Q: How do we decide on a contractor for our project?
A: You should always get at least two or three quotes or estimates from differant contractors for comparison. Always make sure that everyone is pricing the exact same thing, so you can compare one to the other.
Check out their referances on completed jobs, and make sure they carry up to date insurances before work begins. Its usually too late after the work has started and you find out then that they do no not have it.
Q: Do you and your employees carry proper insurances?
A: All of our employees and myself are covered by WCB and our company carries a liability insurance to protect you, the home-owner, while work is being carried out. All of these policies are available to you at anytime.
Q: Can we do our own work to save some money or do we have to hire a contractor?
A: You certainly can do the work yourself if you feel confident enough to take on the project, as long as you have proper permits in place and are aware of local building codes and by-laws. There are certain projects that you should seriously concider not doing yourself, especially if you are not 100% sure that you can complete it properly and safely. Building codes and practices are changing all the time , so it may be a good idea to at least seek advice from a proffessional on any project before you begin on your own. We would be more than happy to help you out the best we can with this at no charge. Advice is free.
Q: Do I need to hire a contractor that is certified in the trade we hire him for?
A: I don,t think you would want to hire an electrician to wire your house that was not certified in his trade, so I wouldn,t suggest hiring any contractor that wasn,t certified. Unfortunately there are just as many non-certified contractors in business today as there are certified. The ones who are not, probably are not aware of all the building codes and practices required to complete most jobs properly. Do not be scared to ask a contractor for his license and certification, after all it is your money, and you want your job to be completed right the first time. If they are licensed, they will be more than happy to show you.
I am a certified Journeyman Red Seal Carpenter and believe in only employing people who take the time to learn the trade, working towards becoming certified, as all of our employees are.
Q: What are the payment methods and how do we set them up?
A: We will outline a payment method with you in the contract thats made up stating at which stages of the project money is due and how much.
During a new house project there are typically 4 to 5 progress payments involved during the course of the project which will be outlined in detail for you. We suggest you contact and make arrangements with your lender concerning these payments, so as not to delay progress once it begins.
Q: We are not familiar with the area where we are looking to move to and build or buy. Who would be able to help us with this?
A: Your local Real Estate Agent would be a start, and if they couldn,t help, give us a call and we can put you in touch with proffessionals in our area that would be sure to help you with finding the perfect home or property for you.
Q: We are thinking about building a new home to upgrade from the one we have, or it is just not big enough for our growing family. We have some ideas of a layout but just unsure of the cost.
A: The first thing you should do is, make a list of the things in your new home you would like:
- number of rooms and sizes
- one level or two
- the use of each room and function
- the heating you prefer
- flooring type
Once you have all of this information, compare it to the layout you have and see if this layout works for you or maybe doesn,t work at all.
Q: We have a layout that works for us and some ideas we like, who do we get to do our building plans for us?
A: Some customers prefer to have their plans drawn up by someone they know or were told about previously which is fine. Keep in mind that plans are relitively expensive and are not always budgeted for in the planning process. Changes to plans can cost quite a bit as well before they are finished.
We can do an in-home consultation with you to review your ideas and needs with you and have a rough draft of your plans done for you at no cost. We also have lots of in-house plans for you to look through. Once you decide these are the plans for you, then we can price the complete project for you, so you have an idea of the cost involved. We can also determine with you, if the design and style you choose suites your building lot and location. We then draw you an actual set of working drawings for your project.
Q: What is the cost of these plans?
A: This would depend on the type of plans you have, but typically between $500.00 and $1000.00. Keep in mind that if you decided to use us for your project, there is absolutely no cost for your plans, and any changes you make to them in the planning process is on us and no cost to you.
Q: We are a long distance away and are not going to be able to travel a lot during the planning process to meet in person. Is this going to be a problem?
A: Absolutely not. We do a lot of communication Via internet as well as sending plans to and from during planning via internet. All you need is access to the internet. If you do not have that, priority mail works as well. We are certain we can accommodate just about any situation.
Q: What are the costs involved with changes made during construction and can changes be made after a contract is signed?
A: Changes usually can be made at any point of construction and is quite common. Depending on the change being made, there may or may not be a cost involved. Always consult with the contractor and advise them of any changes you may be considering as soon as you can. At this time we will determine the costs if any and have papers signed by you stating the cost and your approval. This extra cost, if any will be billed to you as an "EXTRA" on your bill. Always try and keep the lines of comminication open between you and your contractor, this helps things go a lot smoother and creates a much better working relationship.
Q: Should we go with the cheapest quote we recieved? After all it's more money in our pocket.
A: Do not simply hire a contractor with the lowest estimate. Examine and breakdown each estimate.
If the contractor's price is considerably lower than other estimates his standard of workmanship may not be up to par with more qualified contractors. Or the contractor may have made a mistake on the price. Weigh all factors-price quote, references, and professionalism before making a decision.
Here is a list of hiring tips we strongly reccommend:
- Look for a proffessional designation.
- Ask for Referances
- Do not hire based on lowest price alone.
- What are the contractor's quality standards?
- Verify and make sure they have proper insurance.
- Are they licensed and certified in the field you are hiring them for?
- Try and use a contractor who is a member of an applicable trade association.
- Be sure the contractor you hire has met these requirements to your satisfaction.
Conclusion: Please feel free to call or send us any questions you may have, it will be our pleasure to hear from you and be of assistance any way we can.