Choosing the right contractor can make all the difference between having a good renovation experience and a job done that leaves you feeling cheated.
Here are some tips for choosing a contractor
Ask friends, neighbours and relatives for recommendations of a good contractor. Go to see their work if possible. Find out what kind of work they did for them. The last thing you want is a company that specializes in kitchen cabinets doing your hardwood floors. Ask your friends what they liked and didn’t like about their work. Remember that the quality of the work is just as important as how they handle mistakes and disagreements.
During the term of the contract and work completion, make sure any changes and extra expenses are provided in writing. The last thing you need is a big surprise when you get the final invoice at the end. This is what keeps small claims court busy!
Get references from the contractor and check them. Talk with people that personally used that contractor, so they can speak about their direct experience.
Get at least three estimates for the same job. This will check prices and ideas. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Some contractors may have different ideas as to how they would do the job. Pick the one that you are most comfortable with that will suit your needs. The lowest price is not always the best choice!
Keep down payments and advances to a minimum, and make sure you are thoroughly satisfied with the work prior to making the final payment. It also ensures that the contractor completes the work.
Plan a budget. Keep in mind that the projected cost of the renovation may be different than the real cost. Ensure that you receive a quote in writing, not just a business card where the contractor writes a number on the back. A good estimation system is a sign of a qualified and professional company.
Here are some financing options to consider;
Commonly, the work estimates are higher than you anticipated. There are several options to finance the work and get the whole job done.
– You can use the equity in your home to pay for these improvements? And don’t forget that as you improve your home, you increase the value.
– There are lines of credit, home improvement mortgages and many other options.
Speak with a mortgage specialist for more details.
Check out the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services http://ow.ly/isZid