The Construction Guy

Tumbler Ridge- With the rising cost of residential properties in Tumbler Ridge, home renovations are still a bargain.

Recently I spoke with friends who live south of the border, San Francisco to be exact. They were going to be having their kitchen remodeled, and had been waiting patiently since July, for a November ?December start date. Seems the contractors down there are so busy that they are backed up 5 months or more.

I was told that the kitchen would be striped, then new gyprock, and flooring would be installed. They were having a bay window, and a small skylight put in, plus all new cabinets, and counters, recessed lighting, and a small pantry, a fairly sizable job to say the least. They are then bringing in replacement appliances, with the exception of the stove, which the renovator concluded was still in fairly decent condition. This would help to keep the final costs down. Total price for this project, why a mere $40,000U.S.! In Canadian dollars ? $54,000. More than most here paid for their entire homes.

Home renovation here is a virtual bargain. I can?t see a kitchen remodel being much more than 15K tops, stopping short of solid gold fixtures of course.

One of the main factors keeping the costs down is the labor rates. A good contractor here should cost you anywhere from $25-35 per hour, but it is probably best for both parties to have a written contract with a total price. That way there are no surprises for the home owner. When we compare these rates with our friends to the south, well find that they are charging anywhere from $50-$100 per hour U.S.! So let?s consider ourselves fortunate.

When choosing a contractor for your particular job, always ask for references, and even ask if you could view some of their past performances. You would be surprised, allot of homeowners will be happy to show off the new work they had done. A fancy name doesn?t always mean good work, but word of mouth is usually the best show of character. Always be skeptical of a low rate, this generally indicates inexperience, or a con, and never pay for the job up front. Usually 30-50% of the total estimate for materials is fine.

Best of all, there?s still time to start your remodel this year!

If you have any questions about this, or need help with your next project, feel free to call me at 242-5860