Frequently Asked Questions

Click on each question below to reveal its response

What are the benefits of using your company?

Our company is small enough to be concerned with the outcome of each contract and large enough to respond quickly to your timeline and needs. With a foreman on-site and a project manger coordinating the work, we are fully accessible to discuss your projects and deal with any unforeseen situations immediately as they occur.

What type of license and insurance do you have?

We have our General Contractor’s license chartered by the RBQ (Regie du Batiment du Quebec) and are insured for up to $1,000,000.

Is your work guaranteed? How long?

Yes. All of our workmanship and materials are guaranteed for one year.

What are your working hours?

Normally our trades work between 8 am and 4pm Monday thought Friday. When possible, we like to start earlier and finish earlier. Weekends are sometimes a possibility.

What is the first step when considering a renovation?

Once you have decided the area you would like to renovate, the next step is to choose a designer and contractor. A preliminary meeting with the contractor can give you some valuable ideas and approximate costs to determine the feasibility of your project. For an accurate estimate, it is important to have a detailed plan and an idea of the finishings that you plan to use. This process can often take some time and should not be rushed. We have a team of in-house designers that can help facilitate the process. Once you are satisfied with your plans, then you are ready to get detailed estimate of the cost and timeline of the project. Our estimates are free of charge.

Do we need to have plans prior to calling you for an estimate?

Although it is easier to estimate with plans, it is not absolutely necessary for smaller or more straightforward projects. In these cases, we will endeavour to provide an estimate to the best of our ability. Should we feel that a written plan would be better, we can recommend an appropriate designer or architect.

Is Newsam responsible for protecting my property and cleaning up?

We take great pride in protecting your home and personal space. Cleanliness is paramount to each contract. We separate the working area from the living area with a plastic wall and zipper door. We cover all the floors and tape plastic over sensitive areas. If required, we put down thicker protection for the floors (called Tentas) and install dust collectors. The site is cleaned at the end of each day.

Can we live at home during the renovation?

It all depends on the size of the renovation and how many zones are affected. This decision is made before any work has begun. Much attention is given to making sure that you are as comfortable as possible during the project. For kitchen renovations, we make sure to set up an alternative temporary kitchen for the entire duration of the renovation. Access doors, port-o-lets, containers, smell, dust, noise are all taken into consideration, so that both you and your neighbors are inconvenienced as little as possible.

Do you receive special discounts from suppliers? How much?

In certain cases we get reduced rates from our suppliers, usually varying between 5-40%, depending on the product. Generally, this applies more to specialty design items and smaller retailers. (Larger stores such as Home Depot and Reno Depot offer us preferential service and access, but do not discount their prices for contractors.) All our discounts are passed on to the customer, and are reflected in the Quickbooks printout of project material costs.

What is the 15% overhead and administration charge about?

This represents the value that we add to the price of the contract based on the expertise, structure and coordination that we bring to the job. On the administrative side, we keep detailed and updated accounts of all time and material associated with your project (divided by day and trade), negotiate contractor volume discounts on materials (passing on these savings directly to you), and find solutions to problems if they arise. On the management side, we offer design expertise, carefully choreograph each project, negotiate the lowest price from our sub-trades, update the budget and timeline, and handpick the appropriate worker who will best suit the needs of each of our clients.

What do you mean by detailed billing?

Every two weeks you will receive a detailed updated account summary of the costs incurred. The labor portion is detailed by each worker’s hours per day as well as sub-trades contracts completed. A printout straight from our QuickBooks accounting program includes all the material expenses incurred to date.

What does the Project Manager do?

The Project Manager (PM) is the most important person in the renovation process. He has an extensive list of contacts and experience in construction. The PM is in continuous contact with the workers and sub-trades to make sure that they are doing their work correctly and on time. While the site foreman works on site all day, the PM passes once daily. He makes sure that the sub-trades and workers are at the right location at the right time. He also liaises with the client to make sure that he or she is fully informed about the scope and progress of the work.

end faq