Re­la­tion­ship be­tween con­trac­tor and home­owner is a part­ner­ship

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mike Holmes

SOME­TIMES when I speak to home­own­ers they’re con­fused about what they think a con­trac­tor is re­spon­si­ble for ver­sus what they need to cover. Home­own­ers some­times think a con­trac­tor will take care of ev­ery­thing dur­ing a ren­o­va­tion. The truth is the con­trac­tor-home­owner re­la­tion­ship works more like a part­ner­ship — you each have dif­fer­ent re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, strengths, in­sight and skills, and you need to work to­gether to get the job done right. Here’s an out­line of home­owner/con­trac­tor re­spon­si­bil­i­ties: your con­trac­tor’s. If a lo­cal build­ing in­spec­tor shows up at your door and doesn’t see the right per­mits, guess who’s in trou­ble? I’ll give you a hint: Not your con­trac­tor. It’s your prop­erty. If you want your con­trac­tor to take care of per­mits, then put it in the con­tract. If you take this route — and most home­own­ers do — make sure the con­tract clearly states that all per­mits will be sup­plied by your con­trac­tor, and that all work will be com­pleted to build­ing code by cer­ti­fied and li­censed con­trac­tors and sub-con­trac­tors. By get­ting the proper per­mits you in­sure mu­nic­i­pal in­spec­tors will ex­am­ine the work to check that it’s safe and meets code. There have been cases where unin­sured home­own­ers are re­spon­si­ble for per­sonal and prop­erty dam­age caused by their ren­o­va­tions, and they’ve gone bank­rupt as a re­sult. Ev­ery home­owner plan­ning a ren­o­va­tion should pick up the phone and call their in­sur­ance com­pany — you might need some ex­tra cov­er­age. De­scribe the ren­o­va­tions you’re plan­ning, and who’s go­ing to do it (you or a con­trac­tor). with ev­ery­thing, and the pay­ment sched­ule makes sense. The best ones are based on work com­pleted — when 20 per cent of the work is done, then 20 per cent of the bud­get gets paid, and so on. You hire con­trac­tors for their spe­cial skill set, not to make de­ci­sions for you. Your con­trac­tor might be the ex­pert when it comes to con­struc­tion, but you should be the ex­pert when it comes to your ren­o­va­tion. You need to know what’s go­ing on, why and how things are go­ing to move for­ward — when some­thing doesn’t make sense, speak up. A good con­trac­tor will ask you a lot of ques­tions along the way, too. They will be in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion, let­ting you know how the ren­o­va­tion is mov­ing for­ward, updating you about changes, and if they need you to make a de­ci­sion, they will tell you ex­actly how it might af­fect other ar­eas of the ren­o­va­tion. Only you know what’s best for you, your fam­ily, your home, your sched­ule and your long-term goals. A con­trac­tor can only help make it right. Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more in­for­ma­tion

visit makeitright.ca.

ALEX SCHULDTZ / THE HOLMES GROUP

Dur­ing a ren­o­va­tion both the home­owner and the con­trac­tor have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

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