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Winnipeg Home and Garden Show on this weekend

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The Winnipeg Home and Garden Show is on this weekend at the RBC Convention Centre.

With sub-zero temperatures hopefully behind us, it’s a great time for home owners to begin planning for the renovation projects they want to tackle this summer. One great way to get ideas is to visit the Winnipeg Home and Garden Show this weekend at the RBC Convention Centre. Visiting with exhibitors and stopping in at the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association “Ask a Renovator” booth can help you discover the best way to start your next home renovation project.

For those who aren’t the do-it-yourself types, finding the right company or contractor to do outdoor renovations can be a bit intimidating. The MHBA has some great resources on our website (www.homebuilders.mb.ca) for home owners looking at doing home renovations that can help you plan and prepare for a renovation project and help you find professional renovators to do the job.

By clicking the “Renovating Your Home” button on the MHBA website’s main page, you’ll access information and tips on how to plan, budget, and prepare for your renovation project. The MHBA has helpful videos posted that provide tips on how to hire the right contractor for your project. As well, printable guides such as “From Contract to Completion” and “Your Renovation Roadmap” can help take you step by step through the entire process of hiring a contractor for your project.

Any renovation project should always start with a plan. Identify your budget for the project, what work must be done, and what your “wish list” is should the budget allow. This will help you plan properly and outline the scope of work needing to be done. It will also help in getting accurate quotes from contractors you would like to work with.

Always get a detailed written contract from your contractor. Without a contract, you don’t have any control over the work to be done, timeframe for completion or what the final price will be. Professional renovators will back up their quote with a contract. This ensures you and your contractor are literally “on the same page” regarding the work to be done.

Ask about insurance and warranty coverage. Professional renovators will carry the proper insurance coverage and take steps to ensure your renovation is done safely. They will also do the work in a way that ensures that the work done will not void the manufacturer’s warranty on products and materials used. Remember, your home becomes a construction site when renovations are taking place, from demolition right to completion.

And keep in mind that the cheapest deal isn’t necessary the best deal. In fact, it could end up costing you more in the long run. Finding someone “handy” who is willing to do the job for cash - tax free and permit free - may sound like a good idea, but this can come with big implications. Proper permits and a contract with a properly insured professional renovator can take away a lot of worry and provide you with piece of mind, regardless of the size and scale of the job. Otherwise, you are leaving yourself open to hoping – rather than knowing - the job will get done properly.

MHBA Renovator members always provide a written contract, have proper warranty and insurance coverage, and ensure your projects are up to code, properly permitted, and fully inspected. Hiring a professional renovator is the best first step in ensuring the investment you are making in improving your home is a wise one.

Lanny McInnes is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.

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