We understand that the decision to build or renovate is not taken lightly - especially considering our current economic times!
McMeister Contracting wants to help you ask the right questions, do the correct research and make thoughtful decisions that will help you get quality work done that is completed within your budget.
Here are a few of our suggestions:
- ALWAYS get a DETAILED WRITTEN ESTIMATE! A professional contractor will be able to look at the job you want completed and give you an accurate written assessment of labour and material costs.
- Talk to different contractors and get more than one WRITTEN estimate to consider.
- Inquire in your community/local area about a contractor’s work quality & reliability – don’t just rely on references from the contractor. Good work ALWAYS speaks for itself!
- Do your own research and ask A LOT of questions! If your contractor refuses to answer the questions, avoids subjects or does not seem knowledgeable about the work you want done - walk away!
- Beware of “smooth talkers” who will try to convince you to accept something other than what you originally planned for. Ex. settling for a tin roof when you wanted shingles.
- Most professional contractors will require NO MORE THAN 10% down to start a job. This is because well established contractors will have a line of credit with local stores for purchasing needed construction supplies. (McMeister Contracting does not require money down.)
- If unforeseen circumstances arise, a professional contractor will discuss the changes with you. You should request a CHANGE IN WORK ORDER form be completed and signed by you and the contractor so there are no cost surprises at the end.
- New construction and construction that changes the structure of your existing dwelling REQUIRE permits. Confirm this with your local town office or municipality office BEFORE you start.
- Some contractors hire sub-contractors. It is your right to know who the sub-contractors are and their credentials.
- If your contractor requests/demands that a job be paid out before it is completed, DO NOT comply. You can arrange with your contractor to pay them part-way through in one or more installments, especially on large jobs Ex. If the job is half done, you can pay half the estimated cost. However, do not give full or final payment until the job is COMPLETED to your satisfaction. (McMeister Contracting only requests payment after the job is completed to your satisfaction.)
- When you get your final invoice, a reputable contractor should only charge you the estimated amount. Up to a MAXIMUM of 10% may be added to the bill for extra costs and not more unless there was a change in work order signed. If the job took less labour and materials than expected, a professional contractor should then reflect that as a savings on your invoice.
- Alberta Government – Home Renovation consumer tips in printable PDF format: http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/pdf/tipsheets/Home_Renovations.pdf
- Trusted Pros Hiring Guide - online: https://trustedpros.ca/hiring-guide
- Sample change of work order form that can be modified and printed: www.atyourbusiness.com/contract/change.php