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How to Select a General Contractor in Edmonton

How-to-Select-a-General-Contractor-in-Edmonton.jpgThere are a number of reasons why you might choose to renovate your Edmonton home. Whatever your motivation, when you make that decision you’ll be faced with one of the most important choices in the renovation process: Who is going to do the work for you? Let’s take a look at how to select a general contractor in Edmonton—and why it’s so important.

Why It’s So Important

Renovating your home isn't like buying a pair of shoes or even purchasing a car. It's a much more involved process—one that will impact you on several levels. Depending on the scope of your project—you'll be spending weeks to months with your contractor.  It's important that you engage with someone you feel comfortable with. You’ll have interactions and probably have to work through some changes as you proceed. It’s important that you feel confident in your contractor’s skill and experience—and in his/her ability to listen to you and work with you to achieve the results you want.

In addition, you'll be living with the results of your contractor's work for years. That means the plan you come up with—and the execution of that plan—needs to reflect your needs and wishes. Your home needs to make you feel comfortable. If your renovation isn't done properly that won't happen.

How to Make the Right Choice

Here are a few things to look for when choosing your contractor. Some of these characteristics are pretty objective—that is, you can verify them. Others are a bit more selective.


You’ll want to choose a contractor with experience and expertise under his belt. You’ll want to ensure that any contractor you consider has worked on projects of the same scope and complexity of what you have in mind. Just because someone can build a deck doesn’t mean they can renovate your kitchen. Ask prospective candidates for examples of past work. Ask for referrals, as well. And don’t be content with simply looking at the list you’re presented with. You’ll actually want to talk to a few past clients to find out how their experience was. When you do, don’t just ask about the project itself, but also ask what it was like to work with the contractor. How was the experience?


When we talk about creativity and innovation, we’re not talking about outlandish ideas. Instead, this is where the contractor uses his experience and knowledge to come up with solutions to problems you may encounter. You don’t want a contractor who says, “That can’t be done.” Instead, you’ll want someone who is willing to think about a different way to accomplish your objectives. That’s actually an advantage that a design/build contractor brings to the table. Instead of just following someone’s plan, they think about the process from the design stage on. That can lead to a better result. 


This is somewhat similar to creativity. There are contractors who are convinced that there is only one way to do a certain kind of project. That’s OK if it really and truly meets your expectations. But in reality, the plan you come up with should reflect your input and not just the renovator’s ideas. When you interview, try to get a sense of whether or not your contractor is open to your ideas. 


It’s important to choose a contractor with whom you feel comfortable. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time together working on a very intimate project—your home! You want to know that the professional tasked with recreating your home will have your best interests in mind. You don’t have to be best friends with your contractor, but you do want to work with someone you trust to execute a plan that meets your wants and needs.

One of the keys to getting the information you need in order to make your choice is to interview a number of contractors before making your selection. That may sound like a bit of a daunting task, but we’ve got some help to make that easier for you. Here’s a post that outlines six questions you should ask any renovation company before signing a contract.


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