WORK WITH A PROFESSIONAL
For homeowners considering a
renovation project, finding the right contractor to do the work is key to
While friends and neighbours can offer recommendations based on
their own experiences, there are some basic guidelines which can also help.
There are various kinds of contractors doing business in your community, but
only general renovation contractors are complete renovation specialists (by
comparison, most other contractors provide specialized trade services such as
electrical, plumbing or roofing). Professional builders/renovators can
coordinate your entire project – help you to develop designs and plans, get
municipal permits, order building materials and arrange for inspections.
size and complexity of your project will determine whether the professional
builder/renovator performs all or most of the actual work, or hires and manages
various specialized trades people. Once your project is completed, the renovator
will guarantee the work for a minimum of one year. While renovation contractors
are specialists, this doesn’t mean they focus only on large, complex and
Whether you are planning a major addition or simply want
your bathroom redone, talk to professional renovators – they would be pleased to
discuss your needs and provide advice.
If you are a homeowner with a limited
budget and long-term plans to upgrade your home, you should talk to the
professionals – they can help you find the most practical and cost-effective
approach to building/renovating your home over time, and can identify the work
you can do yourself as well as the jobs that are best left to the experts.
Renovation/building contractors know that good communication and customer
relationships are what keep them in business. Many builders/renovators find that
return business from past clients makes up a significant portion of their work.
When you start looking for someone to handle your renovation/building needs, a
professional builder/renovator with a long-term commitment to service is your
best assurance of quality.
THE DARK SIDE OF
The Canadian Home Builder’s Association (CHBA) advises homeowners to resist the
temptation to save money on their renovation project by hiring an
“under-the-table” or “fly-by-night” contractor. For many consumers, these
projects end up costing more than if they had hired a professional, and can
easily turn their renovation into a nightmare.
“The builder/renovator who didn’t come back, the job was never completed, the money that is gone…
unfortunately, the Association has heard it all. Our best advice to those
homeowners is to hire a professional builder/renovator to help salvage the
Professional builders/renovators work on the basis of a written contract that
spells out what is to be done and what the costs will be. By contrast, cash
deals are usually verbal and, when the project goes off-track, the homeowner has
little recourse except to spend money in bringing the contractor to court.
Professional builders/renovators carry all the required insurances and Workers’
Compensation coverages. This protects you against financial loss should an
accident occur on the job. Hiring an “underthe-table” contractor leaves you open
to very large financial risks.
Your homeowner’s policy won’t necessarily help if you knowingly took part in an
illegal transaction by hiring an “under-the-table” contractor.
Professional builders/renovators are in business for the long term. They must
satisfy their customers to stay in business. They stand by their work by
guaranteeing the job and providing solid after-sales service. “Fly-by-night”
firms get into renovation work looking for some fast cash, and they often lack
both experience and skill. Your satisfaction is not their concern – most likely
they will be in a different line of work before you get your renovation
nightmare sorted out.
Hiring a professional means getting the job done right – putting your home in
the hands of someone with the experience and commitment needed to do things
properly from beginning to end. For a list of professional builders/renovators
in the area please contact: Canadian Home Builder’s Association - Saint John
Region at 672-7487 or visit our membership directory link.