SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: RENOVATIONFIND
Q: How does your service work?
"RenovationFind.com is a free online directory of certified trades, contractors and home improvement companies. All companies listed on our website www.renovationfind.com have gone through a stringent pre-screening process. Using a third-party organization, we run extensive background checks on seven of the most important criteria so we can provide homeowners with legitimate, reputable and trustworthy companies. Those criteria include legal background checks, credit background checks, monitoring for customer complaints, checking for proof of a valid business license and insurance, as well as WCB coverage. Companies who are a member of the Better Business Bureau receive a higher ranking on the directory. We continue to monitor the companies based on these criteria to ensure they’re keeping up to standard.
Q: What can we look forward to from you at the Calgary Renovation Show?
"We are going to have a booth at the show where people can come and learn more about us and what we do. At our booth, homeowners can inquire about their home projects and we will get them three quotes from reputable and RenovationFind certified companies for it to help make the renovation process go as smoothly as possible. For example, if they are looking to give their home a new and improved paint job, we can connect them with the best painters in Calgary, providing them with actual quotes for their project.
We will also be doing a big giveaway for signing up as a RenovationFind Member. Members receive exclusive pricing and promotions from select partnering businesses, which is helpful if renovations are in the future. As an incentive to grow our membership, people can enter to win $1000 and an iPad at our booth at the show."
Q: What advice do you have for homeowners?
"Research, research and research. This is the key. Make sure everything is laid out on paper and documented, signed and legally executable. Keep a plan handy with you to stay on track. Check the contractor’s credentials and consult with sites like ours, ask for references and ask for documentation of their credentials such as prepaid contractor licence, permits pulled for your job and a detailed breakdown of your renovation costs.
Homeowners should not be afraid to ask for documentation as it is within your right to ask. When asking for references, I recommend asking for the last three jobs and contact the references to verify the information. Request the contractor provide you with valid documentation to prove the customer was in fact real. By asking for the last three jobs, the contractor can’t pick and choose because it’s not likely people ever want to give bad references. This is similar to how you apply for a job and get the interview, and then you’re asked for references – the chances of you providing bad references is not likely. This way you get an honest picture of what you’re getting into."
Q: "What inspires your services?
"I met a lot of homeowners through my granite countertop company that were being taken advantage of by people in the industry. K&J’s is one of the last companies in the house (during the construction or renovation process) so people would come to us and say ‘oh, my plumber, he took a deposit and disappeared’ or ‘I bought cabinets, I put 50 per cent down and I can’t get a hold of them and their company is out of business.’ I just started hearing so many horror stories, and it was kind of ridiculous. Everyone was being taken advantage of and no one knew how to find a good contractor, and then I started thinking about a better way to connect homeowners with trusted trades."
Q: What is your favourite part of the Calgary Renovation Show?
"We love the chance to meet with homeowners and get the opportunity to promote the companies on our directory. If we can connect a homeowner who needs work done with a reputable contractor, we’ve helped them both out. That is why we do things like this home show: to make sure that everyone ends up happy."
Q: What design or decor trends are you loving in 2019 or anticipating for 2020?
"When speaking with homeowners and reviewing survey results, we’ve learned that most people would rather renovate the home they are in than buy a new one. It may be that they don’t want to leave their neighborhood, or find it more practical to remodel their home to meet their changing needs. Whether it’s a bathroom addition or a new paint job, we’ve loved watching this journey of renovating to make a home better for the long-term stay or to age-in-place."
Q: Are there any success stories you'd like to share?
"Homeowners have been pleased with the RenovationFind website. Feedback has shown that having a listing of companies that have already been pre-screened as well as the subsequent ongoing monitoring takes a lot of stress out of the renovation process, as well as letting people know what they’re going to get out of the company they choose. For the companies, we can market their business to an engaged and interested target demographic. The companies on our site have seen increased business from quality leads generated from their listing and content posted on RenovationFind.com."
Q: What can folks expect when they work with you?
"For homeowners, you can expect honest, accurate, and helpful advice on hiring a trades or home renovation company. They can trust that we are doing our due diligence screening and continually monitoring all the companies on the website. If you become a RenovationFind Member, you will receive exclusive pricing and promotions from select renovation and home improvement companies in your city. They’ll find a huge list of categories including general contractors, concrete contractors, painters, electricians, Calgary drywall companies, siding contractors, Calgary home additions, and more!