Booking the trades
Unless you have experience with renovating, you likely don’t know which trade to book before the other. The basics, such as hiring a demolition team before booking painters, are obvious. However, knowing whether to book the finisher before the painter may not be as clear. Even knowing whether to start with a designer versus a general contractor can be a difficult decision. As in every aspect of a renovation, the decisions you make will have an impact on both timing and money. Luckily, with our McKenzie Lake project, we knew which contractors to start with and that guided our decisions from there.
Designer or general contractor?
To be honest, it doesn’t matter who you start with. There are pros and cons of going either way, but basically your decision should be based off referral. If either a designer or a general contractor is referred to you by a trusted source, it’s best to start down that path. From there, they will know people in the field of renovating of whom they trust, saving you the worry of finding them yourself. In the case of the McKenzie Lake project, we started with a designer, who knew a general contractor who knew who to hire from there.
Throughout the whole process, there seems to be this dance happening between the designer and the general contractor. The two are constantly working together and when one makes a move, the other follows with their own. The general contractor ensures the jobs are being done properly and in a timely fashion, paying attention to when he should be scheduling the next trade. With each progress made, the designer needs to be prepared for making alterations to the plan in case issues arise. The designer must and ensure all necessary materials are ordered and ready for the employees of the general contractor.
Why you need a general contractor?
You want a general contractor because they will be watching over the work being done at your home the whole time. Basically, they are the project manager. They will know when and who to book as the renovation progresses. There are things they know that you would never have thought of, so having their knowledge and wisdom is worth the money. Hiring one of them will save you a lot of headache.
What is the order?
Generally, the order goes as follows:
- Framer (building wall frames)
- Electrical/ plumbing/ heat
- Tapers (someone who does the mudding and sands down the cracks between drywall).
- Finisher (the person who puts down the baseboards, window and door frames and installs the doors).
Depending on the job, time and budget, things can be done in a different order. Listen to your designer and your contractor.
Be on it
To ensure the project moves along at a steady pace, make decisions. By this, I mean when the designer is asking you what tile or color you want the bathroom and kitchen, choose as quickly as you can. Chances are that the designer needs your answer to order your selection. It will take time before the product arrives, and ideally it will arrive when the general contractor needs it.
*Keep in mind that we already looked at various contractors and trades and getting estimates from each, in the pre-renovation stage. If you want more information on those steps, click here.