5 Things to Think About When Hiring Local Contractors

May 24, 2024

Hiring the right contractor can be a daunting task. Whether renovating your home or starting a new construction project, finding the right professional contractor to work with is the most important thing you can do. From professionalism to trustworthiness, these are things that come up over and over again.

Here are five key things we recommend you think about when considering and ultimately, hiring the right contractor: 

1. Professional Contractors

A renovation or new build is a big undertaking that you should take very seriously, we certainly do, and would never recommend otherwise. Professionalism is the cornerstone of any successful contractor-client relationship. When evaluating potential contractors, consider their level of professionalism in various aspects:

IMAGE: Flintstones Showroom

Flintstones Showroom

Experience and Expertise:

Look for local contractors with a proven track record in the type of work you need. Expertise builds with experience and ensures that a contractor understands the complexities of the project. If you don’t see what you are looking for, ask for equivalent project examples—a good contractor should be able to explain the relevance and walk you through examples of what they have done already. 

References and Reviews:

Check references and read online reviews to gauge the contractor’s reputation. Positive feedback from previous clients is a good sign of your potential contractor’s continued professionalism and reliability.

“We couldn’t be happier with the work we had performed by Flintstones. In addition to their quality work, their professionalism and customer service are second to none. Whether it was the owner, or a front-line worker with a shovel in hand, they were always available to answer my questions and explain things as the work moved along.”

IMAGE: Mark Lane

Open concept modern bathroom

2. Taking Care of Your Property

Your property is a significant investment, and you want to ensure that it is treated with care and respect during the construction process. When hiring a contractor, consider the following aspects:

employees planning a project

Cleanliness:

A good contractor will maintain a clean and organized work environment, minimizing disruption to your daily life and preserving the integrity of your property.

Protection Measures:

Find out how a contractor protects your property during construction. This may include measures like covering floors and furniture, securing work areas, and minimizing dust and debris on your project. 

Safety Practices:

Safe and tidy workplaces result in a quality project outcome. Safety should be a top priority for any contractor. Some projects inherently have difficult and potentially dangerous obstacles to overcome including working at heights; working in confined spaces; and working with potentially hazardous materials. The safer the planning and project, the more comfortable the installations and the better the final product. Make sure a contractor addresses safety and adheres to safety regulations.

“The entire team was polite, kind and respectful of our home and family, kept a clean worksite and readily communicated on the progress of the 4-month project. They also took tremendous care of our trees and shrubs that were temporarily moved. We really appreciated their advice and expertise through the design phase of our renovation. Flintstones are sticklers for detail.”

— Liz Matthews

IMAGE: Fernwood

Modern kitchen with wood and green cabinets

3. Project Communication

Clear and open communication is essential for a successful construction project. Effective communication ensures everyone is on the same page and prevents misunderstandings and project delays. We recommend you consider the following communication factors:

Contractor Availability:

A good contractor should be accessible and responsive to your inquiries and concerns. They should provide you with multiple channels of communication for your project, such as phone, email, virtual or in-person meetings.

IMAGE: Mckenzie

Modern bathroom with dark grey cabinetry and gold hardware

Regular Project Updates:

As a client, it’s important that you are never left in the dark. Professional contractors will keep you informed about the project’s progress: any changes or challenges encountered, the timeline for completion and adjustments to the budget. Regular updates from your contractor will help manage expectations and build trust, ensuring you’re all on the same page and that you are not left with any surprises.

Problem-Solving:

Construction projects often encounter unforeseen issues. A good contractor should be proactive in addressing problems and proposing solutions in a timely manner.

“If you are looking for a contracting company that you can genuinely trust, who have superior people skills and who understand the importance of not only communicating well but also of initiating, following through and following up, then look no further – Flintstones is truly a class act.”

— Jo Roueche

IMAGE: Linkleas

Two-level house with porch and garage

4. Expectations 

Realistic and clear expectations are the foundation for a successful contractor-client relationship. Before hiring a contractor, ensure you understand the project scope, timeline, budget, and quality standards clearly. Consider the following expectations for your project:

Project Planning:

Look for a contractor who takes the time to develop a comprehensive plan that outlines the details of your unique build and specific needs. A detailed scope of planning ensures your project will run smoothly and be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. It will iron out any complications or surprises early on in the project and provide clear expectations before construction on your property begins.

IMAGE: Wildflower

Outdoor living area in back of home with pool, modern fire pit, and BBQ

Transparency:

A trustworthy contractor will be transparent about all aspects of the project, including costs, timelines, and potential challenges. They should provide you with accurate and honest information to make informed decisions about your property.

Scope of Work:

Changes to the original scope of work are inevitable in construction projects. Ensure that the contractor includes provisions for change orders and clearly defines the process for approving and implementing changes.

IMAGE: Himount

Exterior of large house with covered patio

A Clear Process:

Does the contractor have the entire process clearly defined and proven process in place that takes away the uncertainty in what can be a volatile business? They should be able to walk you through how you will work together, creating security throughout the process. Some things to look out for include the contract (the CCDC is industry standard and ensures a proper agreement is created that is written in both parties’ best interests); hold back accounts are set up as per lien and holdback laws in BC; insurance, liability and Workers Compensation Board are all addressed.

“There was always someone available to explain the scope of work and to address any questions we had. Flintstones is a very professional, highly skilled and knowledgeable team as well as being personable and considerate.”

— Kirsten Meincke

5. Your Project Budget

It’s always hard to talk about money, but you and your contractor must be on the same page from the start—you don’t want to waste your time or money. When hiring a contractor, look for someone who doesn’t let you get too far into a project without addressing the budget.  

IMAGE: Valdez

Exterior of large house with outdoor living area and lit up steps

Trust:

It’s the foundation of any successful contractor-client relationship. You need to trust that the contractor will deliver quality work on time and within budget.

Time:

Creating a project budget is not a quick or easy job. A realistic budget takes time. A professional contractor might walk you through previous projects that compare to what you want to do to get an estimate for your project. A lot of planning needs to go into creating a realistic budget and that includes doing the background work to find out what is possible on your property and taking time to find out about your design preferences and values.

IMAGE: Coastal Cabana

Modern outdoor pool with covered patio

Choosing a Contractor Who is “All In”:

A contractor should give you realistic expectations, timelines and budgets, not a “ballpark estimate”. Creating a detailed plan, designs and communications for your project is key to a successful outcome and shows that the contractor has committed to successfully delivering your project.

In Conclusion

Hiring the right contractor requires careful consideration of several factors, including professionalism, property care, communication, expectations and trust.

A LOT of factors and skills are required to complete your build project. You must look for a company with the right people in the right seats—don’t expect that one person is an expert in permitting, planning, budgeting, design, project management, administration and finance. Having a team with the right people in the right seats and working with a company that follows a proven process will add value to your experience and deliver consistent results.

What our clients say about our renovation services

  • We were totally impressed with the Flintstones Construction Crew ... Courteous, timely and master workmanship! We would definitely recommend Flintstones Construction to our friends. Len Atkinson and Marje Clews

    Marje Clews
  • Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of producing a TV commercial for Flintstones. Their entire team great to work with. They were warm, inviting and very open to collaboration. Easily one of my favourite clients of the past year. I will happily reach out to them the next time I need construction services.

    Dave Wallace
  • A slightly different review, but an important one. Yesterday I was walking my dog along Mayfair Drive (Mt Tolmie), where some Flintstones Constructions workers were working at a house (as evidenced by a sign). My dog stopped to sniff, and I overheard a conversation roughly as follows: A newer employee consulting his coworker on the best way to accomplish a task, and his co-worker replying with 'whichever method allows you to do the job to the best of your ability'. Next, the newer guy asked his colleague advice about doing something and putting a tarp down first. The more seasoned guy mentioned it could cause a hole in the tarp, and the newer fellow replied 'I thought I'd double-fold it first'. Instead of telling his colleague not to, the more experienced guy says "The thing that's great about this company is that it's not about how long it takes to do the job, it's about how long it takes to do it properly, without damaging anything and to the best of your ability. So take your time, and really take pride in your work, and that will make everyone happiest". Neither of these guys knew I was listening, and it was really wonderful to hear that "do it once, do it right" is more than just a slogan, it's company ethos.

    Rayna C
  • Within a few weeks of contacting them, we had a gorgeous new patio! Max was very responsive and made the process of getting our estimate and getting work underway go quickly and efficiently. Trent and Arlo were very professional with their installation and their work has exceeded our expectations. A wonderful experience and we will definitely work with them on all of our future projects.

    Sarah Alpert
  • Fantastic professionalism and work ethic from this company. From the beginning right through to the end, they ensure a project is done correctly, efficiently and they stand by high-quality product. It's been an absolute pleasure working on projects with Flintstones and I am proud of all the beautifully finished spaces we've created. I highly recommend Flintstones!!

    Stefanos Mavrikos
  • When we decided to renovate our patio, we contacted several companies to do the work. The first company we called never called back. The second company gave us a quote but didn’t ask us what we wanted. Then we found Flintstones. They sat down to talk to us about our vision, came back to us with plans the next week that we were very impressed with. Our outdoor living space is now finished and it is more than we ever imagined – there are smiles on our faces! From the moment the building started we had confidence in Flintstones. All of the workers were energetic, polite, and very competent. Communication was clearly very important to them. When we changed our minds on what they were building partway through the project, they were happy to comply without complaint or increase in cost. Next time we need a project done, Flintstones will be the first company we call! Thanks for everything.

    Sharon Buckingham