Shoddy workmanship. AWOL contractors. Sub-par construction materials. Improper insulation. Mould. Sewage leaks. Everyone has heard the horror stories of home renovations gone wrong.
According to Guy Solomon, president of Penguin Basements and a spokesperson for national renovation source RenoMark™, it doesn’t have to be that way. In addition to dispensing renovation advice and solutions at the National Home Show in Toronto (March 10-19), Mr. Solomon will deliver a seminar entitled 5 steps to a successful renovation. “Every homeowner deserves to know what their project will cost and entail and to have insight into how the nature of the renovation will impact the value of their home. A successful renovation starts well before construction begins,” he says.
Advising on lifestyle, financial and logistical factors to consider when contemplating a reno, Mr. Solomon also offers an informed perspective on what consumers should look for in a successful contractor:
A business licence, liability insurance and WSIB insurance. All professional renovators should carry these qualifications, especially now that cities and municipalities are in the process of requiring renovators to be licensed.
A written contract. A true renovation professional will provide a proper contract that spells out project scope (and a process for authorizing and communicating any amendments), defines roles and reporting structure, specifies construction materials and provides a complete timeline, clear payment schedule, and a detailed explanation of what’s under warranty and for how long. “Without a contract, you’ll have no legal recourse if the work is substandard,” warns Mr. Solomon.
An understanding of required permits and a willingness to help you acquire them. A professional contractor will be up-to-date on provincial building codes and the municipal requirements of your area. They should be ready to work with you on creating and submitting a detailed application that includes a set of plans, drawings and other documents.
An affiliation with a professional homebuilder’s organization. While neighbours and friends can be an excellent source of recommendations, cross-referencing the names of prospective contractors and renovators with an industry association like BILD (which offers a searchable database of members) is an additional indicator of professionalism and ethical conduct.
Experience with projects similar to yours. Always ask for (and check!) references. Reluctance or refusal to provide at least two referrals may be a sign you’re not working with a professional. And no homeowner deserves that.
Guy Solomon speaks at the National Home Show on Tuesday March 14 @ 12pm. Visit Guy and Penguin Basements at Booth 4420.
About Penguin Basements
Penguin Basements is Canada’s leading basement renovation contractor and creator of The Second Suite Solution, a wealth-building strategy designed to help homeowners unlock the value beneath their feet and turn their basement into income.
SOURCE Penguin Basements