We’ve been remodelling houses and homes around Greater Victoria for nearly 40 years, and we’ve had a huge variety of questions from local families looking for information about our projects. We’ve organized these into a few categories for you, but if your question isn’t answered here — or you’d like more information about your specific situation — please contact us directly.
Types of Remodeling
If you own it, we can renovate it. We’ve completed some fantastic projects in local condos, townhomes, row homes, duplexes, and stand-alone houses. From updating a bathroom to a whole-home restoration, we can help you love your home.
Our primary focus is on home renovation in Victoria, but we have done more than a few tenant improvements for commercial clients throughout the CRD. Give us a call to find out how we can help you and your business.
We’ve done renovations on small spaces — powder rooms and she-sheds — and in some cases, we’ve been able to fix up a home with minimal planning. If you have a small project, contact us to see if it’s something we can do. If we can’t help you, we’ll refer you to one of the talented local businesses that we trust with that kind of work.
Love it or List it?
If you’re asking this question, chances are you are hedging. Ask yourself why you want to build new? If you love your neighbourhood, sometimes it’s more cost-effective to simply renovate within your home’s original footprint. A good interior designer will help you see space opportunities you may never have thought of. On the other hand, if renovating your home will transform it into the most expensive property in the neighbourhood, and you are worried about reselling, you may want to consider whether moving to a new home or building new has more upside. A conversation with your realtor may be helpful here. If you’d like to compare the cost of both scenarios, we can do a feasibility study to make sure your final decision is based on facts instead of generic estimates.
It’s a question every homeowner wants to answer. If you are looking for a ballpark cost, we’d be happy to have a discussion with you to determine the feasibility of your project. The truth is that no square foot estimate will do your project justice because every project is unique. To avoid disappointment down the road, we recommend clients use our pre-construction services to determine a firm fixed cost. If you are looking for general ideas, Houzz has some great resources for you to consider.
In a temperate rainforest climate like Victoria, it’s often easier to get exterior work on the roof, chimneys, siding, etc. done in the summer and fall. But with proper rain coverage and equipment, exterior work can be done in Victoria at any time of the year because the temperatures here are relatively stable. And because we have a full roster of in-house office, design, and production staff, we can accommodate your project at any time of year. Most interior renovations are unaffected by the weather. In fact, material suppliers often face decreased demand in the winter, resulting in fewer delays due to shortages.
If the option is available to you, by all means, move out. Or plan that long-awaited vacation to happen at the same time (with our online project tracking software, this is what many of our clients do). That said, if you have a smaller renovation — a bathroom that is not your only source for showering and toileting, for example — then staying is not a big deal because the work will be localized to a small area and be over relatively quickly. Do you have pets or small children? Even more of a reason to vacate. Both will find the noise and activity stressful. No matter how many things we do to accommodate your needs (we use a negative-pressure dust extractor at all times), you will still find your day-to-day routine disrupted. One affordable alternative is to rent a trailer or motorhome and park it on your property (while still allowing easy access to contractors and trades). Here’s a great article on Houzz that outlines the things you may not have considered.
Before you get started, you’ll no doubt have lots of questions to ask your prospective contractor. Questions like: how feasible is this, what process do we follow, how much will it cost. Our approach is to gather some basic information over the phone to see if we are a good fit, then schedule an in-person consultation to meet you personally and ask (and answer) the deeper questions. After this meeting, we may recommend a feasibility study to firm up an estimate. We’ll look into permitting and zoning restrictions and investigate the quality of your home’s systems — including structural, electrical, plumbing, and more. Doing this minimizes surprises from occurring. We’ll then do a pre-construction agreement, which includes written specifications, the scope of work, and the master schedule. Once the contracts are signed, construction can begin. Here’s a full breakdown of our renovation process.
Yes, we do. As a full-service general contractor, we oversee our lead carpenters and labourers as well as a team of Victoria’s best specialty contractors (electricians, plumbers, painters, HVAC, drywallers, roofers, etc.) Most of our sub-trades have worked with us for many years, and all of them have signed and adhere to the same code of conduct as our employees. We only hire professionally licensed tradespeople, and any apprentice onsite is supervised by a senior journeyman. We’re rigorous about quality because we lead the industry with a 24-month workmanship warranty.
The biggest source of frustration for people doing renovations is unrealistic schedules. Poor planning by your contractor not only leads to extra costs but also pushes back completion dates. We try to prevent this by ordering all the specialty materials (windows, doors, countertops) as soon as the contract is signed, and building a schedule around their arrival dates. You’ll also get access to an online schedule that you can use to track progress on a daily basis. All of our processes — from our pre-construction checklists to weekly project reviews — are designed to keep your project on time and on budget.
On a large project with multiple moving parts, we understand that things can go wrong. That’s why we have designed systems to minimize the mistakes that can happen on a busy job site. As a Certified Renovator, the first thing we do to prevent this is to hire the best employees and sub-trades. Second, we use an onsite punchlist (which you can track on your project webpage) that all workers must review and sign off each day. We assign you a personal project manager who is responsible for all approvals and communications between you and our staff, so you have a “single source” for all messaging. We have weekly internal review meetings to go over your project’s status and to correct any inaccuracies. Finally, we provide a comprehensive walkthrough inspection with you at the end of your project. The final payment is not due until the completion of this punchlist. If you have any concerns about our capabilities, please get in touch with our references.
We provide an industry-leading 24-month warranty for the labour and installation of all aspects of our renovation projects. We have even repaired things that have occurred after the warranty has expired when we believe our workmanship has not been up to our high standards. We stand behind our work. Period. Our goal is to be your contractor for life.
Yes. As a Prime Contractor, we carry $5 million in WorkSafe BC liability coverage to ensure you are never liable for accidents on the job site. All workers take an in-house safety training program and adhere to a rigorous set of safety protocols. Everything we do is in writing. We are a CHBA Certified Renovator, a very rare designation among Victoria contractors. We also carry many other designations.
Yes. We are a “design-build” firm, which means that we have certified in-house designers to help you if you need them. We can also work with your personal architect or interior designer.
Permits are required for any structural, electrical, or plumbing additions in Greater Victoria. Cosmetic or energy efficiency changes like flooring, tiles, windows, doors, and heating systems do not require permits. The process may seem complicated because often, it is. Having an experienced contractor to guide you through this process reduces stress and headaches when you want to sell your home.
A hazardous risk assessment is required by Greater Victoria municipalities and WorkSafeBC before any licensed contractor can perform renovation work in your home. It checks your home for hazards like asbestos, lead, PCBs, mould, arsenic, and other toxic substances that can harm our crews or your family. No municipal inspector will set foot in your house until you have one done. We can coordinate this for you during the pre-construction phase of your project.
Sorry, no. We’re required by law to hire the sub-trades because we are listed as the prime contractor under WorkSafeBC regulations, making us responsible if someone gets hurt or exposed to hazardous materials. As for building materials, we’ve negotiated steep contractor discounts that save you money. If you’d like, you can purchase your appliances and finishings. Our long-time relationships with top-quality subcontractors and over four decades of experience working with various products and materials are some of the greatest ways we bring value to your project.