A Renovator You Can Trust
Looking to complete that much-needed renovation? Finding a contractor you can trust can be an overwhelming task. Paul Napolitano, President of Royal Home Improvements, a residential renovation general contractor serving Toronto and surrounding areas, provided the following tips about what to consider when choosing a contractor to perform your home improvement project.
Ask for Credentials. Ensuring your contractor is licensed and carries the proper insurance can give you peace of mind should unforeseen circumstances arise. There is a cost to being a licensed/insured contractor but there are benefits for both the client and the renovator. You should look for a contractor that is registered with
industry associations as they provide members with education and information in exchange for fees and guarantees regarding behaviour. Visit the Better Business Bureau online, or other contractor rating sites like Homestars, to see contractor ratings and confirm which industry associations a contractor is affiliated with. Royal Home Improvements is in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the national RenoMark program. The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) has vetted and recommended suppliers who align with the needs and values of older Canadians. Royal Home Improvements is the only CARP Recommended residential renovation general contractor in Canada.
Get it in Writing. Ask for a proposal and contract in writing even for simple jobs and ask questions if you don’t understand it. Make sure to be clear and detailed about the scope of work, quality of materials and schedule expectations. Your contractor can provide a more accurate estimate and work plan if all the details are provided. If the documents contain a clear and complete description of the scope of work, payment schedule and warranty then there is a good foundation for success. If not, look elsewhere.
Cheaper isn’t Always Better. A significantly lower price could be a sign that the contractor is inexperienced or is using lower quality materials. When the spread between prices is very large take the time to review the scope and ask more questions. Contractors will omit parts of the scope in order to present the lowest possible price, so review the scope and schedule to ensure you are receiving everything you require for the number quoted.
Check References. Given that trust is generally earned over time through consistency and good performance, look for a contractor with a track record. Reading online reviews can be a useful tool when choosing a contractor, however, reviews don’t always provide the details you need. That’s why Royal Home Improvements recommends a contractor provide you with at least three references from jobs similar to yours. Then call or visit and be sure to ask about quality of work, how the contractor handled the schedule and problems if they arose. Ask how well they communicated and if the owner would hire the contractor again.
Most established contractors will take you to an active renovation project where you can get a sense of job site cleanliness and work safety.
You’re Ready to Hire. You’ve followed the suggestions and found an experienced contractor and a price that matches your budget. Now set the expectations regarding communications. Royal Home Improvements believes communications are critical. And the Royal Home Improvements project management process involves a weekly status meeting and putting the important details in writing. Having followed these steps your contractor evaluation should yield a successful renovation project and a contractor you know and trust. The next time you decide to make a home improvement, you know who to call first.
Visit the Royal Home Improvements website to request a free estimate or call 905.236.4400.
CARP members save up to $2000 off the tax. Not a CARP member? Seniors never pay tax.