You’ve heard the gossip through the grapevine – your cousin’s sister-in-law’s best friend hired a home renovation company, and they didn’t complete the work according to budget or timeline. Now she’s left with a mess.

As you consider renovating your home, whether it’s a kitchen renovation, ensuite or bathroom renovation, or a more extensive whole home renovation, you hope not to end up in the same situation or worse. But what sort of precautions can you take? How can you protect yourself to ensure it doesn’t happen to you?

If there were some steps you can take or research you can complete – surely it’s worth your time to do before you hire home contractors to work on your home?

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The best ways to find reputable home renovation companies in Winnipeg – as you know having a choice can be better and help clarify any major decision
  • And then, we’ll explain the process to select and hire a reputable home renovation company in Winnipeg that will best suit your needs – at the end of the day, you’ll need to choose only one company to work with

Along the way, we’ll help clear up any mystery and outline the steps you can follow so that you can protect your #1 investment, your home. Get ready to learn how to find and hire a reputable home renovation company in Winnipeg!

How to find reputable home renovation companies in Winnipeg

If you’re not a DIY type, if your project is just too big or complicated, or you’d rather just work with professional renovators – the first step to completing any project in your home is to find a home renovation company to work with. And while this is the first step – it is crucial to get it right. Without finding a reputable home renovation company to work with, you put all of the other steps in jeopardy.

Before we dig into the ways to find one though, let’s quickly look at what a reputable home renovation company should look like:

  • They should be licensed (as a business) to perform renovations in Winnipeg
  • They should have a fixed or permanent address, phone number, email address, website, and other business essentials
  • They should have insurance that protects not only them but you
  • They should offer a warranty that covers their work
  • And bonus points if they are part of an association, membership, or obtained a professional designation related to their industry

However, if they don’t have the first four items on this list – then, they should not be a home renovation company that you choose to work with. Not having these vital business tools in place, is a giant red flag.

Home renovation company referrals or recommendations from friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else you may trust

Your friends and family are a fantastic place to start! Ask around, chat with your neighbours, inquire intel from your coworkers – chances are someone you know has completed a home renovation recently.

Kitchen renovation with large island by a home renovation company

As you discuss your trusted source’s renovation, don’t be afraid to dig into the experience. Ask questions about their project like:

  • What types of renovations did you have done?
  • How long did it take the renovation company?
  • How much did your renovation cost? (if you’re looking for ballpark information check out our “kitchen renovation costs” and “bathroom renovation costs” articles)
  • Would you have done anything differently now that your project is complete?

And the big one – would you use this home renovation company again for another project in your home? Even if the other information you’re getting is positive – nothing says “trust” like a repeat customer.

And always, depending on the amount you trust this person’s opinion, take what they say with a grain of salt. For example, if they say the work was exceptional but the price was more than they expected – is that really a bad thing? Or, from the opposite side of the coin – if the renovation was on the cheaper side, but they’re just glad it’s over with – do they even like it? Read between the lines!

Use Google to search for home renovation companies in Winnipeg!

This tip may feel like a no-brainer at this point! However, you’ll likely be able to find a few reputable companies to work with by running Google searches.

Check all parts of the Google Search Results Page – the ads at the top, the organic links below, the image or video search results… and of course, the map! With the map, you may potentially find a home renovation company that works in or near your area.

(To see the full version of the Google Search Page, scroll to the end of the article – in appendix #1)

But also, use Google strategically – if you don’t find what you’re looking for right away, don’t be afraid to dig past the first page or try a different search. Some popular search terms can help you below:

  • For kitchen renovations, search for “best kitchen renovation Winnipeg
  • For bathroom renovations, search for “luxury ensuite bathroom renovation Winnipeg
  • For design-build renovation services, search for “interior design-build renovations Winnipeg
  • Or for large-scale home renovations, search for “whole home renovations Winnipeg

Expanding your search with more words can often lead you to more specific results – and companies that do the type of renovation you want.

Turn to industry-specific credential websites to find home renovation companies

Chances are you’ve visited a website like the Manitoba Home Builder’s Association or the Better Business Bureau, and found a pile of companies you could potentially work with. Credentials can be a great way for a company to inform the general public that they meet the necessary, but often not difficult, standards to receive said credentials.

Luxurious ensuite bathroom renovation by home renovation company

Of course, I’m not discounting credentials, as we’re accredited with the MHBA as a Master Renovator, but so are many other home renovation companies within Winnipeg. However, steering clear of companies with zero credentials is a smart move.

Another aspect of credentials that can be harder to obtain is an award. But, as a consumer, you should know that most (nearly all?) awards are paid entry awards – meaning, as a renovation company, we paid an entry fee to have a shot of winning an award. Some companies don’t bother with awards. Others treat them like they are actually receiving “gold.”

However, in most situations, a renovation company that has won an award (or multiple) is a signal that its craftsmanship is superior. When you’re reviewing companies you’re considering, go to the award websites – look at the number of entries or nominees in the category. Did the company win by beating other reputable companies or did they win by default?

Evaluate their past home renovation projects

More often than not, a home renovation company will win an award based on a past renovation project they have completed. So, this is the perfect segway to my next piece of advice – evaluate the home renovation company’s past renovations.

Reputable home renovation company website with projects and awards

Their past work is a leading indicator as to what you can expect from them for your renovation. As you cycle through their work think about:

  • Do they have examples of home renovations that show they can do the type of renovation I want in my home?
  • Does the interior design style match your aesthetic and do floor plan layouts in the renovations look like something you would like?
  • Are there features shown in the renovation projects that you absolutely love? (start making a list)

Now, of course – if the company has no projects for you to look at should be considered a red flag. Also, for example – if they only post exterior projects – would you really want them to complete an interior project in your home?

Avoid home renovation companies that advertise themselves as low-cost options or cheap labour

While it can be great to get a good deal, be wary of home renovation companies that promote low cost as their primary competitive advantage. If you are considering a low-cost renovation company, also consider:

  • If your renovation isn’t appealing and you want to sell your home, an unappealing renovation can reduce the resale value, or can impact other financial matters negatively
  • If the renovation isn’t completed to your standard, it can hinder your personal happiness and make you unsatisfied with your home
  • The cost of poor craftsmanship having to complete the renovation again because the work didn’t last due to quality issues or shortcuts taken by the renovator

Along with the low cost of your renovation, while not your top consideration, it’s important that labourers are paid fairly for their efforts. At Hammerdown, we pride ourselves in hiring the best staff, who are dedicated members of our team and enjoy coming to work each day to help our customers complete their dream home renovation.

Work with locally owned and operated, Winnipeg home renovation companies

I’m not aware of many companies that complete home renovations from outside of Winnipeg other than the big box retailers. Similar to the last point we made, the installation experts at a big box store won’t have the same abilities as a red seal carpenter or other trades. They were often trained by the corporate entity that employs them and lack experience.

On the other hand, a local renovation company, from Winnipeg, will have intimate knowledge of homes in the area. Their teams are well-versed carpenters and tradespersons who have sharpened their skills through school, a trades program, experience, and often all of the above.

When you work with a local home renovation company, everyone wins. We make an effort to work with top-tier suppliers, products, and other tradespeople or companies whenever possible. They understand the climate and what your Winnipeg home needs. And it shows in our work – as our products and materials are second to none.

How to shortlist home renovation companies in Winnipeg that you want to work with

After you’ve conducted your initial research to find home renovation companies to work with in Winnipeg, it’s time for the next time. Chances are, you have a slew of companies on your list – perhaps 5, 10, or more. But you can’t work with all of these renovation companies. You must choose only one. Our next part of this article will walk you through ways to shortlist home renovation companies.

Compare the home renovation company services with the needs and goals of your renovation project

When reviewing a home renovation company’s website, along with samples of their past renovations – which can tell you what type of renovations they do – also look at other pages on their website.

Kitchen remodel by home renovation company

These websites will likely have more detailed information about the company, describe the home renovation services the company is adept in, and go into detail about how they will work with you.

All of this information is pure gold when it comes to narrowing down a winning renovation company to work with. As you review each home renovation company website, ask yourself:

  • Does this company sound like someone I would want to interact with face-to-face? 
  • What values does the company stand for or hold true?
  • Is the team large, small or somewhere in between?
  • What steps does the company follow in order to complete a home renovation?
  • Does their design-build process sound like something I would want to do for my renovation project?
  • Do they offer or advertise the services I need for my home renovation project?

As you learn about the companies, jot down notes or questions you have that you can refer to later. While you wouldn’t necessarily want to judge a book by its cover – if the renovation company hasn’t put an ounce of effort into their website – it can be a signal of things to come.

Narrow your list of home renovation companies to insured and licensed companies that provide warranty on their work

While this was already touched on ensuring that the renovation company is insured and licensed, it’s important to confirm during the shortlisting process.

It’s important to know what you’re covered for and what you’re not, before moving on – so confirm (if it’s not obvious):

  • What regulatory body is your company licensed with?
  • What insurance does your company hold and what’s covered within its purview?
  • How does your warranty work, what’s covered, and for how long?

Knowing the answers to these three simple questions can save you a lot of heartache if things should go wrong. Don’t become the next cautionary tale!… and with that let’s move on.

Check past reviews and ratings for the home renovation companies

Independent review and rating websites are the consumer equalizer (almost). They can be great resources to get biased and unbiased opinions of past customers. Some of the websites you should frequent are:

Of the list above, Facebook is one that we recommend putting the most trust into. Each review is attached to an individual profile – so not only do you get to see that the individual is honest, but it is connected to an actual Facebook user account.

Of the list above, Facebook is one that we recommend putting the most trust into. Each review is attached to an individual profile – so not only do you get to see that the individual is honest, but it is connected to an actual Facebook user account.

Like anything else, one low rating isn’t the end of the world. However, as you peruse, pay attention to the comments and feedback. How did the renovation company respond to any of the reviews – positive or negative?… Or did they respond at all?

Evaluate how responsive and attentive the home renovation company is

At this point in the possess of hiring a home renovation company, you’ve likely started to chat with a few that are at the top of your list. You surely have questions, and the home renovator should be able to give you answers.

But, as you have these conversations, monitor what the communication is like.

  • Is it abrupt, hasty, or giving off any other sort of negative impression?
  • When discussing your home renovation dreams do they give you their full attention or are they distracted?
  • Does the renovator have difficulty explaining things in easy-to-understand terms?
  • How quickly does the company respond to questions?
  • Do their answers explain things in full or leave you to piece information together?
  • If possible – talk to multiple employees at the same home renovation company – do they all have similar answers and responses?
  • If not, why are the answers different?
  • How connected does the team appear to be – do they talk to each other throughout the day or is there no communication between them?

All of these insights show you how you’re likely to be communicated with throughout the duration of your home renovation. There is a very good chance that if they are distracted, have difficulty explaining things, give fragmented answers, and aren’t connected to their team during the sales and outreach process – that it’ll continue with the rest of the project.

How to hire a home renovation company in Winnipeg for your renovation project

You’re getting closer to hiring the ideal home renovation company for your project! By now, your list of potential renovation companies should be three or fewer. Or, if you’ve narrowed your candidates down to one company – that’s fine too.

Oasis ensuite renovation by home renovation company

It’s time to get serious and wrap up these final items, so you can hire a home renovation company knowing you’ve done your due diligence – which should give you peace of mind. It should also lead to an amazing outcome on the other side of the renovation project process!

Have a conversation with the owner and primary contacts at the home renovation company that interests you

Depending on how the renovation company is structured, you may have met the owner, the lead project manager, the estimator, the construction foreman, the interior designer, etc. What we’re getting at is that you should meet with whoever is responsible for your project.

In fact, they should be requesting to have this conversation with you! How else are they going to know what they are designing or building unless they talk to you? During this conversation, it’s important that both parties lay their cards on the table to ensure the alignment works.

Read about our design-build home renovation process or take a look at what you can prepare for your interior design consultation before we chat! 

Ask the home renovation company to supply you with references… and check them!

Even though you’ve read reviews online and looked at testimonials, contacting the home renovation company’s past customers allows you to talk to someone who might’ve had their renovation completed years ago. How did the renovation work stand up over time?

Though that’s not the only reason to check in with references – if you haven’t already, you’ll hear first-hand experience from someone who completed a renovation with the company you’re considering.

Stunning kitchen renovation by home renovation company

At the very least, running through this final check-in will further give you peace of mind, allowing you to rest easy – and who doesn’t love getting a good night’s sleep?

Ask your selected home renovation company for a detailed renovation quote or contract estimate

After all of your concerns squashed, questions answered, and research conducted it’s time to sign! With that said, it’s important that you’re signing a contract. The contract should:

  • Clearly outline who is responsible for what and when
  • Must have concisely defined payment terms that cover the scope of the home renovation
  • Additional documentation should be supplied that outlines the insurance, liabilities, and warranty for the work
  • Have an estimated timeline as to when the project will start, when it will reach various milestones, and when it will be complete
  • List the team members, and what their skillsets are, who are participating in the renovation project

In addition to the legal contract which should contain the information above, you should also receive a detailed renovation quote or estimate that outlines the parameters of your renovation – i.e. who is doing what, and approximately when, where, or how.

With your contract and quote estimate in hand and signed – you did it! You hired a home renovation company to complete your project in Winnipeg! Now it’s time for you to sit back, relax, and watch the magic happen – as your home transforms into your dream space, right before your eyes!

Hire us as your home renovation company in Winnipeg

That last sentiment – where your home transforms into your dream space – is what will happen if you select and hire Hammerdown as your home renovation company. We have an amazing track record, a dedicated, fully integrated in-house team, and years of experience to know that we can get your renovation done, with confidence.

While we can take on most home renovation projects, we’re known for our transformative interior design services, phenomenal kitchen renovations, luxurious ensuite bathroom renovations, and our ability to tackle an entire main floor or entire home renovation – taking your space from insignificant to magnificent!

Ready to work with a reputable home renovation company in Winnipeg – contact us today!

Appendix #1 – Anatomy of a Google search page

Use Google search to find and hire a reputable home renovation company full size image