Do you want to upgrade your house? Even small home renovations can be stressful and daunting. Instead of struggling with measurements and getting the right tools, you may want to consider hiring the professionals to do the job.
But the question is, where do you look? Moreover, who do you trust? A handyman or a contractor? Word-of-mouth may not form enough trust if you’re looking for someone who can get the job done right.
What are some small home renovations?
- Painting, patching, taping, or drywalling
- Installing a single window or door
- Hanging or installing curtains, blinds, or other home décor
- Changing one or two components within a room – ie: only updating the vanity in a bathroom or toilet
- Closet design and renovations
- Front entrance or foyer makeover
- Nursery room renovations
- Built-in shelving or storage solutions
- Yard sheds or other outdoor storage
- Installing larger fixtures such as ceiling fans, chandeliers, etc.
- Updating or adding trim, moulding, etc.
- Renovations to a home’s nook
What’s the difference between handyman and contractor?
These terms may seem interchangeable, but they’re not. Handymen and contractors work in different ways.
Handymen may not be licensed to perform specialized trades, such as plumbing and electrical jobs. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but if you plan on selling your home in the future, paying someone else to redo the work to ensure everything is up to code may not seem ideal.
Contractors, however, are licensed in their specialized trades; if not, they can subcontract to other professionals who are. Watch our video on hiring contractors versus handymen.
Why avoid hiring a handyman for small home renovations?
We suggest to prevent future headaches, to avoid hiring a handyman service to complete your home renovation. While many of these types of contractors can be talented at their selected craft, they often aren’t great at running a proper business. Without the business side of things looked after, it leaves you and your home exposed to issues. Here are a few of the issues you may encounter, should you choose to use a handyman for your renovation.
- They may cut corners during a job
- Likely won’t charge GST, which reduces the ‘paper trail’
- Can decide to not work to code
- Legal issues or frequent business name changes
When hiring for small home renovations – do your research
The best way to find a contractor is to conduct interviews and lay out the specific idea you’re looking to achieve through your small home renovations. You want a contractor who is willing to work within your budget without overlooking specific requests.
Specifically, we recommend finding a renovator who’s part of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association. Other certifications which can be achieved by companies are the “Certified Master Renovator” and the “RenoMark” approved builders. Finally, you can turn to non-industry specific resources like the Better Business Bureau association or read Google or Facebook Reviews from past clients of the business. With this research, you should be well on the way to finding a reputable contractor to take on your home renovation.
When hiring for small home renovations – conduct background checks
A personable contractor can be great, but if they don’t have all the background paperwork in order, then you may want to pass. Don’t hire a contractor that isn’t fully insured. This is not the same thing as being licensed. You’ll want to find out the specific insurance coverage the renovator has – ie: general insurance, liability insurance, worker compensation, etc. Not having insurance means that if they cause damage to your home, or someone is injured on the job, you might be the one stuck with the bill.
We also feel strongly about checking on the renovation company itself. Ask how many years they’ve been in business. Find out if they offer a warranty on their completed home renovations.
Do they have a website, a physical location, a P.O. Box number? Is their business incorporated or a Limited company? Depending on how you feel about any of the responses you receive or answers you find out to the questions, may be treated as red flags, which you should steer clear.
When hiring for small home renovations – other red flags to avoid
You’re entering a serious contract when you select a contractor to renovate your home. Here are some other “red flags” to avoid.
- Handshake contracts
- Working for cash
- Not charging GST
- Lack of paperwork or paper trail
Make sure you receive a contract
Perhaps the easiest way to protect yourself is to receive the contract in writing. The home renovation company should also want to deliver the information in a contract, as it can help them protect their business. The contract acts as proof that the organization is legal, charging GST, and gives assurance the project is done for client ‘x’. All of this information shows the business is managed soundly and you’ll receive an invoice and receipt once the job and payment is complete.
When hiring for small home renovations – saving costs
Instead of having your selected contractor come back to your home every time a new job pops into your mind, consider batching the jobs together. Not only will the tasks be completed faster, but you may even save money in the process. It could also allow you to consider which small jobs may be big jobs in disguise. Having a clearer picture before beginning the work will let your contractor estimate with increased thoroughness and accuracy.
When hiring for small home renovations – scheduling conflicts
Stay on schedule and ask how long projects should take. However, keep in mind that these will be rough estimates and the circumstances of the work may change. Hounding your contractor to meet a deadline will create a negative work environment. It would be best if you asked about timelines but remain patient. Also, if the tasks you hired the contractor for can be broken into chunks – the contractor may not complete all the work in consecutive days. But, in any situation, your contractor should be able to inform you of their schedule in advance.
If you’re interested in improving your home or think you want a change, consider contacting us – 204.779.6900 or through our website’s contact us page. At All Canadian Renovations Ltd. we treat each project and job site with the same respect, fairness, and common-sense no matter the amount of the work. Whether you need small home renovations or a complete remodel, be sure you’re working with experienced and insured contractors like us.