A Better Process For Renovating

September 9, 2022

A Better Process For Renovating

When looking for information about the process of home renovating, there’s an absolute ton of information out there. This is good and bad.  As a professional renovation contractor, this can be a bit frustrating as it can lead to client confusion. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bathroom renovation, a kitchen redux, or whole home renovation, the processes which you use to complete your reno can make all the difference.

My hope with this post is to make sure you understand what a professional process looks like when you’re looking for a renovation contractor. You may think this is biased, being that I’m a renovator myself, but who knows more about this stuff than someone who does it every day? It’s in my best interest to make sure clients choose and use a contractor with the best processes, and if a competitor happens to have a better process than us, I’ll be looking at theirs to see how we can improve ours. At the end of the day, we’re a service company that thrives by providing exemplary customer service to our customers. We’re always looking to practically improve that service any way possible, and we start with these core aspects:

Design First, Not on the Fly

Too many projects are started with too little information. As a design-build renovator, this isn’t a problem as we always start with design before anything else. Design doesn’t just include the drawings and the specifications, but it also includes any engineering required, the project schedule, the permit and the feasibility of sub-contractors to complete the work. It’s important to have every question answered before the project starts, so there’s as few surprises as possible. The alternative to incomplete design before the first hammer swings could cause issues like material delays, products not fitting as the should and a final result that was not what you were expecting.

Get It In Writing

A great project starts with a great set of plans, but it also starts with a thorough proposal. This isn’t just a written estimate, oh no, this is much more. A great proposal includes multiple pages of legal information that protect you as a homeowner. See this info packet on HAVAN’s website about how a proper contract is built.

Here’s some examples of contract ‘must haves’

-Proof of contractors insurance

-Information for your home insurance provider

-Warranty info

-Day to day activity information

-Information regarding pets and family members

-Change order processes

-A detailed schedule

-Dispute resolution info

-Milestone for draws (aka when do you make payments?)


Use A Portal

Projects are living, breathing, moving things and it helps to keep tabs on updates and changes. Most builders use an online portal for updating project information. The best portals are app based too, so you can see updates in real time from your phone, while away on vacation or a work trip. If your contractor is offering you a portal, it means they’re using a construction project management app. We use an app called BuilderTrend as it’s purpose built for single family home renovations.


Think Green & Local

The best renovation is a green one. The best way to accomplish this is with materials sourced locally whenever possible. Choosing locally manufactured, greener building products means less shipping and international labour. These green products can be extremely luxurious and cost efficient, plus coming from local manufacturers, you’ll likely get them sooner! Additionally, repurposing existing products and sorting waste really help to reduce your footprint during a reno. This past year we diverted 1500lbs of painted lumber from the landfill by simply dropping the lumber off at local repurposing centers, it’s a small win, but every bit counts. As time goes by, renovations will be getting greener, why not be an early adopter and take advantage of these benefits?


The Best Really Means: The Best For You

There have been so many changes in the world lately, and the speed at which these changes are coming seems to increase daily. When changes happen in our world, processes need to change too. Bad things like supply chain issues, labour shortages are happening, but good things like improved technology and greener building products are on the rise too.

When these changes happen, suddenly what worked last year or the last decade no longer has any relevance. Stay informed with your home renovation and go the extra mile with preparation. Always go with your gut and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you start down the renovation path.