Renovation Quotes: 5 Essential Things To Look For

construction contract

How do you find the perfect contractor for your renovation? A good place to start is with the quote. A common misconception is that the quote is just the price of the renovation, but it’s so much more than that! One of our Verification Coordinators and a former governmental inspector in the construction sector explains the 5 essential line items that should be included with any renovation quote. 

1. Name & Contact Information

The contact information of the contractor in question should be included, as well as your own contact information, the address of the building where the renovation will take place, and the description of the scope of work. This information is the baseline to show the contractor is serious and professional.

2. Registration Numbers

For legal reasons, the registration numbers of any governmental institutions, offices or licenses associated to the contractor’s industry should also be included, as well as their tax registration numbers (GST, HST, etc). Be sure to also verify that the licenses and registrations in question are relevant to the specific type of project you are looking to hire for.

Remember – if you hire a contractor who is not properly licensed, registered or insured for the work being done, or you choose to pay them “under the table”, you forfeit any guarantee protected under said governing licenses and insurances, as well as official proof of payment, guaranteed by declaring the associated taxes.

two people shaking hands on a construction site

3. Detailed Description of the Project

The renovations being done must be described with the most detail possible. Here are a few key details to be sure to include in your description:

  • Materials that will be used
  • Where the materials are sourced from
  • Quality of the materials
  • Quantity of materials
  • Exact cost of materials
  • Colours chosen

This step is important to avoid potential misunderstandings and unwanted surprises. The description should include the guaranties and warranties offered on the labour (from the contractor) as well as the materials (from the suppliers or manufacturers).

Note that the contractors are obligated by law to offer a guarantee of a certain length of time on the work done (you can verify this with your provincial government). However, if you do not sign an official contract, you cannot be protected by the warranties provided by the suppliers in the case of defective materials. Be sure that everything discussed appears clearly and in plain terms on the quote before signing.

4. Timeline of Project

It’s important that the start and end date of the renovation are included in the quote, as well as any penalties related to delays. The validity period of the quote must also be indicated.

5. Total Cost & Terms of Payment

The total price, including labour, materials, and applicable taxes should be clearly indicated on the quote. Always plan for a contingency in your budget, about 10%, to cover any unforeseen costs.

The quote may make mention of terms of payment, however, they are typically indicated on the contract instead. This is the ideal time to start discussions with the contractor on the breakdown of the payment installments, based on the progression of the renovation.

woman signing contract with contractor

Comparing Quotes – Not As Easy As It Seems

It can be difficult to understand and compare different quotes. This is where our Renovation Advisors come in – they are here to help you sort through it all, with no cost or obligation to you! 

Remember – a quote never replaces a contract, it’s there to help you prepare it!

Happy renovating!

Marilena Tricarico has been a key figure in the interior design world for over 15 years. Her expertise and designs have been featured on the hit TV show Décore ta Vie for 10 years. Today, she shares her knowledge of the renovation industry with RenoAssistance as a video content producer and host.