovation experts, which gives us the capacity to take on any project, big or small.
We will call you back. We will offer a fair quote. We will get the job done right.
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our company. Just give us a call today!