8 Expert Tips on Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Home Renovation

8 Expert Tips on Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Home Renovation

A General Contractor (GC) takes full responsibility for ensuring a renovation or custom home build is completed on time, on budget and to the level of quality their client expects. Whether you’re looking to build your dream home or remodel a section of your home, knowing what to expect from your Markham area contractor before the project gets started is key to success. You can better prepare yourself by choosing a GC whom you trust and can rely on for the entirety of the project.

Wondering what to look for in a general contractor? As a seasoned Markham, Ontario general contractor ourselves, we've seen fantastic examples of professionalism, quality, and looming red flags in our community. Master Edge Homes is here to provide everything you need to know before hiring a contractor for your home renovation.

Determining the right home renovation contractor for you can be overwhelming. How do you know if your contractor is qualified? You may be torn between choosing someone recommended by a friend or someone who reviews well online. However, there are different reasons people choose to work with one GC over another, and what may be right for one person may not fit the needs of someone else. When looking for a contractor, you should ask yourself the following questions to help you make the best choice for your next home project:

Home Renovation Contractor Discussing Plans With Client at Meeting1. Is the GC protecting my investment?

With such a large investment being made in your home, it is important to ensure that the company you have chosen is highly qualified so that your asset is well looked after. Insurance is a good start – does your GC have liability insurance to cover the cost of your home? Does your house renovation contractor have WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) coverage, which will protect you and your home should there be an accident on the job site? 

Taking a look at the company’s warranty program will also shed some light on what steps the GC will have taken to ensure they have completed quality work that lasts.

2. Does the GC provide a detailed scope of the work they plan to complete?

Your contractor should provide you with a detailed scope of work that follows the Ontario Building Code. This will allow you to see what exactly will be done and what to expect from your Markham renovation project so that there are no surprises. Does your contractor offer design-build services? If not, do they have preferred professionals to recommend?

Having this detailed scope and clearly outlined process also allows you to assess if the investment amount reflects the amount of work outlined and can provide insight into the level of knowledge and professionalism the contractor holds.

3. Is the GC honouring my budget?

Your estimate outlines the amount that you are expecting to invest to acquire the home you’ve always wanted. This budget should be realistic and accessible based on the scope of the work you have planned. Work with the GC to set realistic budgets so that both your expectations and the GCs align. Unexpected expenses can arise during construction, and the professionalism with which your contractor communicates the situation and your options are vital to a successful project.

Setting a Realistic & Accessible Budget for Home Renovation4. Is the GC setting a realistic timeline?

When will your project begin? The best contractors in Markham often book many months in advance. Do you know how long the project will take? Does the timeline seem reasonable to you based on the scope of work? Do you know when work is scheduled to begin? This item may be quite important if you will be living in the construction chaos or are required to rent or maintain two homes during the project.

5. Will the GC provide me with a payment schedule?

Remember, your GC is not in the business of finance. While some contractors partner with lenders to offer you financing options, you shouldn’t expect your GC to finance your renovation for you. On the other hand, you shouldn’t be expected to pay too much before the work is done. You should feel comfortable enough to discuss your financing options with your GC and develop the most suitable payment plan that works for both parties involved. Be sure to thoroughly review your construction contract so you know what you'll be expected to pay and when. Your contract provides vital information about the project and protects both parties. Ask every question that arises so you aren't left with any misconceptions or concerns.

be inspired view our markham home renovation portfolio6. Is the GC professional?

Being professional can mean different things to different people. Cleanliness, politeness, style of work, and the ways in which they deal with unexpected circumstances are all areas of professionalism you should look for when choosing a GC.  Your GC should happily provide you with information about their licenses and insurance. Look for professional affiliations and local awards. Reviews and referrals are especially helpful, though the professional fit is likely apparent during your initial meetings before finalizing your contract. Ask yourself, what are their standards, and do they hold themselves accountable for their work and their actions? Giving special focus to these areas early will give you a better sense of how the GC and their team will act on the job and may even provide insight into their quality of work.

Professional Contractor's Quality of Work in New Kitchen Project7. What is the method of communication between my GC and myself?

Your GC and their employees should be your only source of contact. You should not be expected to deal with any questions or concerns from a subcontractor. Knowing that this is your one point of contact will simplify the process and allow you to express concerns or questions to one source, rather than many. Does your contractor use project management software to provide you with accessible and updated information? Do they prefer phone or email? Are they prompt with replies? Your method and frequency of connection need to be a good fit.

8. Does your contractor answer your questions thoroughly?

You want to hire a contractor who helps you understand the technical parts of your process and communicates clearly. Interviewing potential contractors for your Markham home renovation is an important first step. A contractor who bulks at being vetted is a red flag. Use our list of things to keep in mind to create questions to ask your contractor before you sign on the dotted line.

Group of Renovation Contractors at Table Discussing Notes

Are there any additional areas or expectations that you’ve considered or brought up when choosing a General Contractor? If so, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Ready for a home renovation in Markham, Ontario? We'd love the opportunity to earn your business.

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