Working with your Renovation Contractor | 8 Steps to Planning Your Home Renovation

Working with your home renovation contractor is as easy as 8 simple steps! See how the process works and what to expect from your contractor.

Article Overview

1. Meet with your contractor & designer to discuss your project, wish list and budget
2. Project and design proposal
3. Designs
4. Trade knowledge day
5. Proposal/estimate
6. Award of contract
7. Selections
8. Construction start date

You’ve made your short list of home renovation contractors in Calgary and area and are ready to start the planning phase – so what comes next?

Here at Melanson Homes, we walk through these 8 steps with each of our clients before we start swinging hammers – so that all home renovation projects stay on time and on budget. Your home renovation is one of your largest investments and we want to make sure we get it right!

1. Meet with Your Contractor & Designer to Discuss Your Project, Wish List and Budget

You’ve narrowed it down to three contractors and now it’s time to decide who’s the best fit for you, your family and your home. To award the contract to one of the three, select the one who best fits your values

Do they align with what you want to achieve?

Are you comfortable working with them for the next few months? 

At the end of the day, a faucet is a faucet and it’s going to cost the same no matter who you work with, so pick the team that you feel best about. 

Walkthrough of Your Home

We’re excited to meet you face-to-face and see your project first-hand. We will meet you at the project site (your home) and do a full walkthrough with you to discuss your needs, wish list and budget. 

Our contractor and designer will be on site to best understand your project and provide you with the most accurate scope of work. 

If the scope of your project includes: 

  • Moving walls 
  • Removing walls 
  • Changing plumbing, electrical or other utilities lines 
  • Or needs accurate square footage measurements

Our Design Manager will ensure the structural integrity of your home remains intact. They will draw up blueprints that guide the design and layout of the final renovation. 

This is the time to experiment and trial what you like and what you don’t. After all, paper is cheap — modifications once the renovation has started are not. 

2. Project and Design Proposal

Based on our walkthrough, we figure out an estimated cost that’s as close to the actual end cost as possible. Things can change within the design stages but we give a very close estimate at this stage, taking your wish list into account. 

In order to get you the best price, we spend a lot of time building relationships with our qualified team of trades that help us keep our prices competitive (and accurate). We only work with trades that uphold a level of excellent craftsmanship.

You’ll have transparency into the line-by-line services and products we’ll provide during the renovation! This can often make our prices appear higher than our competitors, but our contracts and estimates come without surprises down the line. So if you see something outlined in ours that isn’t in another, question why it’s not represented the other. 

You’ll receive a proposal to move forward with design plans and if you’re happy with the process so far, we will proceed. 

3. Designs

Behind the scenes, our designers get to designing. They pull together 3D renderings and complete the design blueprints. At the design meeting, we go over these plans with you and make any necessary tweaks.  

Once complete, the designs are ready to send to the city for permitting.

4. Trade Knowledge Day

Once you’re pleased with the designs, we will come back for another walkthrough with our professional trade teams. They look at each of their areas of expertise and provide pricing and specifications.

Within their quotes, they consider any unexpected items that could arise when we open walls, remove flooring or unearth utility lines.   

Not every home renovation company offers this as part of their process but we feel it’s a good way for you to get to know our teams in person and to provide you with the most accurate quote. This also means they’ve seen the project before they get to work and are familiar with what’s expected instead of just working off of drawings.

5. Proposal/Estimate

We’ve seen your space, provided you with an estimate budget and drawn your design dreams — now it’s time for us to crunch the final numbers. We review all of the information you’ve given us to date, take a more in-depth look at your wish list and connect with our trades and suppliers to provide you with a more accurate cost. 

This expanded estimate includes details about the design features you’ve requested and allowances for your selections down the line. 

6. Award of Contract

If you are satisfied with the estimate and project scope, we will proceed with the contract for renovation. When the contract is awarded to Melanson Homes, we will take an initial deposit to begin project preparations. 

You will be notified at this time when construction will begin and you will receive a schedule for the renovation. 

Our contracts are extensive and make sure you’re covered throughout the process with an Alberta Home Renovation Warranty, proper insurance, WCB insurance, protection against liens and third party insurance for our trades. 

7. Selections

Shortly after signing the contract, we will begin your selection process. We will welcome you to our office and take you through all of the options available to you for your reno. 

Our Design Manager will work with you every step of the way including going to a selection meeting, keeping the vision of the project as well as the budget in line. This is a tailored experience for each project and its clients 

You’ll select all of the finishes like:

  • Cabinets 
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Flooring
  • Backsplashes
  • Siding
  • Exterior colours
  • Paint colours
  • Railings
  • Etc. 

Each item will be specific to the space you’re remodelling. 

We’ll outline what has been allocated for within your budget and you can choose to stay within that range or go above and beyond it. 

8. Construction Start Date

Once the project has been scheduled, permits have been pulled, selections have been made, and you’ve prepared your home, construction will begin! Our trades will follow their schedules and work to make your renovation come true in a timely manner. 

Your contractor at Melanson Homes will guide you through the process and answer any additional questions that may come up during this time.