Home repairs and Reno's

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Posted by: from Legal
7/3/2012 at 10:09:01 AM

I am trying to get my home ready to sell, I do need alot of repairs, and some renovations.

My question is, is it better for us to buy the material and have someone do the work, or just to have someone quote everything incluing materials, how does that work, and which way is better. And is this better before or after a home assessment.

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Stephen from Mr Handyman in Mississauga
Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:08:33 AM

Hello Cindy,

We assist home owners often with home staging. As we work on a time and material basis, we recommend the client buy what they can to avoid paying us to shop or use our credit line.

We typically walk through the to do list and identify what they can run to the store and buy while we get to work. We have a great deal of van stock already for most repairs, but quite often the client has specific items in mind and there is no reason to pay us to shop.

For large items (drywall, lumber...) we typically arrange to have delivered or pick up on the way to the job site.

Hope this helps,


Mr Handyman

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:10:01 AM

Hi there

Either way it is up to you, you can ask the contractor to give a quote on just labour and material and labour.


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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:22:11 AM

I find it better to just have a professional give you a quote because they usually purchase material at a discount.

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Victor from Alarmshield Inc. in Kitchener
Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:25:45 AM


I went through the same thing last year. I priced out all the material myself, then got the contractors to quote me labor and material separately. On some items it was cheaper for me to buy things cause they were on sale, other items it was better for the contractor to supply as because they buy in large volumes they get amazing prices. I ended up doing my own plumbing as I found that the quotes I got were way out there. Where things like drywall and hardwood were very competitive and it was actually cheaper to get a contractor rather then doing it myself.

Hope this helps.


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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:40:10 AM

Hi Cindy,

it isn't easy to answer this question because it really depends on your contractor and how he does his estimates/prices.

For buying materials, it depends on the materials that you will need. Some of them come with lots of waste, especially if you have a lot of corners or the size doesn't match up with what you need. For example, some materials come in 4'x8' sheets and you might need only a piece 2'x5'.

It also depends where your contrrractor shops, some stores give huge discounts other stores not so much.

You will also have to get more material at your own cost if the contractor runs out of material due to waste or because you bought the exact amount and you didn't allow for any waste. He might charge you a fee if he has to wait to get the materials.

I would wait till after the assesment of the realtor to figure out what needs to be fixed. Some repairs won't bring you a lot of money back.

I hope that helped.

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:45:18 AM

It really depends on what the repairs and renovations are regarding should they be done before or after the home assessment. If the repairs and renovations will reflect on your asking price then you may want to do them first. Unless someone is looking for a fixer upper, most people don't want the bother of repairs once they move in. Even then a home assessment might find other areas that require repairs....but better to keep them to a minimum.

From a plumbing perspective, we usually prefer to use our own products for several reasons. There are so many products on the market now and not all are created equal. We know the quality of the products that we use and we also have recourse through the wholesale if there is ever a problem with anything that we install. Also, we have been on jobs where the homeowner was supplying everything, or so they thought, and, often, we still have to go get a part or two because the homeowner was not aware of everything that was needed.

Regardless of which you decide to do, please make sure that you hire a contractor that has a license, has liability insurance, and WSIB coverage. If there is ever a problem after you sell your home then the new homeowner will try to go after you. Not something you want to have to deal with after selling your home!

Good luck with this.

Pat Koets

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:47:28 AM

Hi Cindy

My answer , it depends on a few things..

How much time do you have available between now and "ShowTime"?

Handyman Companies are usually better supplied than homeowners and more familiar with sources of materials so they can quickly and efficiently, acquire the materials for the work. As well, in either case they will need to coordinate the availability of materials, with their skilled labour and the availability. Most companies will not be obligated to extend warranties on work, for items not provided by them.

In the final analysis, it's best to leave critical details and purchasing to experienced contractors and handy people, who work for BBB accredited companies. Start with trust is the best policy and leave the work to skilled people. Use your time to decluttering your home of personal items.

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:51:51 AM

A contractor adds 10 percent to materials for handling etc. He will get a better rate on materials then you will so it's about the same in the end and the contractor will know what materials he wants and how much of them and when he wanted them on site. So that being said I would leave the materials up to him.

Renovations are very hard to quote on because of the nature of them. You may or may not get a quote if you do it will probably be high in order for the contractor to protect himself from anything unforeseen. Hourly is always fair with renos.

As for before or after the home assessment I am unsure of what you mean?

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SVS General Contracting in Conklin
Date/Time7/3/2012 at 2:56:08 PM

Hi there Cindy,

As stated by many before me it does depend on what you are doing and the contractor as well.

In my case I will give the home owner a quote for material and labor and one for labor. I leave the choice to the home owner as they are alot more educated to what contractors will charge in my area and if they want to get the ;materials i will walk them through what they need and why, ie) waist because of sizes and what hidden things they will need and depending on the job I will go with the home owner and help them pick out what they want and this does not effect the cost of the job. I alow for this in my quotations.

I have had good response with this way of doing thigs here.

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Marcello from Urban Tech Homes in Calgary
Date/Time7/4/2012 at 12:37:06 AM

Having the contractor provide most/all of the material is the better way to go. If there are any issues with the materials, it will be handled by the contractor. Liability, quality, and warranty fall on the contractor who should be most apt to follow up should issues arise. Pricing is most always better when purchased by the contractor, at least in my case.

As for home assessment, this should be done close to, or after completion of repairs/renos. Realtors and appraisers alike will more accurately assess the value if they can visually see the final product.

Hope this provides some info you're after.

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Date/Time7/4/2012 at 3:56:53 AM


It depends, generally speaking the contractor is able to get better prices on supplies so having them quote with the supplies and install would likely be less headaches for you as well as they are usually better at estimating the amount of supplies needed so that you are not paying them to wait on supplies because you were short on your order or dealing with taking supplies back to the store because you ordered too much. If they do the ordering then they are responsible for dealing with both shorts or overs on supplies.

As for being better before or after a home assessment, for the purpose of selling, you would want the inspection after due to the fact that it will raise the sale value on your home. However, sometimes it is nice to get one before and one after just so you are able to see just how much your money raised the value of your home.

Good luck with your renovation and your sale.

Thank you,

Sherri & Dustin Depatie

Seamless Finishing Inc.

Office : 780-760-3852

Sherri : 780-297-0986

Dustin : 780-885-2231

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William from All Things Wood in Langley
Date/Time7/4/2012 at 11:59:51 AM

Get a home assesment through a home inspection service before entering the market.Maybe the repairs or (some of) dont need to be done in order for a sale to happen.Also this will tell you where you stand before doing any repairs, renos and!......the buyers will probably get the home inspected as well so you can use your inspection to notes shall we say.

Buy the materials and DIY.(if possible) If you have to outscource the work go with companys specializing in the particular work to be done and get three quotes for each.I wouldn't just give it all to 1 company.To easy to play with hidden costs and jostle the #'s around for increased profits.

Pay attention to warranty issues like transferables to next home owner.

Good luck

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Jordan from Diva Dream Designs in Edmonton
Date/Time7/11/2012 at 4:54:23 PM

In all cases the Contractor is fully aware of the products needed for your project and the scheduling of those products to be onsite. NOTE: The homeowner is charged a "downtime fee" should the product not be onsite and ontime if the client is responsible for supplying the product.

If you are provided with a quote that is "vague" I would suggest you purchase your own product due to the fact that you never know what product the Contractor will be using. The "unclear" notes in the quote will usually spell "Additional Charges" upon your final invoice.


The ultimate goal for any homeowner is to know exactly what products are going into your renovation at all times so as there are no surprises - additional product, materials and labor included! Take into account however that you and the Contractor may be confronted with issues unforseen such as behind walls, under floors, etc. When this happens request that all issues be communicated upfront and with a final confirmation of continuance from you, the client, prior to any addtional costs incurred.

Educate yourself and ask questions ... if your Contractor is honest and has integrity the answers you receive will be detailed and will make sense! If not, you may be paying more in the end than what originally quoted to you!

NOTE: Quotes are actual amounts and are realistic budgets. Estimates are "vague" and usually mean more money in the end!

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