Before undertaking any renovation project, you should get a realistic estimate of how much your project will cost so that you don’t run into any surprises part way through.
While there is no set number for how many quotes you should get, speaking with and obtaining quotes from two or three professional renovators should set your project up for success, and the quotes will provide a good understanding of price points.
Your renovator is your partner in the project, and he/she is someone that you will be spending a lot of time with, so it is important to make sure that there is a good fit between you. While obtaining your quotes, take the time to get to know the renovator and determine if you would be comfortable working with them.
After you have spoken to potential renovators and have obtained your quotes, you will need to assess them. So how exactly do you compare between quotes?
Each quote should include an explanation of the scope of the work and key milestones for your project. The scope should be a detailed account of all work that will be required to complete your renovation. The scope of work varies greatly depending on the type and scale of the renovation you are undertaking, and typically includes such components as structural, plumbing, electrical, cabinets and painting.
The quote should also include details about all materials that will be used in the project. The types of materials, such as flooring, trim and finishes can have a major impact on the quote, so it is important to understand exactly what is included.
Ideally the quotes should allow for some unexpected costs because when renovating you should expect the unexpected. For instance, existing wiring or plumbing might not be where it should be or it might not be at the standard it needs to be at. Therefore, a 10 to 15 per cent contingency amount is normal.
When reviewing your quote, know the pricing method that your renovator is providing for your project. The two most common pricing methods for renovators are the fixed price method and the cost plus method. In a fixed price method, the renovator charges a flat fee for the project. In a cost plus method, the cost of the project is a variable and is dependent on the amount of labour and the types of materials used. Both pricing methods have their advantages and disadvantages and should be carefully examined.
As always when renovating, make sure you are working with a professional RenoMark renovator. The nationally recognized RenoMark program was created by BILD in 2001 to help GTA homeowners differentiate between professional renovators and underground renovators. The program is now in nine provinces and more than 40 municipalities.
RenoMark renovators follow a Code of Conduct, provide written contracts, offer a minimum $2 million in liability insurance, provide two years’ warranty on all work, and ensure they have all applicable licenses and certificates. Find one at www.renomark.ca.
If you’re thinking about renovating and have questions about quotes or other parts of the process, attend our “Five Steps to a Successful Renovation” seminar on Oct. 24 or Nov. 7. Two experienced professional RenoMark™ renovators will walk you through the essential steps to a renovation, offer helpful tips and answer your questions. The educational sessions are free and they take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at BILD’s offices at 20 Upjohn Road in Toronto. For more information or to register, email us at email@example.com.