Ask your Renomark renovator about contracts

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"Why are there different types of renovation contracts?" This is a question we get quite often at BILD. A written contract is a key part of a home renovation project. A renovator may choose a certain type of contract depending on the nature, duration and potential cost of a project. It is important that homeowners understand the differences and the particulars of each type.

Three contract types are most commonly used: The traditional lump sum contract; the designbuild contract; and the construction management contract. The differences among them start at the beginning of the renovation.

Traditional lump sum contract

This process begins with a homeowner and a designer working together to determine what the renovation will look like, including the selection of finishes, such as tiles, paint and light fixtures.

Once a design is complete, the homeowner should secure quotes for the project from three different contractors, with a fixed price to deliver what they have been shown. Any changes or errors in the design may be charged back to the homeowner as extras. Often in a renovation, there are conditions that are hidden at the time of design and need to be addressed during the construction process. With this type of contract, the homeowner needs to manage the contracts and coordinate any changes between the contractor and the designer.

Design-build contract

With this contract type, the designbuild contractor is hired at the very beginning of the process, and is the homeowner's only point of contact. The homeowner sets a project budget with the designbuild contractor, who is then responsible for using their staff or network to secure the designers and trade contractors. An additional advantage of this contract type is that the homeowner can start construction knowing what the final finishes are going to be.

Construction management contract

With this contract type, the homeowner will pay the contractor for their management services, separate from the renovation costs such as materials and labour. This means the homeowner is able to make any changes they want during the design and construction, and the contractor doesn't get to increase costs associated with changes that are requested. The advantage of this contract type is that the homeowner has full transparency of costs.

If you have more questions about the benefits and risks associated with each type of renovation contract, ask your RenoMark renovator. All RenoMark renovators must supply their clients with a written contract as outlined in the RenoMark Code of Conduct. To find a RenoMark renovator near you, visit