A renovation contractor, or professional renovator, usually gets involved in a wide range of projects - large and small, interior and exterior. Renovation contractors work with you to turn your ideas into reality, and they coordinate all aspects of your project-permits, materials, workers, subtrades, supervision and inspections. In other words, a professional renovator puts it all together for you.
A specialty renovation contractor is a professional renovator who specializes in a particular aspect of home renovation, such as kitchens and bathrooms, sunrooms or window replacement. Some contractors focus on renovations for special audiences, such as homeowners with environmental sensitivities.
A design/build renovator. Large renovation projects often require design work and drawings upfront before costs can be worked out and construction can begin. The design/build renovator provides both professional design and construction services and so is able to see your job through from start to finish.
A trade contractor. Trade contractors, such as plumbers, electricians, roofers or HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) installers offer highly specialized services. Trade contractors work closely with professional renovators, who include them as part of their team as required for each project. Homeowners can also hire them directly when, for instance, you only want to replace your roofing or install a new furnace.
Kitchen and bathroom retailers. Due to the tremendous popularity of kitchen and bathroom renovations, many manufacturers have set up storefront outlets or showrooms where homeowners can enjoy a first-hand look at product offerings such as cabinets, counters and fixtures. Renovation contractors often work closely with these retailers to provide integrated customer service.
Designers and architects. If your renovator does not provide design services, you can hire a designer or architect to assist you with plans and to prepare working drawings and specifications. Choose someone who is familiar with the special demands of renovations. Ideally, plans should be developed with input from the renovator who will be doing the work.
A home energy advisor. A home energy assessment by a licensed independent home energy advisor can help you save money and improve your home's comfort by including energy upgrades in your renovation project. Energy advisors, licensed by the Government of Canada, carry out a thorough inspection of all energy-related aspects of your home, and use computer modeling to identify the most cost-effective improvements. You get a written report listing possible improvements and potential energy savings. You and your renovator can use this report when developing your home renovation plans.
Home inspectors. A third-party inspection of your home before you begin planning your renovation may provide you with important information about its condition and possible needs for repairs and replacement. Before you hire an inspector, be sure to ask about qualifications, references and insurance.