Good, bad and ugly of do­ing ren­o­va­tions

Free sem­i­nar to of­fer ad­vice on hir­ing con­trac­tors

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - KATHY MCCORMICK

Clint East­wood would ap­prove. David Litwiller of Litwiller De­vel­op­ments is set to show peo­ple how to hire a ren­o­va­tor with his sec­ond sem­i­nar that ex­plains “the good, the bad and the ugly” of hir­ing a ren­o­va­tion con­trac­tor.

The free sem­i­nar takes place Thurs­day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Wil­low Ridge Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion, 680 Aca­dia Drive S.E.

“We’ll leave lots of time for ques­tions af­ter­wards and we have a lineup of ex­perts in the var­i­ous fields re­lated to the ren­o­va­tion sec­tor to help peo­ple make an in­formed, wise de­ci­sion,” says Litwiller, who has been in­volved in res­i­den­tial ren­o­va­tions for more than three decades. The lineup in­cludes some­one from the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau of Al­berta, an ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign tech­nol­o­gist, a real­tor, and a City of Cal­gary rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the de­vel­op­ment and build­ing ap­provals depart­ment, as well as Litwiller, him­self.

The top­ics, ac­cord­ing to speaker, are:

City of Cal­gary — do you need a per­mit?

“We’ll be ask­ing the City of Cal­gary to fo­cus on per­mits: what’s needed for a per­mit and who needs a per­mit,” says Litwiller.

“We’ll ask them to talk specif­i­cally about build­ing, elec­tri­cal, gas and fire­place per­mits, and why they are needed. Fire reg­u­la­tions, for in­stance, are there so peo­ple can es­cape a burn­ing build­ing, but they also need to al­low the fire­men emer­gency ac­cess to the build­ing.”

Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau — How to tell if your con­trac­tor is le­git­i­mate.

“This will go through ev­ery­thing about why a call is nec­es­sary to how to use the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau to best ad­van­tage.”

Ar­chi­tec­tural tech­nol­o­gist — Ren­ova- tion de­sign and when to in­vest in plans.

“He will ex­plain what a good set of plans will show and why they are needed for city per­mits,” says Litwiller. “He’ll also tell you why a good set of plans can save time and money.”

Real­tor — Should you ren­o­vate or move?

“How much is the prop­erty worth as is, and will it be worth more af­ter the ren­o­va­tion?,” says Litwiller. “Per­haps a bet­ter prop­erty can be found in a neigh­bour­ing area for the same ac­cu­mu­lated amount of money without go­ing through the po­ten­tial ren­o­va­tion night­mare.”

Ren­o­va­tor — Get it in writ­ing. Top­ics Litwiller will tackle in­clude the im­por­tance of a con­tract and what it should in­clude; bond­ing; in­sur­ance; work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion; and lien fund hold­backs.

“I am not a lawyer and the con­sumer should al­ways feel comfortabl­e in seek­ing the ad­vice of a lawyer,” he says.

Seat­ing for the sem­i­nar is lim­ited. RSVP by e-mail to [email protected]­gar­yren­o­va­tions. com, or call Litwiller De­vel­op­ments Ltd. at 403-275-2588.

Pho­tos, Cal­gary Her­ald Archive

When hir­ing a con­trac­tor for a ren­o­va­tion, get your agree­ment in writ­ing and be sure to ask about bond­ing, in­sur­ance, work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion and lien-fund hold­backs.

David Litwiller of Litwiller De­vel­op­ments, right, is to speak at the sem­i­nar.

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