Reno Month: Renovate with Confidence – Hire a Professional Renovator

Remember the old adage: You get what you pay for? Well, it also applies when you hire someone to renovate your home.

Sure, you may save money by hiring someone who works under the table or is willing to charge you less to make up for their lack of experience and knowledge. It can be tempting, but you need to stop and ask yourself: At what cost? What am I NOT getting that a professional contractor would include in the price?

Here is a quick look at some of the things you may be missing out on when you choose a low price over professionalism.

  • Technical knowledge about construction—how a home is put together, how all elements work together, and how one change can affect the rest of the house. An unskilled renovator can damage your home, and you may end up having to call a professional renovator to deal with the mess.
  • The right experience. The road from being “handy with tools” to being a professional renovator is long, and takes a lot of experience.
  • References and other assurances or indications of quality and stability. How will you know that the person will do a good job? Finish the job? Be around afterwards?
  • Price assurance. Will the low price increase as you go along, because the person didn’t understand what was involved in the job, or even worse, used a low price as a tactic to get the work?
  • Workers’ compensation. If someone gets hurt on your job, you will be stuck with the financial responsibility.
  • Insurance. If your renovator damages your home, or your neighbour’s property, you may end up paying for everything.
  • Warranty. If there are problems with the work after it’s finished, you may be out of luck. The renovator may be long gone, or may refuse to accept responsibility.
  • Last, but not least, a written contract. Without a detailed contract, you won’t really know what you have agreed to. And if you hire someone without a written contract, you will have very little recourse if anything goes wrong.

Cost is a critical element in any renovation project. By all means, look around for renovators who can give you the greatest value for your money. But before you decide to hire a company based on their low price, ask lots of questions to make sure it will not cost you a lot more than you bargained for.