A contractor emailed us the comical BS he recently had to go through, all because he wanted to build some porch stairs slightly within a “tree protection zone”
For some reason Alec Caldwell doesn’t want to contemplate Christmas dinner with Bryan Bauemler. In his mini-poll, it’s a choice between Mike Holmes and Jim Caruk.
Your responses are strictly confidential. By filling out the survey, you will get some good insights into your own business. And did we mention the possibility of the free iPad?
Markup on direct job costs (labour and materials) to reach One Third gross margin (33 per cent) is 50 per cent.
Congratulations to Ontario MPP Mike Colle for arranging this industry gathering at Queen’s Park to discuss ways to prevent tragedies like the underpinning-related death of Ryan Pearce, 19.
November 27, 2014
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Freud says that this circ saw blade is the “Most technologically advanced general purpose saw blade on the market.”
As a professional renovator or custom home builder, you don’t have a second to waste on prospective customers who are really just tire-kickers. Watch this video to learn how to “qualify” all sales leads before you drive out to see them.
Barrett Budgell, a single father of 4-year old twin boys, didn’t know what a nice surprise was waiting for him when he bought the 10,000th single-family home constructed by Excel Homes, Calgary. The home, in Cochrane, Alta., came with some extra added features added just for Barrett and his kids – including $10,000 in education funding for the twins. Nice.
Manny Neves and Anderson Hinds, the Hardcore Renos boys in Toronto who were featured on our July/August issue cover, produced one of the greatest self-produced construction videos of all time (seriously) when they poured their footings for their Rondale House project.
Blue Green Group gave the Hardcore Renos team a “flying colours” rating (well, that’s not the official rating, but you get our drift) for the blower door test on their Rondale Avenue new home build.
The Hardcore boys, Manny Neves and Anderson Hinds install JeldWen windows
Two contractors walk into a bar…
What are you doing online? Here are some ideas from Coach Mike Draper.
Should you consider associating yourself – or your “brand” as the marketing types call it – with that of a famous TV contractor? Will it do you any good? Is the entire idea any good? Mike Draper talks to Rob Koci about this topic.
Focus comes from having distinct goals for your renovation business. Useful goals can be related to (1) Hours worked (2) Revenue and (3) Profitability.
There are 300 contractors and other firms associated with the Baeumler Approved contractor referral program, Bryan Baeumler’s folks tell us
Manny and Anderson have put up 122 videos detailing their insanely great building skills – and wacko senses of humour – at their Rondale Boulevard build
(VIDEO) Ontario College of Trades: Licensed plumber Garfield Dunlop MPP hammers the Liberals on union bias
Ontario’s Liberal government, re-elected with a 9-seat majority, came under fire from Garfield Dunlop, skilled trades critic for the PC party, during today’s question period at Queen’s Park. Dunlop alleges a pro-union bias and a conflict on interest involving the Ontario College of Trades
Here is one of the latest “Sharpie Marker” construction videos that Steve is becoming (sort of) famous for. It’s all part of his new Cabin Building series.
If you’re a good contractor, and you’re in a good marketplace, you should be at your busiest time of the year right now. Contractor coach Mike Draper (www.renovantage.com) talks about how to use busy times to structure your business properly for the future.
You won’t get a better opportunity to work for an exciting, hip and happening residential construction company than this
In this video, Canadian Contractor contributing editor Steve Maxwell shows how to attach a deck to a house the RIGHT way.
There is a big mistake in building decks that almost every builder makes at least once. Tools editor Steve Maxwell tells you how to avoid it.
Stuff We Like editor Steve Maxwell provides a detailed description of the perfect post saddle installation
Decks are a staple project for many contractors. If you’ve built many or few, this new Maxwell series on deck building is a must watch.
In this video, Ontario PC leader stands alongside licensed plumber and PC skilled trades critic Garfield Dunlop in pledging to abolish the Ontario College of Trades, if the PCs are elected.
When you’re done paying your HST, submitting your WSIB premiums, filling out Ministry of Labour forms, and dodging the Ontario College of Trades, give yourself a break. Watch this video
(VIDEO) Rob and Steve talk about the Ontario College of Trades not showing for our planned interview…
… and we talk about our next issue – and “Job Site to Go”: some really cool mobile software for renovators and builders
The safest fire is no fire at all. Or something like that.
A lot of contractors take a booth at a home show, but don’t get any worthwhile leads for new business, even though the show might be swarming with potential new customers. Renovantage’s Mike Draper tells you how to work a home show to get real leads, for real business, in this video clip.
Traditional basement finishing techniques using stud frame walls, fibre insulation and vapour barriers can sometimes work out OK. But this “traditional” method of building is not without its risks – especially in moist conditions. Steve Maxwell show us how to use foam panel systems and engineered subfloors to ensure a warm, dry and cozy final product.
In the last decade, 20 people have been killed by contact with overhead powerlines. It didn’t have to be that way
(VIDEO) Rob and Steve talk about the average Canadian contractor’s salary, plus the Ontario College of Trades
$69,550 is the median income of the Canadian Contractor readers who filled out our 6th Annual OutRank Salary Survey.
Mike Upshall, a veteran homebuilder and renovator, talks about how he runs his firm using a lead carpenter system that puts on-the-tools carpenters into front line roles with full budgetary responsibilities
VIDEO: In a dispute about a tile or marble installation? Call these experts for a third party opinion
TTMAC, the Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC), will send an expert to inspect your tile installation if you have a quality dispute with a homeowner
Peter Douglas, a design-build contractor who got tired of struggling to record and manage job expenses using Word and Excel, has come up with a software program called JobSite ToGo
Got a cash flow crunch? Help solve it with Square’s free credit card reader for your smartphone or tablet
Square’s device and the app that powers is is compatible with Android smartphones, iPhones and iPads. Presto, your customer’s credit card payment shows up in your bank account by the next business day.
If you are working too many hours as a renovator or contractor, there are two bad things that can happen to you. One, you can burn out – have physical health problems. Two, you won’t be able to sell your business when you want to retire.
At the beginning of a renovation, the client is nervous, but likes you – and is excited. They might even bring your guys donuts and coffees and become your friend. Then, things go sideways. How can you avoid this happening?
Every contracting business has a certain plateau at which it can’t make any more money for the owner without hiring more skilled help – or setting up better systems – or both. In this video, Rob Koci and Mike Draper talks about how to accomplish that, espc
RONA is conducting 10 Contractor Shows across the country, and Canadian Contractor is there
What’s the difference between “building a brand” and “lead generation”? The first term is “nice to have,” but the second is “need to have,” as Renovantage’s Mike Draper explains in this short video clip.
The two ink-stained wretches who bring you Canadian Contractor in print talk about what’s making news in our upcoming February issue.
“We have a veneer of democracy covering the reality that unelected, invisible bureaucrats make the big decisions that affect day to day lives.”
If you haven’t seen this video yet, watch it if you can. A contractor is taking it to the WSIB in the courts. Now, that’s a switch.
What happens when you decide there will be no deficiency list? It changes everything and makes you much more profitable.
If you feel you aren’t making nearly enough money as a renovation contractor, watch the president of one of North America’s leading contractor training organizations tell you how her members have dramatically lifted their profits.
Ian Szabo has a lot going on in the renovation business. How does he do it?
Mike Draper of Renovantage.com concludes his chat with Rob Koci, editor of Canadian Contractor, about problem solving with clients
Garfield Dunlop, Ontario’s representative for the people of Simcoe North, is not “just” a politican, he’s a licensed plumber
Jeff Koller offers qualified support for the new mandatory WSIB premiums for the Ontario industry
The Ontario Construction Finishing Industries Alliance (OCFIA) represents unionized painters and managers in that sector of our industry and Jeff Koller is a frequent spokesperson in favour of the Ontario College of Trades.
When Garfield Dunlop speaks out so strongly against the Ontario College of Trades, he isn’t just being a Progressive Conservative politician taking shots at yet another bad idea from the Dalton McGuinty government. He’s speaking as a Canadian Contractor. He’s a plumber.
In this video, Rob Koci of Canadian Contractor and Mike Draper, contractor coach at Renovantage.com, talk about the third step in solving conflicts with clients: The Action Plan
Whenever there’s a glitch, a screw-up, or a surprise on a renovation project, it’s tempting to forge right on with a solution that you, the renovator, thinks will work. But you need to make sure the client agrees with the changes you are going to make to the plans, to the schedule or to the finished look. Watch the video for more.
In our latest Coaches Corner video (here), Mike Draper of Renovantage.com chats with Rob Koci, associate publisher of Canadian Contractor. This week’s topic: How to get to the REAL root of any problems…
You are online whether you want to be or not. You need to manage what is being said about you and your company.
It’s a listing you never asked for and don’t want and there are bad reviews from angry customers attached. What can you do? HomeStars president Brian Sharwood tells us why the listing is there and how to protect your reputation.
Toronto contractor Alan Jenkins is the proud new owner of an iPad, simply for filling out a few questions on our annual OutRank Salary Survey back in February and March.
Home Inspection is a growing industry for which renovators are well suited
You have a great idea for a new product but how do you get it to market? Dragon’s Den? No, just call Steve Sennik
Mike goes to bat for you on products
Here’s a chance to improve your website. And here’s a contractor that is giving his employees and their families back to the government of Ontario to look after.
Some contractors knock Mike Holmes because he once went bankrupt while he was a full-time contractor. He did, but he has something to say about that.
Think you are unaffected by the tax grab in Ontario? Not so fast.
Mike’s insurance and how he estimates his jobs
If you are not, you are a dead man… or woman. Carrie Shaw tell us why.
Mike turns his beefy guns on customers
Contractors from across the province are saying enough is enough and they will no longer accept the WSIB’s effort to dig into their pocketbooks to deal with the $14.5 billion unfunded liability.
Why parents don’t want their kids to be trades people. And what to do when your customer owes you $100,000
Do we need central planning or should we let the free market sort things out?
The curse of TV and the help of sponsors and contractors working for free
Independent operators in Ontario mobilize to tell the Ontario government how they feel about the increased cost of doing business as a result of Bill 119
What Mike really thinks about contractors
The first segment of our exclusive interview with Mike Holmes, as he responds to a barrage of criticism from Canadian Contractor readers. And Steve and Rob talk about moonlighting firefighters doing renovations for cash in their spare time… while they pocket gold-plated, public sector benefits packages.
Rob learned the hard way as a renovator. His 3 biggest mistakes will never be yours if you watch this.
See how they make moulding at Royal Woodworking, a moulding manufacturer in Bradford, Ontario.
A “Made in Canada” product you will want to install in your customer’s basement
Keeping the site neat is a very good way to leave a good public impression
Video: Rob, Steve and readers weigh in on the Ontario College of Trades’ fees for “compulsory” trades
The College will be invoicing lots of you in April. $120 for licensed trades in certain categories, and $60 for apprentices. Many readers of Canadian Contractor are angry about this, saying that the College is offering little or no value in return.
No offense to this guy, really, but how do five tips on bathroom renos that start with “Make sure you have a really, really good plan” get 30,162 hits? How desperate can we…
You thought your mistakes were bad!
Mike Holmes hammers Canadian contractors in the latest issue of Readers Digest. “What percentage of contractors are doing good, honest work?” he’s asked in an interview about his new show, Holmes Makes It RIght. “I call it the good, the bad and the ugly: 20, 70 and ten percent, respectively” Holmes replies.
If you can learn from anywhere, learn from WestJet
And why Life Cycle Assessment is the only way to know what is truly “green.”
Make a lot more money as a renovator, without burning yourself out. Attend our RenoSummit one-day seminars in Vancouver (Nov. 12), Calgary (Nov. 14) and Winnipeg (Nov. 16)
R Value credibility takes another serious beating
Tools editor Steve Maxwell is the Tip King where building is concerned
Sean Reid of stopthetradestax.ca responds to Ron Johnson of the Ontario College of Trades
Our tools editor surprises us
What was it like to build windows 20 years ago?
One of our favourite parts of Canadian Contractor magazine is Stuff We Like. We had a chance to enjoy a whole room full of stuff we could like at a recent showcase event…
When timing is everything, this Can Save
Marvin Windows and Doors shows you two of its favourite products
What would you do if you won a million dollars?
Lake view, mountain view, city view…all in 90 minutes.
Master Lock’s products for contractors Part 1
When was the last time you danced on site?
Could this be Reiner Hoyer?
Watch a video, feed someone
We follow up on our December 2011 issue story of the project that the experts said couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be done
Mark makes some extra money
Making a deposit?
This tilt-French door has “German engineering” written all over it.
A contractor walks into a bar…
WARNING: This post will not help you build better, increase your market or help you make more profit.
Customers have had the chance to comment on your business online. Now it’s your turn.
Viewer warning! This video is five minutes long, but it was too hard to cover the smart homes system’s features in less.
Digging out a basement with radio controlled diggers and dump trucks a not-for-profit exercise
Want to be successful? Be like Velux. Roll with the punches and stick with what you know. Then make a product like this.
Retirement living will be the biggest trend in renovation and custom homebuilding over the next 20 years. Don’t miss it. Healthcraft isn’t www.healthcraftproducts.com/
You couldn’t make it, so here’s your tour.
And he used to write a column for Canadian Contractor…when he was still speaking to us.
The cool design idea that puts you above the competition may be over your head.
How to make your client feel like $6,000 of clean and fresh for only $700. Kohler scales its highend shower control system for the masses.
The number of online contractors has not increased. It may even have gone down.
In the Canadian Contractor Salary Survey, you said it was mostly competitive pressure that hindered profit. But that’s not all…
A one stop shop for renovator clients
Why are you making so little money?
How would stand up under the scrutiny of The Reno Coach?
More and more, there are third parties getting involved in cleaning up the renovation industry.
Who is the bigger danger to the renovation industry, the guy with the fancy website or the guy working for cash?
You’re not a renovator, you’re an educator
A few days in hospital focuses the mind.
Where do you reload? Reboot? Repair yourself? What thoughts do you have? What thoughts should you have?
If you hate installing furnaces, you’ll love Reiner’s house.
When colour is your thing, maybe you should use some.
Take a look at what Santa left in this neighbourhood
We asked yesterday how changes in home sales affect renovation activity. Here is one contractor’s reply.
When housing slows, is it better or worse for renovators? There are good arguments on both sides.
An example of how one contractor reduced his cost.
In 2012, you’ll finally make a profit
The Reno Coach Reiner Hoyer has some tough words for the contracting industry.
As if there were not enough ways for consumers to go shopping, a one-stop-shop option for renovations is coming to a town north of Toronto. The 600,000 square foot space will house dozens…
There is more to life than money
- Have saw blades ever been more high-tech?
- (VIDEO) How to Stop Wasting Time on Bad Leads
- Excel Homes, Calgary, gives royal treatment to their 10,000th single family home customer
- VIDEO: Hardcore Renos: Pouring the Footings
- VIDEO: Hardcore Renos blower door test by Blue Green Group
- Installing JeldWen windows the Hardcore way
- What happens when a contractor walks into a bar?
- Getting digital help
- VIDEO: Coaches Corner – The pros and cons of TV contractor referral programs
- Coaches Corner (VIDEO): How to stay FOCUSED as a professional renovator
- Goodbye Holmes Referred, hello Baeumler Approved
- VIDEO: The Hardcore Renos boys raising the walls and raising hell
- (VIDEO) Ontario College of Trades: Licensed plumber Garfield Dunlop MPP hammers the Liberals on union bias
- Check out Steve Maxwell’s cabin-building VIDEO series
- (VIDEO) Coach’s Corner with Mike Draper: How to handle work crunches in busy season
- Are you a hardcore contractor?
- VIDEO: Steve Maxwell on the RIGHT Way to Anchor a Deck
- VIDEO: Steve Maxwell on the Wrong Way to Anchor a Deck
- VIDEO: Steve Maxwell shows how to build a great deck foundation
- Perfect Decks. Stuff We Like editor Steve Maxwell’s deck-building series
- Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak: We will abolish the Ontario College of Trades
- (VIDEO) City of Toronto workers raking it in at record speed
- (VIDEO) Rob and Steve talk about the Ontario College of Trades not showing for our planned interview…
- Rob and Steve with the Dimplex Fireplace. (Not even a paid spot!)
- Coaches Corner with Mike Draper (VIDEO): “Making Home Shows Work For You”
- VIDEO: Steve Maxwell shows how to finish a basement properly (sponsored message)
- Don’t be a statistic: Look up and look out for powerlines! (sponsored message)
- (VIDEO) Rob and Steve talk about the average Canadian contractor’s salary, plus the Ontario College of Trades
- VIDEO: Interview with PROBUILT’s Mike Upshall: How to structure your renovation firm
- VIDEO: In a dispute about a tile or marble installation? Call these experts for a third party opinion
- VIDEO: Track your job expenses on your mobile device: JobSite To Go
- Got a cash flow crunch? Help solve it with Square’s free credit card reader for your smartphone or tablet
- Coaches Corner (VIDEO): Work less, make more (it can be done)
- Coaches Corner (VIDEO) with Mike Draper: Managing your customer’s emotions during their renovation
- VIDEO: Coaches Corner with Mike Draper: Getting beyond the “business plateau”
- VIDEO: Interviews with contractors at the RONA Show, Vancouver
- (VIDEO) Coaches Corner: How to generate more leads – without spending a fortune
- VIDEO: Rob and Steve talk about WSIB’s cash grab, rookie contractors and our Outrank Salary Survey
- Steve Maxwell: “When did Canada become a dictatorship? A long time ago!”
- Drywaller suing WSIB for $6-million (VIDEO). Our most-viewed video this year
- Coaches Corner (VIDEO): “There is no deficiency list!”
- VIDEO: Victoria Downing on the key to successful renovating
- VIDEO: Flip School’s Ian Szabo, Part 2. Managing a crazy big work list.
- VIDEO Coaches’ Corner: Solving problems – the follow up stage, Part 4
- Mandatory WSIB in Ontario: MPP Garfield Dunlop wants to clean up the mess (VIDEO)
- Problems with mandatory WSIB in Ontario (VIDEO): Interview with Jeff Koller, OCFIA
- Why the Ontario College of Trades should stay in business: Jeff Koller, OCFIA (VIDEO)
- Why the Ontario College of Trades should be abolished: Interview with Garfield Dunlop, MPP (VIDEO)
- VIDEO: Coaches’ Corner, Solving problems with the client, part 3
- Coaches’ Corner VIDEO: Solving problems with the homeowner, Part 2
- Coaches’ Corner VIDEO: Solving problems with the homeowner, Part 1
- Managing your online reputation: VIDEO interview Part 2 with Brian Sharwood, HomeStars
- How to manage your online reputation: Interview with Brian Sharwood, HomeStars
- Contractor wins an iPad for filling out our salary survey
- Home inspection: a new revenue stream for you?
- Help for contractor inventors
- VIDEO: Mike Homes Interview (7): The products you buy
- A website contest…A trade gives his employee back to Ontario
- VIDEO: Mike Holmes recalls his bankruptcy, Part 5
- VIDEO: Ontario College of Trades threatens Alberta electrician’s Interprovincial License
- Mike Holmes interview Part 4 (VIDEO)
- Are you on the first page of Google? (VIDEO)
- Mike Holmes interview Part 3
- Contractors protest Ontario WSIB Bill 119
- The next issue of Canadian Contractor
- The real battle we face: Keynes vs Hayak
- Mike Holmes interview Part 2
- Protesting Bill 119 in Hamilton, Ontario
- Mike Holmes Interview Part 1
- Rob and Steve VIDEO: Moonlighting firefighters. Mike Holmes answers his critics.
- Rob’s 3 biggest mistakes as a renovation contractor (VIDEO)
- How your moulding is made: VIDEO
- The product that keeps basement floor installations dry
- Tree protection, good and bad
- Video: Rob, Steve and readers weigh in on the Ontario College of Trades’ fees for “compulsory” trades
- How does a video like this get over 30,000 views!!
- Epic fails in construction
- Readers respond to Mike Holmes’ comment that 70% of contractors are “bad” and 10% “ugly”
- Building your employee loyalty: lessons from WestJet
- Why wood is better for building everything
- Your personal invitation to RenoSummit
- R Values: Often misleading, sometimes useless
- Maxwell’s classics
- Slamming the Ontario College of Trades: VIDEO
- Maxwell’s Rant
- The Marvin story: Part 1
- We like this stuff
- Can-saving your butt
- Marvelling at Marvin
- A Contractor Joke
- Rotating skyscrapers
- “Your tailgate just got ripped off, Ivan.”
- Take a break
- Contractor shorts 6
- Help a food bank. It will take one minute
- The White Knight’s triumph
- Contractor Shorts 5
- Contractor Shorts 4
- Broken? Or just an R9 super efficient French door
- Contractor Shorts 2
- Contractor Shorts 1
- The Anti-Angie’s List
- Super smart home
- What’s the ROI on this excavation?
- Why Velux stays on top
- Ottawa firm gets in front of the curve
- The IBS show in three minutes
- Who attracts the most attention at Orlando’s IBS?
- IBS Orlando, 2012. Design that makes you look up
- The shower that does everything
- Salary Survey preview: What you are doing online
- Salary Survey: What reduces profit?
- Salary Survey: What you earn
- Go Rici Construct Canada Reno Roundtable: Part 4
- Go Rici Construct Canada Reno Roundtable: Part 3
- Go Rici Construct Canada Reno Roundtable: Part 2
- Go Rici Construct Canada Reno Roundtable: Part 1
- Health as a profit strategy
- What you need to think
- The death of home heating
- The Johnny Cash School of Decor
- Bad Santa
- One contractor’s opinion on home sales and renos
- Does it matter to renovators when housing slows?
- Cost-side smarts
- Profit is not a dirty word
- Reiner’s House
- A new way of selling to homeowners arrives
- Motivating your staff without money
“The lack of courage to delegate properly, and the knowledge of how to do it, is one of the most general causes of failures in organizations.”