Category Archives: Handy Hiring Tips

Educate Yourself! Ask Questions BEFORE You Hire A Company For Renovation Services

house photo questions

As an owner and operator here at Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services, I would like to share a short list of questions commonly asked by my clients as well  as questions my clients should ask any contractors they choose to hire for their projects, whether its residential or commercial.

When planning any project weather it may be as simple as painting a room to an entire remodelling project,  I still find people don’t ask enough questions. Even with the HORROR STORIES you hear about on social media, television, radio and newspapers!   From my professional experience the 3 most commonly asked questions are  “How much is it going to  cost?”  “When can you start? and “When can you get it done by?”.

I  encourage my clients to ask me as many questions as they would like because yes Price, Timing and Finishing is just not enough to ask a contractor, handyman or renovator you may choose to hire for your project. In all seriousness, Timing may be  “everything” if you’re a comedian, but in  “real” world of renovations, this word does not always apply. Learn how to ask the right questions If you want to have a successful modeling project. How? Do research. You need to start asking the right questions.  Here’s some of the most common concerns and questions asked by my clients.

– When is my availability to start?

-When will the project be finished?

-What time of the day would I be at their residence or business every morning?

-What time would I quit for the day?

-Would I be coming to do the work everyday?

-Can I finish before Christmas, Easter, Thanks Giving, etc.

-How much do I charge per square foot?

These questions will not tell you much about any contractor but while a reasonable timetable is important, this shouldn’t be the primary focus at  an interview or a job and neither should the budget.  If you find a contractor that is reputable and trustworthy, the budget and timing will work itself out in the end. I would recommend focusing more on finding someone whom  you can trust and the quality of their work. 

Before you decide on hiring a company to do your project, make sure to do your homework. Ask the company about their business practices, and experiences  in similar home projects as yours. Once you choose a contractor you feel comfortable and confident with, then you can discuss when they can start, what time they can know on your door each morning and what time they will leave so you can have your house to yourself again.

Helpful questions to ask BEFORE signing a contract:

-How long have you been in business?

-Who will be the project supervisor?

-Who Will be working on my project? Are there subcontractors or employees?

-Does your company have workman’s compensation and liability insurance?

-How many projects such as mine have you done before?

-Would I be able to get a list of references of those of whom you’ve done the similar job as mine ?

-Can I get a copy of referrals?

A Final Note.  It’s not so important as  the answers you get but to look more into the answers you don’t get. Asking the right questions isn’t always enough, pay attention your instinct and what information is missing BEFORE you hire.

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Is A “Free Estimate” Really FREE????

free estiamte pic

There’s a ton of businesses out there that provide their potential clients a “Free Estimate” or “Free Quote” in order to earn that clients business. These types of services put the client in a powerful position and gives them much variety on who to use for their services BEFORE they buy! It’s a good thing as a consumer to get out there and get as many quotes as you feel  comfortable with before you plan to use these services in your home or business. Sometimes these free estimates may be too high or too low. Some “Inflated” estimates are just that,  “Inflated” and low estimates may just be too good to be true when you get the invoice for added expenses that weren’t included in that price once the project is finished.   So how do you know which estimate  to use?

Being in the home renovation industry, I can tell you my clients do get free estimates yes, but estimates in reality are not really free. My time is money but I am willing to invest and educate  myself and my clients  with what is to be involved in their project to the best of my ability, and to better build a trusting relationship and to give them the best price for them. From, my experience these are the concerns and direction as to what’s involved in my Free Estimates;

–  Booking the time to meet a client

– Going to their home or business involves  gas, time and kilometers on vehicle

– Spending as much time together with a client during personal one consultation

– Understanding, Communicating and recording what exactly what the client needs and expectations are

– Assessing the project to be done. Example- Bathroom renovation: Any water damage, mold, or structural issues with floor, walls, etc. issues  that can be seen externally?

– Sometimes, a room looks great on the outside but once you start pulling tiles off to be replaced, there more issues that you find that you didn’t even know existed which extends your budget, time and scope of the project

– Going out and finding what materials are going to cost and  doing your research at the best price for your customer

– Figuring out a date when project is to begin and to be  completed by.

– Creating a contract between  client and business

And the list goes on and on. So as you can see. From a business prospective, a Free Estimate for us as a business is not really free but again it’s the cost of doing business and great for your potential client and it shows that your honest, experienced, knowledgeable, organized and have a mutual understanding between you and your client as far as what is to be involved into to project from start to finish.

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Benefits of Contracts


A  contract is a renovator’s most important tool.

 Having it “in writing,” is what  homeowners today expect from a  professional renovator .

A written contract protects homeowners as wells as  their investment in their home, and gives an

indication that their renovator is legitimate and does business in a professional manner.

As a professional renovator, the benefits of  using a written contract,  automatically  set yourself apart from fly-by-night or

underground operators. The best way to push “those people” out of the marketplace

is to show your clients  what it takes to “do it right” and be professional.

A good, solid contract is also the foundation for a positive renovation experience

for both you and your clients. It helps build their confidence and your relationship.

Most importantly, it helps to prevent any confusion,  misunderstandings and false expectations

that can lead to a breakdown in your relationship and cause issues with the project.

“Renovation” covers a lot of different projects, done

by many different types of companies. Whether you

are a one-person operation doing small repair and

renovation jobs, or you run a large design-building

crew company  hired  to do an upscale complete whole-house

remodeling, you need a contract.

We welcome any  stories  you’d like to share on our blog on today’s blog: Benefits of Contracts!

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As you and I know, owning a home is a Huge investment and along with it a responsibility.  There is always a “To Do List.” Weather it’s interior or exterior painting to be done, new flooring, upgrades to kitchen, bathrooms or basements the list goes on and on. Some of us welcome the challenge of a DIY home project because it’s exciting and the feeling of “I did it myself” is self gratifying. There’s some individuals who just want to hire a handyman,  contractor  or home maintenance service company to do the job and that’s ok too. What ever direction you choose to move forward with, make sure YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!

Check out some of these tips below BEFORE you hire someone to do your project:

1-  Look up a variety of Handyman, Home Maintenance Services and Contractors in your area on the internet

2-  Ask lots of question! There’s no such thing as a “bad” question. The more you ask, the better!

3-  Ask for quotes, the more the better but be Leary, sometimes “cheapest” doesn’t always mean better.

4-  Find out if the company is legitimate. Are they a  registered company?

5- Does this company have insurance? Find out. Again, ask the question.

6- Ask for a portfolio to show you some of their work. In this particular industry, photo’s tell the truth. This is what they have to offer as a source to prove what kind of projects they have done. Ask   for   before and after pictures.  Anyone can copy a photo off the internet but is Their work legitimate?

7- Ask for testimonials. Previous satisfied clients will have no issues giving a positive testimonial of their own completed projects. Why would they? They will want to share this information and let others know what a great job this company has done and would definitely recommend them. Of Course, testimonials will also warn other potential clients “not” to use their services either from their own bad experiences. So either way, you can get some piece of mind.

8- Look at company websites. See their work. A lot of them are on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn , Word Press, exc.  You can get a sense of who they are, what they do, latest specials and events, how they connect with their clients and how these companies are involved in your community!

9- First impressions mean everything!  In my opinion representatives are an example of their work and the company they own or work for. Representatives that come to your home for a quote, should be experienced, organized  knowledgeable in the field of the business, polite, well groomed,  answer your questions and concerns and make you feel confident and comfortable. If I had a bad feeling after the consultation and just didn’t feel right or confident somehow about this company then I would not want to do business with them. Especially in my home! Trust your instincts. They’re always right.

I know we live busy lives but as you can see here, a little homework can go a long way. For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

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