How to choose the BEST Victoria renovation contractor

Choosing a Victoria renovation contractor can seem like a daunting task because there are so many to choose from. The real challenge is finding a good one!

Here are some basic things to look for in trying to narrow your choice:

  • Good communication skills are essential, as is reliability
  • A business license and WCB insurance coverage
  • Proven organization and management skills
  • Carpentry certification (ask to see the person's Red Seal ticket)
  • Testimonials and perhaps photos of previous jobs

When we get a call or email from a prospective client, as the owner of the business and a Victoria general contractor myself, my first job is to gather as much information about the project as possible so I have a clear understanding of what my client's wishes are and what the final result should be. There's nothing worse than someone saying, "Oh no, that's not what I meant!" That just shouldn't happen. Regardless of the job's size or difficulty, communication between homeowner and contractor is key.

Communication

So the first thing I do when I meet a new client is bring along my notebook and tape measure, the second thing is I hand them my business card with all my contact information on it. I kick off my shoes before entering the home because it shows respect and it's what I expect of others when they come to my house on business.

Because I'm still a stranger at this point and not yet their Victoria renovation contractor, my immediate goal is to create a quick rapport with the homeowner and help them feel at ease with me so they'll be comfortable showing me their home. In my many years as a carpenter with Toolbox Renovations, the vast majority of my clients have been women who are unable to complete these projects themselves and therefore they've turned to a professional like myself for advice.

I'll take notes and create simple drawings while actively listening and when it's appropriate I'll interject or ask questions seeking clarification. Even though we may meet for only a few minutes I need to come away with enough information about their Victoria home renovation project to compose an accurate quote. This quote has to contain up to date material pricing, realistic labour pricing and hopefully a small profit to ensure that we can grow our business.

Credentials

To set this person's mind at ease, I mention that our WCB coverage ensures the client can't be sued for accidents while on their premises. I'm surprised more people don't ask for proof of insurance and I always carry the policy in the van with me.

If and when the client chooses us to be their Victoria renovation contractor, we go into overdrive ensuring we have everything lined up and we're ready to roll. That means laying down protective floor coverings like drop sheets or rolled paperboard. I recently used a new product made of tacky plastic film which worked really well on the hardwood floors and stairs.

Only then do we carry our tools and equipment into the home and quite often we'll take our shoes off if we can safely work without them. It can be really painful to drop things on bare toes and then we risk not being covered by our WCB.

At the end of each workday we clean up, ensuring there are no hazards lying about so the client is safe and won't be inconvenienced. Sawdust and drywall dust have a way of traveling far and wide so we will hang plastic sheeting in doorways to limit that. We use an industrial strength shop vac and if necessary will mop the floors on our way out the door.

Reliability

When we return the next day, the homeowner is expecting us at a certain time because they've got busy lives too so we attempt to arrive when expected. While we're there, we use respectful language and keep our music down low. Some of the electric tools we have can be really noisy so we'll close doors when possible and let the client know when we'll be making a lot of noise so they can make arrangements for their children's nap times.

As we near completion, it's inevitable that last minute changes will occur so it's important for us to be flexible and accommodating. After all, it's the client who will live with the finished project and as long as they're reasonable to deal with, we'll go out of our way to help them.

So from start to finish, renovations can be challenging, rewarding and ultimately a satisfying experience for all concerned, IF you employ a competent contractor.

Trust

Because we intend to be in business for a long time, our clients know they can reach us in the future should there be any issues with materials or workmanship...we're proud Victoria renovation contractors and stand behind our work!

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