Canadian Contractor

By Alex Mackenzie   

The information contractor

Canadian Contractor canada contractor premier renovations profile

Premier Renovations offers homeowners the unique opportunity to become their own contractor.

Peter Glaw has taken Premier Quality Renovations from a two-man team, started by his father and uncle, to a multifaceted, all-inclusive renovation and information powerhouse. While Premier’s traditional renovations teams stillfunction in much the same capacity as many other contractor teams, the company adds a wrinkle to its offering
with consultations and its become-your-own-general-contractor system of education, networking and material access.

Like many leaders in the industry, Glaw has been immersed in the world of contracting since childhood. “I grew up in that industry, so summer vacations were spent helping my dad at the job sites. At the age of 14 I was already team-leading jobs and reading blueprints. So, I helped him throughout and then we kept on going and some 25, 30 years ago we started getting into renovations.” His lifetime of experience has been instrumental in building both the traditional side of Premier Quality Renovations, with three full-time teams specializing in residential renovations, and Glaw’s innovative education-based system that helps do-it-yourselfers do it like the pros.

DIY general contractor
While contractor and construction consultations are common for residential builds and renovations, Premier offers a unique system of education and resource access that allows customers to act as their own general contractor, saving money and offering a level of control and design influence that are non-negotiables for the do-it-yourself crowd. As Glaw explains, “The definition of a general contractor is strictly the organizer of the job, or the organizer of trades and materials. A general contractor does not have to know how to swing a hammer or cut a saw or mitre a crown molding, and most of them don’t. It’s like a project manager – they just know how to manage a project.” While the thought of completing a home renovation with one’s own skills and knowledge is likely daunting at best to most homeowners, Premier’s system teaches its clients how to manage the renovation project from start to finish with the assistance of Premier Renovation consultants and skilled trade professionals.

Glaw provides many of the consultations personally and not only makes himself available to his clients 24/7 but also checks in with them at specific points on the renovation timeline to ensure that they stay on track with ordering materials and scheduling individual contractors and tradesmen. “Eventually you are going to be good enough to general contract your job by yourself. Initially you’re going to need us to hold your hand.” But Glaw is fully confident that his system works and, as far as he’s concerned, “It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, you can do it, because all you’re really doing is learning from us. You have to learn no matter what it is in life and that’s really what our system is all about.” Glaw’s success with and dedication to the educational side of the business lead him to write a book, How to be Your Own General Contractor: It’s as easy as 1-2-3, which guides readers through the process and acts as the first step in Premier’s educational system.


With the assistance of Premier’s become-your-own-contractor system, clients are able to oversee the completion
of projects ranging from a simple surface renovation of new paint and floors, all the way up to full-scale, start-to-finish renovations requiring a multitude of individual contractors, and even new construction projects. While the promise of greater input and control is enough for some, the true value of the system comes through Premier’s access card program, which Glaw describes as giving “access to all of our trades that we are using, all of our suppliers, and there’s hundreds of them. It ranges from window companies to roofing companies to appliances, carpets, railing, fencing, two-by -fours –anything that’s required to build residential and commercial buildings.” This access translates to significant savings on materials by unlocking industry-direct rates that are usually out of reach to the average homeowner.

Premier certified contractors
One thing that Glaw stresses above all else is that this system is designed to help contractors and tradesmen as well as homeowning clients bent on being a part of the renovation process. Premier works with a vetted group of contractors to provide the skilled work that is organized by the client learning to be their own general contractor, and being a part of that group can bolster work for small contractors and trades teams that don’t have the time, money and manpower to operate their own marketing strategies beyond the basics of small business. Upon becoming a Premier certified contractor, a company is listed in the Premier database of certified contractors, which offers a wider range of business opportunities as it opens members up to clients that normally would seek to do much of the work themselves. But getting on the list is not as simple as paying a fee and submitting your rates. As Glaw explains, “If you’re a Premier Certified Contractor then you have to meet certain criteria: you have to be fully licensed, you have to have WSIB insurance, work experience and reference letters, financials and so on. We want to make sure that if you’re with us that you are a reputable, solid contractor.” This added level of verification puts the contractors on the list at an advantage as clients will know that, by virtue of inclusion, the companies listed are trustworthy and will be a safer choice than bids from elsewhere.

Another advantage for business and tradesmen that become members of Premier’s list of certified contractors is the added benefit of being available for consultations. As many in the industry know, injury, illness and age can leave any successful tradesman in the lurch. Premier’s system allows contractors to operate in much the same capacity as Glaw himself, offering in-person and online consultations and the opportunity to earn through selling the Premier access card and Glaw’s book. These consultations allow contractors and tradesmen that are no longer able to perform the physically laborious tasks of the trade with a stream of income that relies on their expertise and knowledge of the industry, extending their earning potential well beyond the average career lifespan for those in the industry.

As with everything Premier does, education and information play heavily into the Premier certified contractors program as well. Premier certified contractors gain access to a wealth of educational programs, such as “ongoing Zoom webinars with guest speakers like lawyers so you get legal advice, architects and engineers and city planners and so on, because it’s always a moving target in the industry with new building codes.” This educational aspect helps contractors rise to and stay at the top of their game.

More information on the Premier certified contractor program, the Premier access card program, and how to order the book, How to be Your Own General Contractor: It’s as easy as 1-2-3, is available on Premier’s website


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories