The Questions to Ask for Your Home Renovation
Project feasibility, property by-laws, rights & responsibilities, financing! there are literally 60 questions here that are worth asking and thinking about before you make the plunge. Have you considered them all?
Renovations are more than simply wanting to make a change and then having it happen like magic. Making sure you know the questions you need to ask of your renovation contractor is the best way to start turning your renovation dream into your renovation reality.
We Know the Questions Because We’ve Lived Them All!
With 40+ years of experience in the Calgary home renovations market, we are always looking to supply you with the information you need to make a sound financial decision. Take a few minutes and use our checklists to help you get the answers you need from the contractors you’re interested in speaking to.
Of course, we’re always up for a conversation. If you would like to walk through these questions, contact us and we’ll be ready to guide you through them.
a) Project Feasibility Checklist
- Is it feasible to build what we want?
- Have you done anything like this before?
- Is there a better way to meet our needs?
- How long would it take?
- Can we live in the house during construction?
- Can we do some of the work ourselves?
- Can you estimate how long each phase will take?
- Can we reuse our existing mechanical systems or will we have to upgrade them?
- Is our current structure sound?
- Can you summarize the whole Project process?
b) Property By-Laws Checklist
- Do we need a Development Permit? How long is this process and what does it cost?
- Do we need a Building Permit? How long is this process and what does it cost?
- Do you take care of all permit & code compliance?
- How much of my lot can I cover?
- Do you arrange for the necessary inspections?
- Will easements, rights-of-way or setbacks affect our plans?
- Do we have to get approval from our neighbours?
- Can our neighbours stop us from doing this work if they do not approve?
- Will we need any surveys or engineering reports?
- Has the City ever rejected a permit application?
c) Rights & Responsibilities Checklist
- Are there standards that we can expect you to build to?
- What does your insurance cover?
- What does our insurance cover?
- Do we have to be home to let workers in?
- Do you protect (cover) our existing floors, cabinets, etc?
- Do all of your sub-trades have WCB coverage?
- If there is no written contract could we have liability exposure?
- Can you explain about seasonal deficiencies?
- If there is a disagreement, will there be third-party arbitration?
- Do we have any financial protection if something should happen to you or your Company?
d) Financing & Budgets Checklist
- Do you offer “Fixed-Fee” and “Cost-Plus” bid options?
- Do you have a standard Payment Schedule?
- Can our project be designed to fit a pre-determined budget?
- Can you give us a rough estimate of our project cost?
- Are there circumstances that can affect the schedule/budget?
- Can our project be broken into major phases or options?
- Is there a fee for your detailed Formal Bid?
- What if you don’t pay your sub-contractors or suppliers?
- Should we have a contingency for changes or upgrades?
- Do we need a Mortgage or Line of Credit?
e) Designs & Drawings Checklist
- What is the difference between a Designer and an Architect – which do we need?
- Do you have a Designer that you work with?
- How much should this design cost?
- Should we meet with both you and the Designer initially?
- How long will it take to complete these drawings?
- Will we be able to review them and make changes?
- Can the Designer give us suggestions?
- Should we be assembling a “Clip-file” and “Wish-List”?
- Is the Designer aware of the project cost considerations?
- Will the designs be based on those cost considerations?
f) Schedule & Process Checklist
- Is there a best time of year to start our project?
- Will we have a written schedule so we can prepare for what is coming?
- Will changes made “in-process” affect schedule and/or budget?
- Are your Projects generally completed on time and on budget?
- How long will it take?
- If we see a problem developing should it be pointed out to the Site Supervisor?
- What is the availability of our sub-trades?
- Are there security and safety issues regarding kids & pets?
- Will you be able to keep our jobsite reasonably clean?
- NOW… How do we get started?
g) Seal the Deal Checklist
- Negotiate the price
- Sign a contract
- Order plans
- A deposit will be required
- Key exchange
- Confirm insurance coverage
- Establish a Project Schedule