1. Hold Back 10%
Always hold back at least 10% from your contractor until you’re 100% happy and all deficiencies are taken care of, that way if something has gone wrong or hasn’t been fixed, it will need to be corrected prior to full payment.
2. Warranty Letters
Ask for warranty letters from your contractor and subcontractors for your home renovation, these letters outline how long their workmanship and materials are guaranteed for … if something fails within this period of time, they are required to fix it.
3. Verify your Contractor is Paying your Sub-contractors
Make sure to ask for a Statutory Declaration of Progress Payment Distribution letter. This letter serves as confirmation that your contractor is paying your subcontractors. This is REALLY important because you could pay your contractor in full and they could take off to Mexico and may not pay your subcontractors which would result in them putting a lien on your house and you could end up double paying!
4. Occupancy Letter
Make sure you get an occupancy permit before you move in, you MUST have this to stay there … the city needs to make sure that everything in your home renovation is up to code and that things are working properly BEFORE you move in.
5. Review Your Invoices
I never took the time I should have to do this during our home renovation because I was so busy but I would highly suggest reviewing your invoices every time and look out for any discrepancies, if you find some, make SURE to bring them up BEFORE you pay, it’s very difficult to question something after you pay.
6. Put Up Nest Cams
If you can, I would recommend putting up Cams in your home so you can keep an eye on the property when you’re not there. They also come in handy if there is a problem, you can go back to the footage and review anything you need.
7. Take Photos
Once a day or even as little as once a week, it’s a good idea to walk around the site and take photos of EVERYTHING before your house gets drywalled. Later down the road, if there is a problem, like a leak, you can go back to those photos and see where the issue may be coming from!
8. Ask Your Contractor Lots of Questions
Ever heard of the phrase. there’s no such thing as a stupid question?! Welp. It’s true. Make sure to walk through your home and the site with your contractor and ask as MANY questions as possible, more information is ALWAYS better than not enough!
9. Communicate via Email
Try to communicate via email as MUCH as you can, that way everything is tracked! If something seems wrong with your home renovation or different than you asked, you can always refer to your emails to verify!
10. Invest in Wine
Yup that’s right … you simply can’t pull off a full blown reno without it!