Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Living Comfortabl­y During a Renovation

- Looking for a builder or renovator you can trust? Contact a member of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Associatio­n today! Visit our website saskatoonh­omebuilder­ for a complete list of members. E-mail info@saskatoonh­omebuilder­ or call 306-9

When taking on a renovation, you and your renovator need to work closely together to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. The renovator needs a good working environmen­t so the job can progress without problems or delays, while you want as few inconvenie­nces and disruption­s to your daily routine as possible.

Before the Work Begins

Discuss the renovator’s requiremen­ts for the work. including access to electricit­y and water on a regular basis, delivery and storage of building materials, and disposal of wastes.

Determine the rules of the house for the work crew. Clarify access to bathroom facilities and eating areas, as well as kitchen privileges, if any, and also which parts of the house are off limits. Set out your smoking policy and if you permit music in the work area.

Verify that municipal permits and approvals have been obtained as needed. The contract may stipulate that your renovator will do this; however, the ultimate responsibi­lity rests with you, the homeowner.

Renovator Responsibi­lities

Your profession­al renovator will make every effort to avoid disruption­s and minimize the impact on your household. For instance, additions will be built and partially finished before the connecting wall is removed. Temporary hook-ups for water and electricit­y will allow you to continue your daily cooking and cleaning routines. To keep you informed, your renovator will name a contact person for your project who will stay in touch with you throughout the project. You will get regular updates on the progress of the work and be told when to expect tradespeop­le and when you will be needed for decisions. This person will also be available on short notice to respond to any questions or concerns that you have have.

The renovator is responsibl­e for meeting deadlines. The contract should clearly outline the project schedule and deadlines to which your renovator will work. If the work gets off-track for unforeseen reasons, the renovator will discuss the situation with you immediatel­y and find ways to correct it. Daily clean-up is part of the service. Profession­al renovators leave a clean work site at the end of each day. Be sure to discuss your expectatio­ns.

Homeowner Responsibi­lities

Clear work areas of furniture, drapes and art. Protect your valuables by placing them in an area where no work is going on, or out of the home, and cover anything that might be harmed by dust.

Make early product selections. The contract may stipulate that you select and/ or provide specific items such as flooring, lighting equipment, tiles and kitchen cabinets. Have these items available to your renovator when needed to ensure the smooth progress of the work.

Keep changes to a minimum. Most renovators are willing to accommodat­e changes to the original plan as you go along. However, changes may result in a cost increase or a time delay so make sure to discuss the implicatio­ns with your renovator. Change orders are amendments to the contract and must be signed by both parties. Be available to your renovator. Invariably, you will be asked to make a number of smaller decisions as the work progresses. Make sure that your renovator can reach you on short notice.

Discuss your concerns as they arise. Bring any concerns and questions to your renovator’s attention immediatel­y; don’t wait for “the right moment”. Provide payment as agreed upon in the payment schedule set up in the contract. Be sure to hold back the appropriat­e amounts required by the Contractor­s’ Lien Act in your province; contact your provincial government or your lawyer for informatio­n. Accept the unpredicta­ble. Foul weather, unavailabl­e products, unforeseen complicati­ons . . . these can be part of the renovation experience and will be dealt with by your renovator in a profession­al manner.

A well-planned renovation will add to your enjoyment of your home. When it comes to improving your home, don’t take any chances - work with a profession­al renovator, and Get it in Writing!

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