Hiring a Vancouver home renovation team is a major commitment. These are the professionals who will shape your home and bring your vision to life. They should guide you through the renovation process, including helping you acquire the proper permits and making sure that all of the work is done safely.

Given everything they will be responsible for, it is vital to pick the right Vancouver home renovation team. But how do you do that?

Start by asking your Vancouver home renovation team these 13 questions

1. What is your background and what areas do you specialize in?

You want to ensure that your Vancouver home renovation team is experienced. This is both in general and in relation to the work you are having done. For example, if you are looking to turn your current home into a passive house, your team should have a background in green and NetZero building techniques.

2. Do you have a signature style?

Some contractors work in a specific style. It is important to know whether your team is in this grouping up front. If so and the team’s signature style is what you are looking for, great! That sounds like the perfect match. If the team’s signature style is not what you are looking for though, you may want to pick another contractor with a more open, collaborative vision.

3. Do you have samples of your work or can you provide references?

The best predictor of future work is past work. Therefore, the way to know if a team is likely to create a renovation you are happy with is to look at their previous projects. References are also important as they give you insight into the team’s work ethic and professionalism. Remember that you are going to be spending a lot of time with the members of your home renovation team, so you want to make sure they are going to respect you, your loved ones, and your home.

4. What is your fee structure?

Money talk can difficult, but it is important if you do not want to be blindsided down the road. So take a deep breath and have the talk. Make sure you ask about the team’s fees, as well as if any deposit is needed. If there is a deposit, can a clear answer about how much is due and when.  

5. What is a realistic timeline for this Vancouver home renovation project?

There are many jokes about how construction jobs go over schedule. True professionals, however, should be able to give you a timeline – and stick to it. In your interview with a potential Vancouver home renovation team, ask what timeline is realistic. If you get hesitation or pushback on providing this information, take this as a red flag.

6. Are you licensed and can you provide proof of your general liability insurance?

You have to take care of yourself, your family, and your home. In order to do this, you need to ensure that you are working with licensed professionals who carry general liability insurance. No professional will be offended with this question. What if someone does hassle you about it? Walk away. This is not a team you want to work with anyway.

7. Will you be hiring any subcontractors during this project and who will be on-site supervising?

There are some contractors who use their credentials to get jobs, only to then hand them off to other, less experienced crews. This then negates all the research you have done into your Vancouver home renovation team. Avoid this by asking up front who will be handling your renovation. Again, hesitation or aggression are reasons to walk away.

8. Are you familiar with the building permit process in this area and will you handle applying for all of the necessary permits?

The permit process in Vancouver is complicated. You want to make sure that you are not going to have to navigate it alone. Ideally, your home renovation team will take care of all the permits for you, as we do at Flipside Homes. If your team does not do this though, they should at least have a knowledge of the permit process so they can help guide you through it.  

9. How many projects are you currently working on?

This question is a good way to know if the team you are looking at will have time to handle your renovation properly, as well as whether or not they are in demand. If they tell you a low number, you may want to consider why they have so few clients. On the other hand, if the number is high, ask yourself if the team will give you the attention you want and need.

The number can also tell you how the company approaches their clients. High numbers, however, suggest a more corporate approach, where clients are packed in. Mid-range numbers, however, indicate a boutique style, where clients are given more personal attention.

10. What happens if you come across something unexpected?

It is not uncommon for problems to be uncovered during home renovations – or for issues to arise. You want to make sure that your Vancouver home renovation team can handle these situations. It is also important to establish what happens if their quote and timeline have to change as a result. Laying this all out now prevents surprises if problems do turn up.

11. How do you prefer to communicate with your clients during the home renovation process?

Before, there used to be one or two ways for your contractor to contact you. Now, they can do everything from calling to texting to not communicating at all. Given this, it is important to make sure your renovation team’s communication style works for you. In addition to checking how your team with contact you, ask if they give regular updates or allow for check-ins throughout the renovation process.

12. What is your work routine like?

This is especially important if you will be living in your home throughout the renovation process. After all, the last thing you want is to wake up to a construction team banging on your door at 6 AM one morning! Go through the hours the team keeps, what preparation and clean-up they do daily, and if there is any weather they will not be able to work in (if your job has an outdoor component).

13. Can I get all of that in writing?

As any lawyer will tell you, it is easy for someone to deny a conversation after the fact. Given this, you should always ask for what you discuss to be put in writing for you. Then, if there are issues at any point, you can hold your Vancouver home renovation team to the promises they made you.

A simpler way to select your Vancouver home renovation team

Does this list of questions seem like a lot to ask a Vancouver home renovation team? Cut to the chase and work with Flipside Homes.

We are a boutique home renovation company with an exceptional, licensed team. From the start, we are clear with our clients, answering these questions even if they are not asked. We do that because we prioritize taking care of our clients and their best interests. We do things differently because we are project managers – not your standard contractors. Our philosophy is different, and our service to you is a cut above!

Ready to see if we are the right fit for your renovation? We are always here for you. Not sure if you are prepared to start the process yet? Answer these questions for yourself before moving forward.