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Finding a Contractor: Through the Eyes of the Homeowner

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Have you ever wondered: “What are other Homeowners experiencing when they look to start a renovation?” or “How did they find what they wanted in the renovation and the contractor?” This week we’re introducing a new section to the RENOMii blog in conjunction with the “Contractor Interviews” that aims to give you real life stories about renovations. We will be interviewing homeowners that are either looking to renovate, currently renovating or have renovated in the past.

To kick off the “Homeowner Interview” section of the RENOMii blog we reached out to Mrs. Sullivan, homeowner of a beautiful red brick 1935 craftsman home located in Kitchener, Ontario (photos below). We sat down with Mrs. Sullivan and asked her a few questions about her experience looking for a contractor. She has successfully selected a local contractor, signed a contract and her renovation is set to begin in November. She was more than happy to share her story with us. Make sure you stay tuned for updates throughout her renovation process, including before and after photos.

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Here is what she had to say:

What are you looking to renovate? 

Our kitchen and bathroom.

Do you have a clear idea of what you want? 

This evolved over time. We have lived in the house five years now and five years ago, the plan was different than it is today, however we were always certain we wanted more of an open concept.

How did you develop these ideas? 

A series of resources including my own experience and taste, magazines, television shows, and internet resources.

What was the first thing you thought about when you decided to hire a contractor?

It’s a scary process. This work will be a big investment for us, and we wanted to make sure that we fully trust the company to do great and complete work. We also wanted to make sure our ideas were translated accurately, so communication was a big priority for us.

Did you ask friends or family about their experience?

Yes. We spoke to several people about their experience with different contractors work ethic, communication and quality of work, and of course how they feel about the renovation now.

How did you contact the contractors?

By telephone initially, but now we are using email.

Did you have any fears or reservations?

The company came highly recommended from a reliable source. This certainly helped with the decision.

Did you have a positive experience when you were searching for one?

Yes and no. We spoke to four different contractors. There was a lot of obvious variability in the qualities that were important to us including timeliness, communication, and professionalism.

What would you say were your do’s and don’ts that a contractor did while you were choosing them?

Do: Hold your end of the bargain. Communicate, be on time, listen to your customer, be respectful of the home and complete quality work.

Don’t: Dismiss the above qualities. They reflect your work ethic.

What was it about the contractor that you selected? What stuck out? What put you over the fence to choose them?

  1. 1. This company was highly recommended. Past customers I spoke to were very happy with their work.

  2. 2. The contractor we selected was actually the third and final quote. Right away, he stood out because he arrived on time, then listened to our plan, and did a walk through. He did a thorough inspection of the structure to ensure the changes we wanted could be done (including going in to our very scary attic!) and also to manage our expectations. He was thorough, measured everything, and suggested some ideas which were align with our plan. He sent a timely and thorough quote, itemizing everything we discussed accurately. The quote included drawings and pictures of some of the fixtures, and the details of both his responsibilities and our responsibilities were very clear. He responded to my inquiries very quickly and followed through with what he promised.

  3. 3. It was also very obvious that this contractor valued his customers and their input by using the RENOMii system. I like the idea that if changes need to occur during the project,  the communication process will be very easy and seamless. My husband and I have very busy lives. This program will certainly make sure there are no disruptions or surprises during the renovation.

  4. 4. Provided a quote within our budget.

How do you feel about your renovation now that a contractor has been selected?

Excited! I can’t wait to enjoy our new spaces!


Contractor working on project: Catalyst General Contracting View Website
Cover Image: Twyfelfontein Binoculars by Santiago Medem Licensed under CC, original image