Planning a reno? Get inspired, then get it in writing!

The road to your dream home begins at the Red Deer Home Reno and Design Show

Is a home renovation on your wishlist? Embark on the road to your dream home with a visit to the Canadian Home Builders Association – Central Alberta’s Home Reno and Design Show this weekend.

Find more than 80 exhibitors – renovators, tradespeople, designers and more – and create a vision for your plans with speaker sessions hosted with the Designers’ Alliance – Central Alberta.

With goals in mind, the next step is deciding on a budget and choosing a contractor. Here’s what you need to know about Getting it in Writing:

1. Plan. Planning makes a real difference in the success of your project and staying within budget. Develop a clear description of what you want to achieve, including specific renovation goals and priorities: your “must-haves” and what would be nice to have if your budget allows.

2. Finding a contractor. The right contractor, with the right skills and experience for your project, is crucial. A good place to start is CHBACA’s membership – home to numerous building and renovation professionals committed to acting with integrity and professionalism. Recommendations from friends and family are also useful, but be sure to ask about the project’s scope, any issues, and if they would hire them again.

3. The interview. Interview several prospective contractors to learn more about their qualifications and how well you’ll work together. Ensure you also ask for – and check – references! Once you narrow your choices, ask for price quotes which, if accepted, become part of the contract.

4. Insurance and workers’ compensation. To ensure you’re adequately protected if injuries or damage occur, only work with contractors with adequate business insurance covering public liability and property damage. Ask for a Certificate of Insurance as part of your contract and a Letter of Clearance from Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation program.

5. Get it in writing. Professional contractors and smart homeowners always work with a written contract that includes a detailed project plan and specifies exactly what you and your contractor have agreed to. A legal document protecting both parties, contracts vary according to the scope of the project but will provide full information on what is to be done, how and when it will be done, the cost and payments required, and warranty provided.

6. Communicate! From start to finish, communication is essential for a successful project. Before work starts, sit down with your contractor and review exactly how it will unfold and what the contractor’s and homeowner’s expectations and responsibilities are. Ensure you can contact each other if questions or concerns arise.

Learn more at the Red Deer Home Renovation & Design Show Oct. 20 to 22 at Westerner Park. Visit Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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