To Permit or Not to Permit: Is This the Question?

Whether you know it or not, most areas in Canada require a permit for new construction and structural repairs. Curiously, as builders and restorers, we’ve found that the first question that comes up in a discussion of building permits with homeowners is not the cost of, or necessity for, a permit. It is, instead, whether homeowners agree with the process of obtaining a permit for work taking place on their own homes. Continue reading

Construction Drawings: This All-important Map for Building Projects Starts With Sketches

Most people wouldn’t dream of traveling somewhere they’ve never been before without a map. Why? Because not having directions is the best way to get lost. The same is true in building. Construction drawings are the “map” homeowners and builders need to show the best route to where they’re going with a project. And anyone with a pencil, paper, and a dot of imagination can get a building idea rolling. Continue reading

Contractor Down: How to Ensure Great Contractor/Homeowner Relations

Some believe that an “honest contractor” is a contradiction in terms. As a contractor, I have and continue to run head on into the occasionally correct belief that the chief contractors’ aim is to do as little as possible for as much money as possible. An operative for our design/build company jokes that whenever a contractor trips or otherwise falters on the rocky ground of the jobsite, a broad cry of “Contractor Down!” echoes loudly throughout the community, attracting disgruntled homeowners from near and far, who waste no time in coming to kick that contractor while they can do so easily. Continue reading