The housing market is hot right now, which has persuaded many Canadian homeowners to cash in on their homes. However, 62% of homeownersOpens a new window in your browser are still reluctant to sell, knowing the high price tag of purchasing a different home this year.
If you aren't ready to sell, consider remodeling your space to fit your current wish list. Such efforts can also add value to your home, for when you are ready to sell.
While some home projects can be done yourself, such as updating your living room's paint or refinishing kitchen cabinets, there are four instances when you should consider hiring a pro.
Here's how to determine if your home remodel needs a professional and how to find one who will do the job right.
4 Times to Hire a Professional
1. You're on a time crunch
Some projects, such as fixing the roof, need to be completed quickly so you don't run into weather issues. Furthermore, renovating a bathroom or kitchen can put your daily life on hold. Delays can cost you more money and also be an annoying inconvenience for the whole family.
2. A DIY could cost more
Sometimes doing a home renovation yourself could save money. Other times, it might cost more because the project requires costlier materials or tools. Before tackling a DIY, calculate the cost to buy or rent, say, a saw or drill, as well as the cost of material. Contractors have access to wholesale prices on materials, whereas a homeowner doing the renovation himself might have to pay two to three times more for the same items.
3. The work is too dangerous
Projects that involve plumbing, electrical and gas repairs may require licensed contractors, depending on provincial regulationsOpens a new window in your browser. Painting the exterior of your home or fixing a roof puts you at risk of falling from a height. Tearing down walls can lead to the discovery of asbestos, which can lead to breathing problems and lung cancer, and should always be removed by a licensed professional.
4. The work is beyond your skills
It’s okay to admit when you lack the skills, or if you won't enjoy the project. For example, building a small deck is a common do-it-yourself adventure, but if you feel overwhelmed by using a saw and achieving the perfect measurements, give yourself peace of mind and hire it out.
Finding the Best Contractor
Don't shop for contractors based on price alone. A licensed professional will most likely quote you more for a project than someone less qualified for the job, but you’ll also likely save money, time, and headache in the long run.
Do your research
Ask friends and family for recommendations. Check reviews online. Don't stop there, though. See if the contractor belongs to the Canadian Home Builder's AssociationOpens a new window in your browser (CHBA) and if any complaints or issues have been filed against them through the Better Business BureauOpens a new window in your browser. If they are RenomarkTM membersOpens a new window in your browser, an association endorsed by CHBA, they must carry all proper licenses and insurance coverage, abide by CHBA's code of ethics, and offer a minimum of two years' warranty on major projects.
Only hire insured workers
You don't want to be responsible paying for your handyman's medical bills if an accident occurs during your remodel. Ask to see proof that the contractor has workers' compensation insurance and liability insurance.
Ask about licenses
According to a TrustedPros surveyOpens a new window in your browser, over 70% of contractors said clients didn’t ask to see their skilled trade license or their municipal business license before hiring them. Licenses vary by provinceOpens a new window in your browser and type of work, but you should ask to see their trade license or business license before signing a contract, since it means that the contractor has gone through the extra steps to ensure their business is registered and legitimate.
Get several quotes
Solicit quotes from several renovators before deciding on which pro to hire. An estimate is helpful for getting a feel for how much your project will cost, but ultimately, you want written price quotes, since these are legally bindingOpens a new window in your browser if you chose to hire the individual.
If your home renovating plans are out of your DIY-scope, taking the time to research and hire the right contractor is the next best thing for your budget.
Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of CIBC or their partners.