Category Archives: Home Renovation

Innovative Tech Trends in Home Renovations

Innovative Tech Trends in Home Renovations

In a world where technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, it’s no surprise that our homes are becoming smarter and more efficient than ever before. The realm of home renovations is not exempt from this technological revolution. From energy-saving solutions to automated systems, innovative tech trends are reshaping the way we approach renovating our living spaces.

Let’s delve into some of the most exciting and game-changing tech trends that are transforming the landscape of home renovations.

Smart Home Integration

The concept of a smart home is no longer confined to sci-fi movies. Today, homeowners can seamlessly integrate smart devices into their renovation plans, controlling everything from lighting and thermostats to security cameras and entertainment systems with the touch of a button or even voice commands. Smart home technology not only enhances convenience but also improves energy efficiency and home security.

Energy-Efficient Solutions

With a growing emphasis on sustainability, energy-efficient technologies are gaining popularity in home renovations. From solar panels and smart thermostats to energy-efficient appliances, homeowners are investing in solutions that reduce their carbon footprint and lower utility bills in the long run. These innovations not only benefit the environment but also add value to the home.

Virtual Reality (VR) Design

Visualizing your renovation project has never been easier thanks to advancements in virtual reality technology. With VR design tools, homeowners can take virtual tours of their renovated spaces before any construction begins, allowing them to make informed decisions about layout, materials, and design elements. This immersive experience streamlines the design process and minimizes costly errors.

Augmented Reality (AR) Applications

Augmented reality apps are revolutionizing the way homeowners envision their renovation projects. By superimposing digital images onto real-world environments, AR applications allow users to see how different paint colors, furniture pieces, or decor items would look in their space without making any physical changes. This technology empowers homeowners to experiment with design ideas and make confident choices.

Smart Appliances and Fixtures

From refrigerators that can create grocery lists to faucets that dispense precise amounts of water, smart appliances and fixtures are redefining convenience in the kitchen and bathroom. These connected devices not only streamline everyday tasks but also offer insights into usage patterns, helping homeowners optimize their resource consumption and save money in the process.

Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation technologies are making waves in the realm of home renovations, particularly in construction and maintenance tasks. From robotic bricklayers and 3D-printed homes to automated lawn mowers and cleaning robots, these innovations are revolutionizing the way we build, maintain, and upgrade our living spaces. Robotics not only increase efficiency but also improve safety on construction sites.

Internet of Things (IoT) Integration

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming homes into interconnected ecosystems where devices communicate with each other to optimize performance and enhance user experience. By connecting various smart devices and sensors through a centralized hub, homeowners can create personalized automation routines that cater to their unique preferences and lifestyle.

Green Building Materials

As environmental consciousness continues to grow, there’s a rising demand for sustainable building materials in home renovations. From recycled wood and bamboo flooring to low-VOC paints and eco-friendly insulation, green building materials offer a healthier and more environmentally responsible alternative to traditional options. Incorporating these materials into renovation projects not only reduces carbon emissions but also promotes indoor air quality and occupant well-being.

In conclusion, the future of home renovations is undeniably intertwined with technology. From smart home integration and energy-efficient solutions to virtual reality design and robotics, innovative technologies are reshaping the way we design, build, and inhabit our living spaces. One thing technology cannot do, is replace the immense value a design & build company brings to the table. Any renovation will be in the best of hands with a skilled, bondable, trustworthy contractor or design and build company. By embracing both a skilled renovation company and some of these tech trends, homeowners can create homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing and functional but also sustainable and future-proof. So, whether you’re planning a minor makeover or a major renovation, consider incorporating these innovative tech trends to transform your home into a modern marvel.


How to Plan and Budget for a Successful Home Renovation in 2024

How to Plan and Budget for a Successful Home Renovation in 2024

Embarking on a home renovation project is an exciting endeavor that can breathe new life into your living space and increase the value of your property. However, without proper planning and budgeting, renovations can quickly become overwhelming and expensive. Whether you’re updating a single room or undergoing a full-scale remodel, here are some essential tips to help you plan and budget for a successful home renovation in 2024.

How to Plan and Budget for a Successful Home Renovation in 2024


  1. Define Your Goals

Before diving into any renovation project, it’s crucial to clearly define your goals. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with the renovation. Are you looking to increase your home’s resale value, improve functionality, or enhance its aesthetic appeal? Understanding your objectives will help guide your decisions and ensure that your renovation stays on track.

Define Your Goals


  1. Set a Realistic Budget

Establishing a realistic budget is perhaps the most critical step in the renovation process. Take the time to research the costs associated with your project, including materials, labour, permits, and unexpected expenses. Work with a Design/Build company that can help you set a realistic budget and guide you through the entire process. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford and prioritize your spending accordingly.

Set a Realistic Budget


  1. Prioritize Your Projects

If you’re working with a limited budget, it’s essential to prioritize your renovation projects. Identify the areas of your home that are most in need of attention and focus your resources there. Consider tackling essential repairs and maintenance tasks first before moving on to cosmetic upgrades. By prioritizing your projects, you can make the most of your budget and achieve the greatest impact with your renovations.

Prioritize Your Projects


  1. Research Contractors

Finding the right contractor or Design/Build company is crucial to the success of your renovation project. Take the time to research and interview multiple, reputable contractors before making a decision. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors, and read online reviews to get a sense of each contractor’s reputation and track record. Be sure to request quotes from several contractors and compare their pricing, services, and timelines before making your final choice.

Research Contractors


  1. Plan for the Unexpected

No matter how well you plan, renovations often come with unexpected challenges and expenses. From hidden structural issues to supply chain delays, there are numerous factors that can derail your project timeline and budget. Be prepared to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and have a contingency plan in place to address any emergencies that may arise. Building some flexibility into your renovation schedule and budget can help mitigate stress and ensure a smoother process overall. If you are working with a Design/Build company, they will have already planned for the unexpected for you and with certainly make your renovation go smoother.

Plan for the Unexpected


  1. Consider Financing Options

If you’re undertaking a major renovation and don’t have enough cash on hand to cover the costs, consider exploring financing options such as home equity loans, personal loans, or lines of credit. Be sure to research the terms and interest rates associated with each option and choose the one that best fits your financial situation. Just be mindful of taking on too much debt and ensure that you can comfortably afford the monthly payments.

Consider Financing Options


  1. Keep Communication Open

Effective communication is key to a successful renovation project. Maintain open lines of communication with your contractor, subcontractors, and any other parties involved in the renovation process. Clearly communicate your expectations, preferences, and concerns upfront, and address any issues or changes promptly as they arise. Regularly check in with your contractor to stay updated on the progress of the project and address any questions or concerns that may arise. If you have hired a Design/Build company, they will be adept at communicating with contractors, subcontractors and all other parties in order to keep the renovation on track and running smoothly.

Keep Communication Open



Planning and budgeting for a home renovation can be a complex and challenging process, but with careful consideration and preparation, you can set yourself up for success. By defining your goals, setting a realistic budget, prioritizing your projects, researching contractors, planning for the unexpected, considering financing options, and keeping communication open, you can navigate the renovation process with confidence and achieve the home of your dreams in 2024. To reduce the stress of renovating your home in 2024, consider hiring a thoroughly vetted Design/Build contractor to bring your dreams to fruition.




Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-Friendly Home Renovations: Sustainable Choices for a Greener Home

In an age where environmental consciousness is becoming increasingly important, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and make sustainable choices. One significant avenue for doing so is through eco-friendly home renovations. Whether you’re considering a major overhaul or just a few updates, there are numerous ways to make your home more environmentally friendly while also saving money in the long run.

Eco-Friendly Home

Sustainable Materials

Choosing sustainable materials is a fundamental aspect of eco-friendly home renovations. Opting for materials that are recycled, reclaimed, or sustainably sourced can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your project. For example, bamboo, cork, and reclaimed wood are excellent choices for flooring, as they are renewable resources that require minimal processing. Similarly, recycled glass countertops and tiles offer durability and style without depleting natural resources.

Sustainable Materials

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Replacing old, energy-guzzling appliances with energy-efficient models is another effective way to make your home more eco-friendly. Look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Upgrading to energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and HVAC systems can significantly reduce your home’s energy consumption, leading to lower utility bills and less environmental impact.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Solar Panels

Harnessing the power of the sun through solar panels is an increasingly popular option for eco-conscious homeowners. Solar panels generate clean, renewable energy that can help offset your home’s electricity usage and reduce your dependence on fossil fuels. While the upfront cost of installing solar panels can be substantial, many homeowners recoup their investment through lower energy bills and tax incentives over time. Additionally, some local governments offer rebates or other financial incentives to encourage the adoption of solar energy.

Solar Panels

Water-Efficient Fixtures

Conserving water is another essential aspect of eco-friendly home renovations. By installing water-efficient fixtures such as low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads, you can significantly reduce your household’s water consumption. These fixtures are designed to use less water without sacrificing performance, helping you save money on your water bill while also conserving this precious resource.

Water-Efficient Fixtures

Improved Insulation

Proper insulation is key to reducing energy waste and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment year-round. By upgrading your home’s insulation, you can minimize heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems to work overtime. This not only lowers your energy bills but also decreases your home’s carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy required for heating and cooling.

Improved Insulation

Native Landscaping

Don’t forget about the outdoor spaces when planning your eco-friendly home renovations. Native landscaping involves using plants that are indigenous to your region, which are better adapted to the local climate and require less water and maintenance than exotic species. By incorporating native plants into your landscaping, you can create a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space that supports local biodiversity and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Native Landscaping


Eco-friendly home renovations offer a win-win solution for homeowners looking to reduce their environmental impact while improving the comfort, efficiency, and value of their homes. By making sustainable choices in materials, appliances, energy sources, water fixtures, insulation, and landscaping, you can create a greener home that benefits both the planet and your wallet. Whether you’re embarking on a major renovation or just making a few updates, every eco-friendly choice you make brings us one step closer to a more sustainable future.


Lighted Vanity Mirror

Elevate Your Bathroom with these Top 9 Accessories

Hair Styling Station by Glamour G

Putting your best foot forward often starts with wearing your best hairstyle. Not everyone can have naturally great hair days. In fact, we know very few people who have great hair days without, at a bare minimum, the use of some gel and a hairdryer. The curling iron is a must have hair styling device for many modern women. The challenge is where do you store a burning hot stick? We give you – the hair styling station. This nifty unit has a heat-safe spot just for your curling iron and your blow dryer as well as other spots for your other hair accessories. It is even electrified. Everything you need to have the perfect hair day in one, handy place. You’re welcome.

Heat Proof Resistant Hair Dryer

Glamour G Station Heat Proof Resistant Hair Dryer Flat Iron Holder Comb Trio Holder

Tushy Spa 3.0 Warm Water Bidet

We know. One cannot mention the word ‘bidet’ without hearing Crocodile Dundee’s Australian twang triumphantly call out: “For washing your backside, right?” We should mention that many modern bidets do not require an extra, er, bowl. Rather, an adapter connects from the water supply under your sink to your toilet. The tushy water is as clean as the water you wash your hands with. And it’s warm!

Why a bidet, you might say? Your tush can be twice as clean, for one. The average family of four could save up to 75% on toilet paper by using a Tushy Spa which equals about $100, annually. Using 75% less toilet paper means helping cut down on, forgive us, waste as well as saves a good number of trees.

72% of households in Japan have a bidet-style toilet. You know what that tells us? That 72% of households in Japan don’t have to unclog their toilets when Uncle Manny comes to visit. Now that is priceless.

Warm Water Bidet

Modern Bidets

Lighted Vanity Mirror

Getting ready for work would be SO much easier if only you could see your face while you shave or while you put on makeup. Our eyesight does not get any better, with age, unfortunately. Perhaps that is so we cannot clearly see our wrinkles? Regardless, proper and efficient personal grooming requires illumination. We love the lighted vanity mirror with perimeter lighting. They illuminate all of your face and virtually eliminate any shadows due to the large perimeter light. So many older vanity lights have some lights at the top of the mirror that point down or just shine out. However, your face is not at the top of the mirror, so the light does not shine directly on your face. Not super helpful, is it? New perimeter vanity light mirrors use LEDs and are dimmable. We are partial to the Profila Illuminated Bathroom Mirror because it has an anti-fog system! So, have your hot shower and shave without wiping the fog off the mirror first. Live your best life!

Lighted Vanity Mirror

Profila Illuminated Bathroom Mirror

Heated Towel Bar

It’s a cold, dreary, winter morning and extracting you from under the covers requires a ridiculous amount of willpower. You’re finally in the shower, under the decadent spray of hot water but unless you find a new body part to shave, you really cannot justify staying in there any longer. The thought of leaving the warmth of the shower and exposing yourself to the frigid air of the bathroom is less than pleasant. If only you could extend the spa nirvana and wrap yourself in a hot towel. Wait – you can! A heated towel bar will keep your bath sheet nice and toasty until you’re ready for it. It will also dry your towel very quickly if you want to take that towel to the gym or pool after work. Many people use heated towel bars to dry delicate laundry items such as ski jackets and bathing suits. The units come in several different colors/finishes and most take only 15 to 20 minutes to heat up. Luxury awaits!

Heated Towel Bar

Jeeves H Curved Heated Towel Bar

Bathtub Tray

There are a few different kinds of baths people tend to take. There’s the bath to sooth sore muscles, the bath to treat the skin with Epson salts or some other healing additive, and there’s the bath to get away from the stresses of the day. We believe a bathtub tray is suited to all of these types of baths. The tray can hold an open book to read, a beverage to sip, even a phone – if you must, or a bowl of bon bons. Having everything you need at your fingertips in order to fully relax and enjoy your bath is highly underrated. The Aquala Bathtub Caddy in walnut from Umbra Studio ticks off all the boxes on our list. It even has a double hook for your luffa sponge! How thoughtful of them.

Bathtub Tray

Aquala Bathtub Caddy

Bamboo Mat

You do not have to be born in Norway to appreciate the features of a Scandinavian Spa bamboo mat. They are a beautiful feature to add to your bathroom but that’s not the only reason to appreciate bamboo mats. Bamboo is extremely durable and strong. They hold up well to wear and tear. They are fire resistant due to their composition. Bamboo mats are allergen-resistant due to their smooth surfaces that are easy to clean, but hard for allergens like dust mites to hide on. They come in many different sizes, patterns and stain colors. However, the natural wood color adds a touch of class to any bathroom and with a few similar accessories, can turn your space into a spa-like getaway.

Bamboo Mat

Bamboo Slat Bath Mat

Exciting paint color

Paint as an accessory? We say yes! Okay, okay, perhaps it is not what one would traditionally label an accessory, but for many intents and purposes, it functions as one. Painting your bathroom a distinctive color can change the whole feel of the room. There are so many more shades of every color available nowadays than 30 years ago that you are sure to find the perfect hue to transform your bathroom. If you love the look of bright white penny tiles, consider matching them with an indigo blue paint color on the wall.

Exciting paint color

Bathroom Paint Colors

Wooden Ladder

A stained, wooden ladder can be a real game changer for an ensuite bathroom. It is a wonderful place to store clean towels. Bath towels can be purchased in a rich colors to pop against the flooring and walls, providing a double decorating feature. Even a ladder that is elegantly leaned against a bathroom wall without a single item draped over is a beautiful feature that can change the look of the room.

In a smaller bathroom that may be lacking in shelving space, consider placing a ladder against the wall above the toilet. Use the rungs as shelves to store your toiletries, towels and other supplies.

Wooden Ladder

3 Tier Toilet Leaning Bathroom

A one-of-a-kind sink

Gone are the days of choosing a sink for your bathrooms from a selection of perhaps 8, white, porcelain basins. Colors, shapes and textures have been trending strongly over the past several years and manufacturers have responded in kind. For example, the semi-recessed vessel bathroom sink, below, would be a commanding feature in almost any bathroom. In the case of such a basin, a designer would often design the whole bathroom around the showstopper sink. The marble veined in gold color is rich and quite luxurious. Paired with a wall-mounted, waterfall spout faucet in either color of the basin, you may find yourself spending much more time in the bathroom than necessary!

A one-of-a-kind sink

Round Semi Recessed Vessel Bathroom


What to Consider When Managing a Large Renovation or Whole House Renovation

Managing a large-scale renovation such as renovating an entire house is most certainly more complicated then renovating a single room or in most cases even a single level. Let’s talk about some of the most common considerations required of a large-scale renovation. The most important thing to consider is whether you are going to hire a general contractor who will look after the labour and materials and BC building code compliance issues. Or, will you hire a design/build company that will look after every aspect of the project from start to finish, including design, build, inspections, permits, BC building code compliance, material ordering, subtrade supervision, project management etc.

House Renovation


One thing that is often overlooked when taking on a large-scale renovation is the actual scope of the project. For example, you’re much more likely to remove a wall in a large-scale renovation and removing a wall will often require a structural engineer and a full set of plans. If part of the renovation is increasing the square footage of the living space by adding an addition or an extension you will require permits drawings and possibly approval from other overseers. When compared to a small renovation where you need to pick out tile for the floor and quartz for the countertops versus a large renovation where you’re redoing an entire home or one floor there will be many more decisions that you need to make. There will also be many more types of decisions that you need to make so you will need to dedicate a reasonable chunk of time to making these choices.

A design build company is a must. A single contractor may not have the resources or time to effectively manage your project while running his own business and managing his other clients. A design build company walks you through the entire process from beginning to end.



As whole house renovations tend to be more costly due to their scope and size and they tend to be something a homeowner may only do once in their lifetime, one should contemplate needs that come with aging. It is wise to consider adding a suite to your home so you have the potential of having one of your kids and their family living with you one day to help look after you. Other considerations include barrier free showers, the future ability to add an elevator or stair lift, as well as the ability to add accessibility ramps to the exterior of the home.


Logistics & Setting Reasonable Expectations for Timelines

Unlike on reality TV shows, when an entire renovation is shown in 30 to 60 minutes, and the only people you see are the host and perhaps one or two sub trades, the reality is quite different.

You don’t see the 10 to 20 people who are busily working behind the scenes completing that renovation. Most whole house renovations include multiple trades all working together to complete a project in 6 to 9 months.

When building permits, structural engineers and inspections are involved, as well as structural work, this will add more time to the project.

When renovating an entire home, the family will not be able to live there and therefore will need to make alternative living arrangements for the duration of the project. If simply one bathroom or bedroom or even a kitchen was being renovated there are ways that the family could continue to live in the home during that renovation but certainly not during an entire building renovation.

Logistics & Setting Reasonable Expectations for Timelines


It’s very important that your design build company goes through a budgeting process with you. As the scale of the renovation can lead to a large cumulative override of cost if proper budgeting and estimating are not done. If a tradesperson underestimates the amount of material needed for one room this would increase a small renovation budget buy a small amount. However, if a tradesperson underestimates the amount of material needed for a large renovation this will increase the budget by a significant amount. Some people may decide to take a chance on a lesser known contractor for a small bathroom renovation. However, on a larger full home renovation most people will realize it’s not worth the risk of hiring an unknown contractor. They will instead choose to hire a well-established, well-respected local design build company to handle this large project.


Why You Need a Designer

This is one of the few instances wear a television home design show maybe gets it right. You absolutely need a designer to plan the colours, textures and layout of a large-scale renovation. We have imaginations and we may watch a lot of design shows, and we may even read a good amount of design magazines. However, all of that really only amounts to the tip of the iceberg of interior design options that are available to you right now in the market. Furthermore, many design shows are based in the United States the readily available design materials and accessories may be a bit different than the ones here in Canada. Trends in Canada maybe similar but often differ significantly from those in the US.

A professional design build company is experienced and skilled at designing an entire home or entire living space. The design build company will know about all of the options that are available and will have connections with all of the suppliers who distribute them. Moreover, a design build company can design every square foot of your home so that it flows and is fluid in a very united, connected way. You will be able to enter your home after a full renovation and the colours, design and textures will flow from the point of entry through the entire house from one room to the next. You certainly want your home to look unified and fluid in its design and colour palette. A design build company can do that for you and do it very well.

Why You Need a Designer

Project Management

Another one of the few instances where a televised home makeover show is likely realistic in comparison to a whole home renovation is the project management portion of it. On many of these programs there is a designer/contractor team who leads the renovation. These individuals work together to create a beautiful, cohesive living space for their clients. The contractor manages all of the tradesmen and sub trades. This takes a chunk of their time and energy but because this is a regular day on the job for them and they have an extensive amount of knowledge and experience in all areas of renovations, they manage this part of their job with great efficiency. Whereas, if an individual who is not experienced in the construction trade decides to be the project manager of a large-scale renovation, this will be a huge, exhausting challenge for them. When an experienced contractor looks at a set of blueprints or permits or invoices he or she knows and understands exactly what they’re looking at. The average person will need a lot of translation and quite frankly we don’t think Siri’s up to that.

A good design build company will have an excellent project management team and will make your large renovation go as smoothly as possible. They will know how to plan the timelines and build in potential delays. They will know how to solve problems that may arise and how to keep the project moving along at a good pace. Project management is often overlooked but we cannot stress enough how important this aspect is when it comes to a large-scale renovation.

Project Management

Why it Makes Sense to Spend Money on Interior Design

So, you’ve watched a few design shows and you’re a Pinterest home design champion. Nobody has more home interior design pins than you do. Nobody. Naturally, you feel you’re exceptionally well suited to design the interior of your home. This may be true; however, the majority of the population does not possess the skills to design an entire home based on current trends and available materials. A design build company, on the other hand, is very qualified to not only design the interior of your home from one end to the other but to plan and build the entire renovation from start to finish. They are continually updated on current trends and materials as they work with suppliers and visit warehouses and stores when sourcing materials.

A design build company will not only know how to craft the colours and textures in your home to provide continuity and flow, but they will know where these materials are coming from and how they are made. They may know in advance of any problems with specific suppliers and materials, as well as the recycle-ability of the items. It makes a lot of sense to not only hire a very qualified design build team to design the interior of your home, but to have one company, one team in charge of the renovation from top to bottom and start to finish.< Why it Makes Sense to Spend Money on Interior Design

Hiring a Home Renovation Contractor

You’ve finally done it. After years of humming and hawing over renovating your kitchen, bathroom, basement, bedroom, living room, addition or backyard, etc. you have decided to actually get the job done. Congrats! That brings you to this blog and your current, burning question: how do I go about hiring a home renovation contractor?

Well, most people think they’re looking for a home renovation contractor but what they are actually looking for is a design build company. What you really need to understand is what the difference is between a home renovation contractor and a design build company.

Differences between a design build company and a renovations contractor.

What is a home renovation contractor? One who may do all or only parts of the project, and will be responsible for fluctuating measures of the overall planning and management of the project. Many of the responsibilities that would be taken on by the design build company may instead fall upon you, the home owner. The leadership and accountability of the project will be on your shoulders or perhaps will be jointly shared with your home renovation contractor, with varying degrees of success.

What is a design build company? One that will walk you through the entire renovation process, step by step, in the easiest and most timely way possible.

When you hire a design build company if something goes wrong they cannot blame the designer because they ARE the designer. This results in much less passing of the buck. You will also have much better knowledge transfer because you are dealing with just one company. If you are dealing with a home renovation contractor and you have a question about the design of your kitchen, he or she will have to contact the designer to find the information you’re after. A design build company on the other hand, in this instance, will have those answers for you because they are designing and building your kitchen. Due to the fact they are designing and building your project from start to finish, they will better understand your vision, needs and desires. That will translate into saved time and saved money.


The first thing to determine when choosing a design build company or renovation contractor is how much experience they have. Does he or she have at least ten years of experience? Ten or more years of experience is highly beneficial to you as an experienced contractor is going to save you costly mistakes. An experienced contractor will understand building materials suppliers better and will almost certainly have better trades people working with him or her. He or she is going to be better at keeping to a schedule as this contractor will be used to the rhythm of a home renovation. They will be able to foresee certain things, such as: the shutdown of a wood processing facility due to COVID-19 may cause a shortage of a particular type of wood that is needed for your project. A good design build company contractor will likely be coming up with a solution to the wood shortage problem before it appears on the local news.

What sort of certifications does your design build company or renovations contractor have?

The construction industry is now a science. Does the person or company you hired belong to any professional organizations that help keep them up to date or provide training on the industry?

Verify how long a contractor has been in business for. One way to do this is to check how long they have had insurance with WorkSafe. Another way is to check how long they have belonged to the BBB and/or the local home builders association. If they do not have WorkSafe, that is a huge red flag as WorkSafe is required by law.

Questions to ask your home renovation contractor.

  • – Does your contractor have his own staff or does he sub everything out? A good design build contractor will have a staff carpenter/foreman onsite to help supervise the jobs. Staffmembers have more loyalty to the contractor than to sub trades. A sub trade has split loyalties as he or she is working on several jobs at the same time. A good design build contractor will have greater quality control and greater control over the schedule.
  • – Does your contractor own or rent his construction equipment? A design build or renovations contractor who owns his scaffolding, plate compactors, and other medium-sized construction equipment is probably going to save you 5% to 10% of the job costs because he/she does not have to pay rent for his/her equipment. He or she doesn’t have to add an extra hour each day picking up and dropping off the equipment from the depot. A double whammy is that not only does it cost you money to rent equipment, but it costs you something even more precious: time. If he rents a $1,000 plate compactor, he will spend 1 hour to pick it up and 1 hour to return it. About $100 of his time billed to you for each hour. That’s $200 total. Plus, it will cost $200 per day to rent the equipment and another $50 worth of damage insurance. So the plate compactor will cost almost the same amount to rent for one day as one third of its purchase price. Just imagine how much of your time and money is being wasted if your contractor is renting tools. The best case scenario is one where your design build company or renovations contractor owns his own heavy equipment such as excavators and dump trailers. You’ll save even more money and time that way.
  • Be sure to ask him what quality of materials he buys and uses. High quality materials will save you money. Period.
  • Is he a jack of all trades – a one man band? If he gets sick or injured or has a family crisis, your job will come to a screeching halt. If he takes on too many jobs he will get stretched thin and things may fall through the cracks. Your project may be one of those things.

Does your home renovations contractor fit the size of your job?

As mentioned about owning and renting tools, if you are implementing a larger project such as a home addition, a contractor who owns all of his own equipment will be a better choice than one who does not. One who has employees, a larger staff, will be a better choice as many hands complete a job much more quickly than one pair of hands.

If the job you have in mind is a small contract, such as changing a few fence panels, hiring a renovations contractor is probably a waste of your money. You would likely be better off with a handy man.

In our experience, kitchen renovations specifically run much more smoothly with a design build company that has all of the staff and trades available when he or she needs them to keep your project on schedule and thus on budget.

Does the design build company or renovations contractor have good reviews?

One or two negative reviews may just be a sign that the contractor is doing a lot of work and not that there’s anything wrong with them. However, if you start to see a pattern in their reviews about him or her not finishing jobs on time, quality control issues, or being difficult to reach, you should consider yourself forewarned.

A good contractor should have at least 10 or 15 good reviews under his or her belt. A review with one paragraph or more shows that the client really appreciated the job as opposed to a review that is just one sentence long.

Insurance and liability

  • As mentioned earlier, does he or she have WorkSafe? It is required by law. They must have it.
  • Does he or she have $3 to $5 million of general liability insurance? Because no liability insurance or just $1 million of liability insurance doesn’t go very far if there is an accident.
  • Does the design build contractor have a good credit history? If he doesn’t have a good credit history then he won’t have lines of credit with all of his suppliers. Lines of credit keep a project running smoothly. Ask if they have accounts with their suppliers. If they have accounts, they likely have lines of credit. If they don’t have lines of credit, they will be asking you for money every day. Or they will be asking you for large sums of money up front.

Hiring a home renovations contractor or design build company is a task that should be undertaken with great care. Ensure you research your candidates thoroughly before you hire anyone. It will save you time and money and provide you with the peace of mind you need to begin a home renovation.