Spring time is around the corner (hopefully), and with the warmer temperatures home owners often start to consider doing home renovations. Here are 5 really good things to remember when thinking of hiring someone to renovate your home.

1. Check References

Make sure to ask any contractor how long they have been in business and for a list of previous customers that you can call to make sure that all work was completed on time and on budget. You may even wish to go see the work that was done, this way you can judge for yourself the quality of the workmanship. Also make sure that the contractor is licensed and insured in the event that someone is injured on site or there is damage to your property or even your neighbours.

2. Will They Be Obtaining a Building Permit?

Most renovations will require at least one permit (electrical or building) so be more cautious when someone tells you that they do not need any permits. Permits in real estate become important when selling as the buyer will want to know if a permit was pulled which gives more assurance that the work was completed correctly as the City will have performed an inspection of the work.

3. Cash Deals

Contractors or homeowners may offer to do the renovation for cash in order to obtain a discount. Besides this being illegal, you will have no proof of payment, so if the work is not done correctly or some other problem arises you will not have any written contract that you can point to for assistance.

4. Tie Payments To Work Milestones

DO NOT pay more than 10% as a down payment. Create a milestone schedule so when certain milestones are completed in the renovation, you will pay out a portion of the balance due. It’s also wise to make sure that all sub-trades that are working on site have been paid at every milestone.

5. Make Sure Everything Is Clear And In Writing

It goes without saying that you must have a written contract detailing very clearly the work that is being done and everything that is to be included and the milestone stages of payment. If appliances are to be included or if you want a certain type of handle, make sure the contract states your specific requests.

If you are prepared when it comes time to hire someone to renovate your home it should make the process less stressful for you and your family.

The basis of this article was taken from an article written by Mark Weisleder, a real estate lawyer now practicing law with
Real Estate Lawyers.ca LLP.

For more information you can contact him:
Email:  Mark@RealEstateLawyers.ca
Website:  www.RealEstateLawyers.ca