When deciding to get underway with a home renovation or remodeling project, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself before moving forward. Our experience has shown that if you do these simple steps, you can move your project forward far more efficiently. The process of doing a home renovation, whether it be remodeling your kitchen, updating your bathroom, installing a deck or patio, or any other project, starts before you even hire a contractor. The items listed here are things to consider before you start calling around for quotes, because most contractors will ask you these questions before they can prepare an estimate for you. If you have done your homework, know what you want, and have already planned out these details, you and your contractor can get started on your project a lot faster.
1) Determine your budget
The first place to start is setting the budget for your project. It is important to have a clear idea of how much you are willing to spend to achieve the results you want. Do you have funds set aside or will you be financing the project? Often it is advisable to seek out a financial advisor or mortgage broker who can sit down and work with you to find a personalized option.
Many people have fear around discussing finances and budgets when hiring a contractor. A reputable contractor will work within realistic budgets and will not inflate the cost of a job simply because there is a large budget available. Once you’ve established what you are willing to spend you can start planning the project. Some of the costs in the project include materials and labor, but another item to consider is design. We always recommend that our customers work with a designer before they start looking for contractors. This brings us to next step.
2) Hire a designer
Designers are great. They can help bring your vision into reality as well as offer professional advice. Often times a designer can suggest alternative materials or options to achieve the look you want without a large expense (more bang for your buck if you will). A good designer will prepare everything you need to take to a contractor in order for us to prepare a realistic quote. These items include drawings and material lists that allow a contractor to provide you with an accurate estimate of labor and installation costs. We have worked with some amazing designers from Sticks and Stones, including Catherine Hogan who offers some additional insight into why you should hire a designer in her article “Hot Renovating Tips“. We are always more than happy to refer you to some of the excellent designers we have worked with.
3) Hire a contractor
Now you are ready to go ahead and search out a contractor for your project. With the prep work you have done, you are now prepared to gather quotes! Working with a qualified and experienced professional is the key to having the process run smoothly and achieving quality results. Make sure you provide each contractor with the same information so that you can compare bids. How many bids should you get? There are no hard and fast rules. On large projects, it is not uncommon for homeowners to interview several renovators, check their references and previous projects, and then choose one company to work with throughout the whole process. The Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) offers extensive information and advice on how to hire a contractor. Accent Renovations is a award winning member of the Central Okanagan CHBA, meaning that we adhere to the code of ethics required for referral from the COCHBA.
In the end it comes down to trust and confidence – trust that you have chosen the right renovator for the job, and confidence that you will get what you want and be happy with the final result.