Knowledge is Power-that’s why we share ours with you
Knowledge is power – and that puts a lot of people in a vulnerable position when it comes to design, renovation, and development projects. Without a strong knowledge of the construction industry and practice, it can be difficult to sift through all contracts, proposals & estimates to make the right selections that will meet the right expectations.
With this in mind, Status Construction looks to the set standard for a truly open door business model; meaning we keep our clients and homeowners informed and involved throughout the entire projects. The construction industry should not be a secret or a scary place for homeowners or commercial clients to navigate through for support on their projects. Let us share a few of our company’s tips and advice to help you through your next home project.
5 Points to Finding Trust in Contractors
1. Learn to read a contract – properly.
Get familiar with contracts and how to maneuver them when hiring a company to do work for you. First and foremost, if a company does not present a contract for you to review, that’s not a great sign. You need to have a contractual agreement that states all the details about the project; an estimate, product breakdown, schedule of when the work will be done, and importantly the payment arrangement. When reviewing the estimate, make sure it includes the entire SCOPE of the project. What is SCOPE? It is the items of work required to complete you desired project.
Example: Project - Renovate Powder Room
· Demolition and Disposal of existing room (including removing garbage or holding on to fixtures like sinks to reuse)
· Installing Dry Construction (Reframe walls, new drywall, new plywood for floors)
· Tape and Plaster (finishing drywall to get ready for paint of tile)
· Tiling (make sure mortar is included and grout is selected)
· Fixture Installation
Always make sure your agreement outlines who (i.e. homeowner or contractor) will supply the materials for the project. Once you have the scope clearly identified, ensure your contract clearly commits to when the project will be completed. Next point of focus: the Payment Schedule.
2. Pay attention to payment schedules.
Once you’ve agreed to the pricing estimate and confirmed that your contract has sufficient details, it’s important to review the payment arrangement. A proper payment schedule should look similar to this example:
· Down payment/ Mobilization Payment-10% (secures the company to come and do the work)
· Material Deposit-equivalent to material cost (proof of purchase required)
· First stage of completion-50% (Define what is “first stage completion” ex. Completion of dry construction, completion of tile)
· Completion of all scope of work-30% or remaining amount less 10% holdback
· Holdback-10% (holdback is to be paid up to maximum of 30 days later, helps to guarantee workmanship in case the contractors have to come back for work, or to get a city inspector to approve work for permits.)
3. Legal, how to use It and when to enforce it.
Don’t be afraid to discuss your contract with a legal aid that specializes in construction law. When? When, you’re dealing with large projects, usually larger then $5,000. Also when you come to disputes between contractors, this is when having a solid contract comes in to play. We recommend talking to a lawyer that offers a free consultation and will let you know if you have a pursuable case or not.
Don’t be afraid to go online to forums or websites to get more informed before having to deal with a lawyer. We always recommend https://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights-when-starting-home-renovations-or-repairs
4. Finding trust on the Internet!
The Internet can be a great resource to start your project as it allows you to get ideas and information on what you want to do. It also is a great area to find the right contractor or trust worthy construction firm. While there are plenty of review sites and contractor list profiles sites, you need to be cautious of which sites you use. Some sites are not as strict about review monitoring and controlling profile ratings, which means the information could be complete fiction.
We always recommend www.trustedpros.ca - why? They track all reviews sent in and require proof of service for unidentified users. They are strict on reviews and activity of companies, make them a reliable resource for finding trust-worthy, experienced contractors and construction firms.
5. Referrals and References
Last but not least, go with people you know. Talk to friends, families and coworkers to find out who they’ve used on past projects. With this information, you’ll feel more confident in talking to recommended and referred contractors. Similarly, make sure to pass on a contractor you’ve used and trust to those around! Like we said, knowledge is power, and nothing is more valuable than knowledge based on first-hand experience.