Renovations: A Guide to Renovating in Victoria BC


Renovations in Victoria BC

So you want to renovate your home in Victoria BC, and now you need to find a contractor. If you have done a renovation before, then you understand the difficulty you are about to face. If this is your first renovation, then you are about to find out just what is involved in picking the right contractor to complete your renovation.

We have spoken with countless home owners and contractors in Victoria, and we have developed a marketplace that gets contractors to compete for your renovation job. We understand that some home owners will want to find their contractor the old fashioned way, so we created page to give you a little guidance if you wanted to go it alone.


Plan Your Renovation

Planning your renovation sounds like a really easy step. Many home owners walk through the space they wish to renovate, and imagine the color on the walls and what type of flooring you want to install. This is important design work, but there is much more to planning your renovation.

A renovation may require permits, materials, tools, and various skilled workers to execute. Your renovation will take time, and if you don’t plan how that time will be used, it will take much longer than you expect. Renovating in Victoria can be balancing act, as you are trying to keep the renovation on budget and on schedule, live in your house while it is under construction, and keep your normal life running smoothly. There is a reason why many contractors nickname drywall dust “divorce dust”.

The first step of your plan is the design of your renovation. Determine what you want it to look like, and what changes you need to make it happen. Remember that there are no small structural changes. Moving a wall twelve inches might be no different than moving it twelve feet. If you are planning to make structural changes to your home, then you may need to include a designer or an architect during the initial design phase.

Once you have your building plans in place, you will need to determine what work needs to occur to complete your renovation. Make a list of the tasks that need to be done, such as demolition, plumbing, electrical, drywall, paint, flooring, etc. You will likely find that once at least four specialists are going to be involved, you might want professional management to help you plan. It is a good idea to get a hold of each of the specialists you need, and ensure that they are available for work during your renovation, and that they can give you a reasonable quote for the time they will require.

Once you have your labour schedule complete, you will need to apply for permits with your local municipality. This can take some time, and you may have to re-submit the plans with revisions several times before they are approved.

After your permits are approved, you can begin acquiring your materials. It is a good idea to arrange for materials to be delivered to the renovation site before the trades arrive to install them. This will save you time as you will not be paying a construction specialist to run out for supplies. They can make good use of their time and save you money.

If you have planned properly, then you will never be asking your contractors what is next or when they will be done. A well planned renovation will be much less stressful for the home owner, and easier to complete for the contractors.


Find the Right Contractor

Finding the right contractor to complete your renovation can be a daunting task. Many home owners find it so frustrating that they look for short cuts, instead of completing the recommended due diligence. Easy Job offers home owners an easy way to get contractors competing for their renovations in Victoria. We prepare your renovation for tender, and then invite contractor in Victoria to compete for the job by submitting bids. Once bidding has closed, you get to review each one before making your selection.

We understand that some home owners are prepared to do the leg work themselves and save a little money. Don’t forget the basics. Get multiple contractors to submit competing bids for your renovation. Check their references, call other home owners who have used these contractors in the past, and ask how their renovations went. Check their qualifications, and look for outstanding problems that need to be addressed, such as unhappy prior customers or BBB complaints.

Once you have selected a contractor to complete your renovation, don’t forget to include your plan into your contract. Ensure that the written contract that you agree to sets out a payment schedule, a completion schedule, and any other important terms and conditions that should be addressed.


Manage Your Renovation

Once work begins, you will find that you are needed by your contractors. A renovation is a big project with many small decisions, and you will find that you need to make most of these small decisions yourself. There are two ways that you can deal with your contractors, you can be responsive, or you can be pro-active.

Being responsive means that you will need to be attached to your cell phone, and be prepared to come home quickly to observe a situation in order to make an assessment and a wise decision. Many surprises will pop up during the day, and if you are unable to make a quick decision, you may end up paying for your labour to stand around waiting for your decisions. This can be very expensive if not managed properly. If you have the flexibility to respond when your contractors call you, then this is a good way to go.

Pro-active management of your renovation will involve going over your renovation plan with your contractors before work is started. It is a good idea to go over the plan in detail at each phase of completion, to ensure the renovation is proceeding according to plan, and to observe any potential problems before they pop up. This is your chance to make decisions before work starts, so that the project will not be delayed and costs can be contained.

Proper management of your renovation will help to ensure that the contractor you hire will follow the plan you laid out for them. The finished product should be what you had hoped for, and you should end up paying what you expected if it is done right.