What’s The Best Way To Ensure Your Toronto Renovation Goes Smoothly?


The best way to address this question is to first assess what the most common complaints homeowner’s have regarding their renovations. And they usually fall within the FIVE categories listed below:


  1. Faulty Work/Poor Workmanship
  2. Unskilled Workers
  3. Construction Delays
  4. Runaway Costs, or Over Budget
  5. Lack of Selections


So what do you do? How can you make sure your project doesn’t fall into any one of these categories and RUNS SMOOTHLY? What should you expect from you contractor? What should they be doing? At Ashton Renovations we are committed to a process. Our process ensures clients receive the best possible renovation experience, and avoid failing into these categories. Here’s how we do it.



Avoid Faulty Work/Poor Workmanship

We here at Ashton Renovations are passionate about what do and are attentive to details as you see from our plumbing and framing work above. We love design. And we love creating new spaces for our clients that dramatically improve the quality of their lives. At the end of every job we want to feel proud about what we have created along with our clients. In order for that to be possible, our work needs to be outstanding! We have a zero tolerance for work that is not to our expected standard and take great steps through the design and construction process to review and inspect work. We also are clear and transparent and upload most of our work including progress photos that reveal the fine structural and finishing details.


  • Demand your contractor is committed to outstanding workmanship, and is proud and passionate about the work they do




Unskilled Workers

An important ingredient in any renovation is to match the skills of the worker to the task at hand. That means that each portion of the job should be performed by a trade that is experienced with the proper qualifications to do that job. So…it goes without saying that a tile setter shouldn’t be doing carpentry and vice-versa. We strongly believe in this, and make sure we follow this principle. We also carry this into the business side of things. Our business is managed by those qualified and university educated in business management, and our design is carried out by certified designers. At Ashton Renovations we are proud to say that many of us have over 30 years experience in the industry and carry ALL the required licenses. Ashton Renovations is an award winning NKBA design firm and licensed in the City of Toronto with a wide range of industry related certifications.


  • Demand your contractor uses trades with the RIGHT skills to do their job. Make sure they are experienced and licensed in their field. 




Construction Delays

This is an all too common complaint by homeowners, and is largely a result of poor communication from most contractors. It’s an almost MUST that schedules be shared with homeowners, but often times they are not. If nothing is happening on your jobsite, you should be told why. Is the contractor waiting for materials? Is there an upcoming inspection that first must be passed before proceeding? Are they between trades waiting for the next contractor? Are there changes to the job that need to be worked out? Whatever the reason is, you should be told, and it should be for a legitimate reason. At Ashton Renovations we use the best construction management software that notifies clients about schedules, changes, and daily logs with photos. We also regularly advise of upcoming material and selection needs online so that things keep moving without delays, make sure schedules are done in advance.


  • Demand you contractor communicates regularly with you about your construction schedule, and make sure you do your best to ensure he has everything he needs to keep the job going.



Runaway Costs, Or Over Budget

This is a sensitive area for most homeowners, and rightfully so. Your construction project shouldn’t go over budget. In fact, if you’ve signed a DETAILED contract with a FIRM PRICE QUOTATION it shouldn’t. So how does this happen to so many homeowners? If you’ve had a project that goes over budget its likely for these reasons:

a) Additional work has been requested. This is an acceptable explanation. If more work is being asked of the contractor, they should be compensated for the labour and materials required.

b) Unforeseen circumstances. Was asbestos, or termite damage discovered? Did the contractor notice structural issues with your home? Was the electrical, plumbing, or HVAC problematic? Again, this is an explainable reason, as long as it was indeed unforeseen.

c) Upgraded materials. Again this is a legitimate reason. However, if you are being charged more for a material selection that is specified in the contract that’s not acceptable.

d) Contractor asks for more money. This is not a valid reason. Did the contractor underestimate the work? Are they over their head? Again, by demanding a detailed contract this can be avoided.


  • Demand from your contractor up front to have a detailed contract that specifies labour and material details. For most renovations it should be at least 10 pages long! And be careful about adding work. It can add up quickly.



Contractor Does Not Respect Your Selections

How many time have we heard a contractor wants the homeowner to use a specific product that they will supply, and your choices are limited. This shouldn’t happen. At Ashton Renovations we allow our clients to select and purchase products they feel comfortable with. They make their own choice and can purchase where they wish. Of course, we recommend suitable products that will work with their design elements, but in the end we respect our client’s decisions. We also go through a very detailed planning and design process from the outset.


  • As long as your design and material choices meet CODE demand that your contractor respect them. It’s YOUR HOUSE not THEIRS!


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Mark Ashton

Kitchen & Bath Designer
AKBD, CLIPP, B.A., B.A.S. (Mgmt.)

For over 25 years, Ashton Renovations has offered an innovative and professional approach to home renovations. From kitchens and baths to whole house projects, we can transform any room in your home.