Help me find an urban-friendly contractor to renovate our condo!
July 2, 2012 9:41 AM Subscribe
Renovating a condo for the first time in downtown Toronto: How do we find great contractors and designers? How do we get started? Snowflakes inside.
posted by heatherann to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We have a 2-bedroom condo that was built in the early 80s and hasn't been renovated since. The particleboard kitchen is on its last legs.
What we want to do:
- Completely gut kitchen, turn L-shape into galley. Requires moving plumbing/ductwork, and we want to remove the wall where the doorway is.
- Gut bathroom and replace floor/tiles/sink (and bathtub?). Footprint can remain same.
- Remove carpeting in rest of condo. Parquet floors beneath could be saved?
- None of the plumbing or electrical work is up to code anymore. When we've done small improvements in the past, it's always uncovered shoddy work and been more complicated than we suspected.
- We want to have 1+ kids AND stay here. We want this condo to be flexible and multi-purpose as our family grows and changes. Most contractors/designers we've talked to are used to suburban life — we need a designer who understands living within 850 square feet. We aren't renovating so we can flip it; we want to live here for a long time.
- The idea of going to a showroom in the burbs to spend 3 hours looking at Every Tile Option Available is completely overwhelming. Is there a curated version of this?
- How do we make a budget for this? I don't even know where to start. We told one contractor a version of the above and she gave us a quote with only $5K of wiggle room, which seemed … odd.
- Are sites like Handy Canadian trustworthy? How can we find vetted contractors? Most of our friends are young and haven't done renovations yet. (If you've had good experiences with Toronto contractors, please MeMail me!)
- What do we need to have decided before hiring a contractor?
- Timeframes: How long does this sort of thing take? How long in advance do we need to have bought materials and hired people?
- Are we forgetting an important question??