Answered Questions
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  • What are the Service Area Loactions for Due West Carpentry & Renovations Ltd?

      Service Area Locations: The North Shore | North Vancouver | West Vancouver | Burnaby | Port Moody | Lions Bay | Coquitlam | Port Coquitlam | Kitsilano | Vancouver North.

    Please note: 'Service Areas' are only stated as a general guide and may be dependent on current work load.
    Please Call or Email to check our availability or to offer an 'out of town' or Extended Service area proposal if you have one.

  • Public Liability Insurance

      Issue's like Public Liability Insurance, should be a concern if you are a homeowner and want to consider the safety of family, friends and the General Public who at one time or another may be inadvertently around the project during and after it's completion. Even though Due West hasn't had an insurance claim filed before. Due West Carpentry and Renovations Ltd. carries a fully comprehensive 3 million dollar Public Liability Policy which can be confirmed with
    Irwin & Billings (Link) at 1900 Lonsdale Avenue North Vancouver, BC V7M 2K1, Canada (604) 988-1148

  • Workers Compensation Coverage

      Please note that anybody who works on your property for more than 8 hours is Legally required to have Workers Compensation Coverage.

    ".....The law requires WorkSafeBC to compensate injured workers - even when employers have not registered with WorkSafeBC. If a homeowner does not register with WorkSafeBC and pay premiums when required, the results could be costly. WorkSafeBC may charge the homeowner for all compensation costs and unpaid premiums from overdue accounts ..... "

      More often than not, some trade's claim ("ya, ya, ya...") to have WCB coverage when in fact they don't, or aren't up to date with there account, which is considered the same. Due West Carpentry And Renovations Ltd. is Dilligent and carries WCB for its employees and mostly hires sub trades that have WCB coverage but also pays into a 'Contractor Classification' which is a "Blanket Coverage' and covers all employees and Subtrades regardless if they have there own coverage or not.

      Just remember, they are called 'accidents' because no one expects them to happen.

    Workers Compensation Board Information: Work Safe B.C. (Link)

  • Quotes, Estimates and Budgets ?

      You should clarify that all the contractors bidding on your project are all providing the same criteria so that you can properly identify what each contractor is specifically going to provide you for the amount of money they think it will cost to complete the job. Providing a scope of work or list of objectives prior to our arrival will provide a clear course of direction, but is not mandatory if help is needed in determining these objectives.

      An 'Estimate' is an educated guess (Or uneducated guess) on what the project may cost the client, based on loosley determined needs and wants of the client. This is usually provided for general consultation purposes, restoration projects, mangement only contracts ("cost plus") etc..

      A 'Budget' is also a prediction of costs but usually based on a bare minimum of requirements and therefore may not provide the customer with a realistic overview of what the 'finishing costs' will amount to as the choices the client makes are added to the final invoice a la carte to the 'contract' without unbiased comparison or competetive review for the additional costs. Some contractors will form there own opinions of what they think will suit you best or what will make the price appear lower on paper in order to 'secure the job' so they don't have to waste any time on you untill they know they have the job. Overbooking, lack of experience, poor construction management skills, laziness, and poor service can also be attributed to 'Budgets' that appear much lower than the proposal of some other competitors who may have spent the time informing, establishing, and determining the clients needs and thus providing a proposal document outlining a specific 'scope of work' known as a 'Quotation' or 'Fixed price' based on the level of quality and sound knowledge that the customer realistically requires to have the project completed.

      'Cost Plus' or TM (Time and Materials) is a process where the client is provided a 'Budget or Estimate' and then the customer is billed for the predetermined hourly wages plus the material costs. Example only: Carpenters helpers $40 an hour, Carpenters $50 an hour, Foreman $60 an hour, Plumbers $65 an hour, Electricians $65 an hour etc... A management or operational fee is usually added to the labour total which can range anywhere from 10-25% and covers the cost of project management, WCB (4%+), Insurance etc...

      Allthough this may seem the easiest and most convenient way to the customer at first, it is also the number 1 reason for the horror stories that you hear about billing shock and delayed project completions. There is plenty of information on the web about this method so i won't go into great details accept to say with a fixed price there is contractor incentive for fast completion when choosing the right contractor. Without a fixed price there is no contractor incentive for completion unless a time sensetive performance bonus is implemented. Also, it is well known that some contractors will invoice the client for carpenters rates when in fact they may be only industry qualified as carpenters helpers or hiring trades who arent very good at what they do and work for a lower wages creating better profit margins for the contractor. So if you have trades working on your project that aren't the best or very good at what they do it would make sense that they will take longer to perform the work and of lesser quality especially if they aren't managed very well. Also who pays for the time it takes to correct any mistakes which may or may not go unoticed by the customer? These are all considerations that should be made before you decide to embark on a project as it is very easy to accept a Budget or Estimate that seems reasonable or lower than the rest but then as the project unfolds you are told that the level of finishing you had hoped for is going to cost you more than the Budget or Estimate.

      'Hidden costs' Is a fee for hidden obstacles or obstuctions that are not anticipated in the original scope of work, Not an excuse to bill the client more because of a lack of knowledge or mistakes by incompetent or poorly managed workers. The lack of details on the original proposal can also leave more room for unscrupulous contractors to inflate added costs and extras to an allready under bid proposal which will also limit customer choices provided by the contractor if they make a fuss which can make the client/contractor relationship awkward, uncomforting and in some cases disasterous.

      'Additonal costs' are usually associated with client upgrades and changes going over budgetable items (non-standard building materials) within a quotation in order to tailor the project to their needs as they see the project unfold. In other words the more prepared you are as a customer on what you want your project to turn out like and what you are willing to budget prior to the arrival of bidding contractors, the more likely everyone will be picking apples from the same tree when providing you with there proposals.

  • Should I get a building permit ?

      This is entirely up to the customer and the type of project that you wish to engage in. The bottom line is that all work should be completed to current building codes or better in order to protect the customer from things not being done properly. More often than not some contractors and renovation companies claim to build and renovate things to current building codes but in fact don't because they haven't got the experience, knowledge, patience and/or budget in the quote they provided you to perform the work to building code specifications.

      Any additions or extensions are an obvious sign that one would be required as the zoning bylaws in each municipality have certain requirements about heights, setbacks, and lot density. The last thing you would want is to have to remove such an investment or nullify any home Insurance policies or WCB requirments in a worst case scenario.

      In the case of building permits for additions, extensions and other major structural alterations, lot and structure measurements need to be taken and or confirmed and architectural drawings of one sort or another along with engineers schedules if required will need to be submitted to the building department for approval. These processes don't happen overnight and wait times during good weather can be as much as 2 months once the submission has been satisfied to the approval of the local municipality and placed into queue, so it is important to plan ahead of the good weather. Spring and Summer are busy times for municipal building departments and architects, engineers and contractors alike so the forementioned tasks would ideally be completed before then.

  • How much does your Quotation cost ?

      Currently there is no fee for a site visit, evaluation, consultation & written quotation if it is determined that Due West has a fair chance at being awarded the project without compromising quality standards. Larger projects may only be issued an estimate at first for time managment purposes, and then a detailed quote thereafter if required and with the clients Participation.

      Your average Quote consists of meeting with you to perform a site inspection and assessment. After offering advice and determining your needs a written quote will be provided to you via email.

      There aren't a lot of other services where the business actually comes to the client. And unfortunately some people don't seem to acknowledge or appreciate that providing quotes, is time that we could be spending on existing projects and clients and getting paid for that time or catching up on errands. Each visiting contractor will spend a minimum of two hours including travel time and fuel costs to meet and offer the client some sort of insight and information. If they choose to bid on the job, that will require a Minimum of another 2-4 hours of preparation time. (On larger projects, 2-5 Days) This may involve making drawings and faxing those details off to suppliers and sub contractors in order to compile an accurate quote to present to the customer.

      For various reasons some will bid higher and some will bid lower, but they all will have spent some sort of time on you. It is a Professional Courtesy not to mention Good 'Manners', to thank and inform everyone of the results so they can competitively better themselves at providing quotations in the future and be confident that when the next customer calls for a quote, that it will be appreciated and Not taken for Granted. We recommend that you get 3 quotations for evaluation purposes and ask each contractor when you can expect that quote. If you have not received those quotes or a notification of delay within that time frame we recommend getting another quote so your project is not delayed from the get go.

  • DIY Contractor Consultation   Not Available at this time.

  • How do we retain your services ?

      Once you have accepted our Quotation proposal, a contract will be forwarded to you for your review which will specify a payment and work schedule, and all other pertinent information. After approval of the contract a retainer/deposit (specified in the contract) will be required in order to finalize the booking of your project. At this point final design elements and decisions will be made and any special order items will be ordered. Depending on your project you may also be given a list of items that you will be required to shop for, where my network of suppliers will be welcome to assist you if you do not have any contacts of your own. Further Contractual Details, Obligations and Warranties will be provided in the appropriate documents.