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What to Look for in a Home Renovator

Before you hire an expert in renovations Calgary has to offer, what should you look for in a Calgary home renovation company? What are the deciding factors you should look for in a Calgary home renovator, and what red flags should warn you away from a home renovation company?

Price

Beware of the impulse to go with the lowest bidder on your project. Sometimes the cheapest bidder is a fly by night operation that will disappear after taking your money, and sometimes they will pick up and move in the middle of the project when a higher paying gig starts. Lower prices can also mean that they hire people with little experience in construction or work slower than the more expensive pros who can finish the job in a day or two. Conversely, you should compare prices on bids and take note of the contractor who’s prices are much higher than everyone else. Prices more than 15% above the others means that person has a radically different scope of work, uses much more expensive materials or overcharges.

Reputation

Research the reputation of the contractor before you sign on the dotted line. Verify that the person shows up on time, does quality work and quickly addresses problems or concerns.
Another factor to consider in your research is the reputation of the subcontractors the renovator hires. Do they hire quality electricians, plumbers, carpenters and masons? When they find that they need a plumber, do they bring in someone who can fix your leaking pipes in a timely manner? When you want new landscaping put in, do they bring in landscapers to do the work or anyone at the firm that had nothing else do that day?

This issue is partially addressed by hiring an experienced renovations Calgary firm, because poor quality companies close as soon as they have a bad reputation.

Legality

Verify that the contractor has proper licensing and insurance. You want a contractor who has proper insurance in case there is an accident during the renovation or problems afterward. You need a properly licensed contractor, because someone not licensed to put in new windows or electrical wiring may not really know how to do it right. If the contractor has been dinged for not getting the right permits, recognize that this could affect the resale value of the home because later home inspections that find shoddy work or decent work not done to code which requires significant outlay to fix.

Experience

Has the contractor done this type of project before? The only thing worse than hiring a contractor to fix a DIY job is paying another contractor to fix the shoddy work of the first contractor. While a Calgary home renovation company may have experience in finishing a basement, they may not have the expertise to build a new bathroom. A home renovator with experience knocking out walls to create larger living spaces may not have the experience to add another room to the house or raise the roof to put on a second story. Verify that the contractor has experience in the project you need done, not just that they have a good reputation in their area of expertise.
Experience should also mean that the firm as a whole has a long track record of projects. While you can call their referred clients who had work done in the past six months, research who had work done one to five years ago. Do the new floors buckle or shift? Did the materials used in the project last as long as expected? Did later inspections turn up problems caused by poor quality work?
This issue is partially addressed by hiring an experienced renovations Calgary firm that has a long term reputation for quality.