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How a Renovation Contractor Can Actually Save You Money
While it may seem counter-productive, hiring a contractor for your renovation project can actually save you money not to mention time.
Think of a contractor like an event planner. Just like a wedding coordinator brings along a sewing repair kit just in case, a contractor will have the necessary tools and plan for things you may not have thought of like insurance, building codes or material suitability.
Typically contractors charge a mark-up fee on top of the project costs but despite this an experienced renovation contractor can still save you money in six key ways.
1) Overall Experience & Expertise
There are many moving parts to a renovation. The process of designing, scheduling and carrying out a renovation requires an experienced contractor to be the project manager.
While home improvement shows, YouTube and online articles can help you renovate on your own there are a lot of unknowns that can pop-up in your own renovation. As a home-owner, you simply don’t know what you don’t know which could have major implications on your budget and schedule. A contractor can help plan for the unknown and has a wealth of experience.
The average contractor has tens of thousands of dollars worth of specialized tools. Having the right equipment for the job is imperative to a good outcome. They are often able to do small parts of a renovation themselves which saves time and money rather than arranging a tradesperson who would have a minimum callout charge.
We hire professionals in all areas to make our lives simpler and better. A home contractor keeps up with the latest trends, building code and has experience with a variety of trades. It’s important to consider hiring a professional when renovating your home, which is likely your largest investment.
2) Existing Relationships and Greater Buying Power with Sub-Trades
It is hard to know who to hire to do your drywall, painting or carpentry if you don’t have past experience with the trade and don’t know what you’re looking for.
An experienced contractor will have a variety of professional trades to call on and will choose a qualified company that works best with your renovation schedule and budget.
Trying to find a tradesperson on your own can be frustrating as they know you are not likely to be a repeat customer any time soon and may find your job too small to quote on.
They are more likely to be responsive to a contractor as they have a better chance of getting repeat work from them and know that the job is being properly managed and scheduled.
On average clients will pay 30% more for the same task compared to a rate given to a contractor. This is because trades know that inexperience leads to delays, poor planning and requires a lot more coaching time. Contractors are given discounts because of the volume of work they have and the experience to everything ready and prepared for the tradespeople.
Even if you find a trade on your own be prepared for delays because if they get an urgent call from a contractor they’ll keep their regular customer happy over your one-time project.
3) Proper Scheduling and Process
Contractors know how to schedule trades for the most cost-effective and efficient renovations. They’ll know the right order for each trade and can accurately estimate how long each task will take.
For example, if you double-book your flooring company and baseboard installer on the same day, your baseboard installer won’t be able to work and will likely charge you for his or her wasted time.
A contractor will be inspecting the work of the tradespeople to make sure it is done correctly, on schedule and fully complete so your renovation is ready for the next step. It is difficult for the average home-owner to evaluate the work of each trade and make sure no corners have been cut.
A mistake by one trade can delay another trade or lead to a series of compounding errors which are expensive and time-consuming to fix.
4) Accurate Materials Budget and Discounts on Materials
Home renovation advice articles often tell you to price out everything but the sheer volume of materials makes this unrealistic and impractical.
The average homeowner has no idea how many sheets of drywall will be needed and small things like nails and screws can add up. Contractors have the experience to know every little detail of what goes into a job. From the major trades to the small items, everything adds up and this is where budgets can go off the rails quickly.
Your contractor often knows of specialty shops with wider selection and better prices than your local home hardware store. Contactors also have multiple accounts with various suppliers that give them discounts in order to keep them shopping there. These savings are passed onto the clients.
5) Save Time & Sanity
If you’re trying to renovate yourself while also trying to work, be prepared for a lengthy process. Living in a renovation zone for months can test even the most patient person.
Contracting is a full time job that is next to impossible to do while working a 9-5 job. Sub trades won’t answer calls after hours as this is their downtime but need fast answers during the day.
Another thing to consider is if you’re renovating your kitchen, you may have to resort to eating out often which can add up quickly. A contractor can shorten the process but can also come up with temporary solutions like a small kitchen in your garage.
6) Proper Insurance Coverage
When working with tools, there is always the potential for injuries. If you hire a friend to do some side-work on your renovation and they get injured, you could be liable for their medical expenses, lost wages or other damages.
Contractors are always hoping for the best but planning for the worst. It is their job to foresee issues before they arise. Contractors will ensure their sub-trades are covered by WorkSafe BC or private liability insurance so you’re not liable.
Contractors have a responsibility to the safety of their clients and sub trades. We take safety extremely seriously as we all just want to be able to go home at the end of the day.
Contractors also carry their own liability insurance to protect home-owners from lawsuits from trades and in cases of property damage.
At the end of the day, we truly believe you will have a better experience, and save money and time by hiring a contractor.
If you’re looking for a contractor for your renovation, please contact us for a free consultation.