How to start and how many contractors to hire?

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Posted by: from Toronto
4/2/2018 at 4:42:13 PM


We live in downtown Toronto, in a late 1800s workman's rowhouse. We want to do a number of renovations but we're not sure where to start and whether it's best to hire one general contractor who chooses subcontractors for the different jobs or to choose several subcontractors ourselves instead of one general contractor.

Here's a list of what we would like to have done:

- replace our knob and tube wiring

- our roof is not in a very good state so we'd like that fixed

- create a 180 sqf addition that extends the kitchen and on top of which a second floor deck/balcony can be built

- put in a new kitchen

- landscape our small front and back yards (about 250 sqf each (after the addition is built)

- thoroughly clean and then finish our basement (no digging needed as it's about 6'8" deep already)

- create a bathroom and simple bedroom in the basement

- paint the inside of the house

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much

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Date/Time4/2/2018 at 10:09:41 PM

The best thing to do is to hire a reputable general contractor who would be responsible about everything.....All trades, sub-contracts,....etc.

It's really hard for you to hire different trades and organize the work between all of them and that might cost you even more time any money!

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Date/Time4/2/2018 at 10:13:26 PM

Hi There,

After reviewing all the work specified, and if you have no experience in home renovations, I would suggest hiring a reputable general contractor. The reason for this is scheduling. If you hire a general contractor that company will be able to apply for the appropriate permits and have access to qualified trades. As well they will have multiple jobs in which the experience will be necessary in order to make your renovation go smoothly.

I strongly recommend doing you due diligence when hiring a general contract. Research the company throughly. Ask for references where you can see the work completed and talk to their previous customers.

I hope that helps you.

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Date/Time4/2/2018 at 10:13:34 PM

Get a good GC, it's always better.

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Date/Time4/2/2018 at 10:25:10 PM


Looking at your list of projects I would hire a reputable general contractor. I moved from the GTA six years ago. Or I would be more than happy to handle the job for you.

Ask for referals.



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Date/Time4/2/2018 at 10:50:10 PM

It isn't a good idea to hire a few subcontractors. It would be better to take a few quotas and select one of the GC. If you have a lot of subcontractors there is no responsibility for the project.

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Date/Time4/3/2018 at 12:20:18 AM

The workscope you described and the extensive nature of your renovations would be best to be handled by a general contractor who would facilitate and coordinate all the work to be done in an organized manner.

From Engineering,blueprints permits and then the actual work itself.

Going in this case with individual trades ,one at a time would be for you a bit of a logistical nightmare let alone scheduling.



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Date/Time4/3/2018 at 2:23:48 PM

Really only need ONE good General Contractor.

WE are a design / build company and would like to quote you on the project and yes we can Project manage the complete project for you.

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Conrad in Toronto
Date/Time4/3/2018 at 10:32:25 PM

Thanks to all of you. And very nice to ge a unanimous answer from so many people. We will start researching general contractors. Thanks again!

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Date/Time4/7/2018 at 11:51:16 AM

Good question in my opinion i would go with a general contractor for a few different reasons,

#1 permits and building codes

#2 scheduling of tradesmen

#3 if you require extra work that may be unforeseen during renovation you would be able to have more control of pricing for the extra work to be done

#4 quality control and changes to renovation ,would not to have another sub trade come in on mid project ,which could hold up the entire renovation due to there scheduling .

These are just a few reasons

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