Having home renovations done can be an exciting process. Taking a space that is no longer working for you and transforming it into something more modern and fresh, can be exceptionally rewarding. But if you’re not the do-it-yourself type, it’s important that you find a qualified and competent home renovation contractor in Toronto.

Since home renovation isn’t the kind of thing you do every day, it can be hard to know how to select the best contractor of the job. Sure, there are lots of directories and online listings available, but these don’t necessarily tell you whether a contractor is the right one for you. To know this, you’ve got to dig a little deeper.

Do your research.

As a consumer, you have certain rights and responsibilities that you should be aware of before you begin your renovation project.  The website Ontario.ca/ConsumerProtection can help you to understand what these are.

You can start your search for a contractor by talking to family and friends who have had renovations done. Remember to ask them about important details such as whether their contractor finished the job on schedule and on budget.

Ask for an estimate

It is a good idea to obtain estimates from three different contractors. These should be written estimates and not merely verbal. When getting your estimate, be as specific as possible about the work that you’d like to have done and the materials that you’d like used. The more specific you are, the more accurate the estimate that the contractor can give you.

Remember that a contractor is not legally allowed to charge you more than 10% above the written estimate.

Check references

Don’t necessarily go with the lowest estimate. Be sure to check references first to make sure that the contractor does quality work and does not leave his customers with unfinished work. If a contractor is not happy and quick to provide such references, you should take this as a red flag.

Another resource that you can check is the Consumer Beware List which is published by the Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

Get a written contract.

Once you’ve decided on a contractor, make sure that you get a written contract before any work begins. In addition to the estimate, your contract should include the full business name, address and telephone number, a detailed description of work that will be done, a description of any applicable warrantees, terms of payment, a work schedule and details about any subcontractors that will be used on the project.

Second thoughts?

Once you sign a contract, you may still be able to change your mind. According to the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, you can change your mind within ten days if the contract was signed in your home and cost is greater than $50.

If you are planning any home renovations, remember these tips in order to have the most positive experience possible. And if you are hiring a contractor in Toronto area, consider getting an estimate from The Reno Pros, a full service contractor that is committed to quality work and superior customer service.