Do I need a Building Permit?
Some types of bathroom renovations require a Building Permit issued by your municipality.
Structural modifications, where support walls are being torn down or removed will definitely require a permit.
Note: Although the decision to obtain a building permit lies with the homeowner, you should first discuss this with your contractor personally to make that decision. The Renovation Co-op does not and cannot give advice on whether or not a client should obtain a building permit. However, depending on the location and/or type of work involved, our contractors may decline to submit a bid for your project if a permit has not been secured.
If you are already in the middle of applying for a building permit with your own architect, we will be unable to fully process an estimate without first receiving a copy of the stamped, final drawings provided by your licensed designer.
The main reason for this is that our estimating procedures (see Member Bidding System) provide a 30-day price guarantee by those member-contractors who will place their bids on your job. There would be no point to submitting a bid unless the client is “ready to roll” and the “smoke” has cleared with respect to the permit process.
If you do not have your own architect, please visit the Renovation Co-op’s own Architectural Design & Permit Services. When you purchase your drawings through an approved architectural service member, you will not be obligated to purchase the renovations.
However, you will receive an Architectural Rebate of up to $1500 if you later wind up having the renovations performed by a Co-op Member-Contractor.
Notice: The processing of estimates for projects that require building permits will only take place upon the submission of final drawings by the homeowner to our estimating team. As our estimate procedures include the submission of a bid request to several member-contractors at the same time, the estimate/bid responses they send back must be based only upon final drawings.
It is also important to note that our member-contractors must guarantee their pricing for 30 days following their receipt of the Co-op’s Invitation to Bid for that specific project. Therefore contractor can’t make that guarantee unless the permit is in place.
If you need an estimate for the renovations and you have already hired an architect to complete the final drawings for your project, please submit an Estimate Request or view our Estimating Procedures.
However, if you do not have your own architect or licensed design to provide drawings, please obtain an estimate for the drawings and permit process through our Architectural Design & Permit Services, which are offered separately as a convenient, cost-effective way for you to own your own set of drawings.
When you purchase your drawings through a Co-op member-designer, you are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase the renovations through our General Contracting Services. The drawings become your property, and you will be able to seek estimates from any contracting company.
However, as an incentive offered through The Renovation Co-op, you will be entitled to receive an Architectural Rebate of up to $1500 that will be applied toward the price of the renovations (if you purchase them through a Co-op member-contractor).
For further information see Subsidies and Discount Programs
Renovation Management Platform
To help its member-contractors and architects submit quick, yet accurate estimates to homeowners, The Renovation Co-op has developed a proprietary Renovation Management Platform that incorporates cutting-edge technology with sensible, step-by-step procedures that streamline and simplify the entire process for both member-services and homeowners alike. In addition, the system is designed to work with all types and levels of projects.
At the core of this unique process is the Co-op’s cloud-based Member-Bidding System. This secured, online portal enables selected, member-contractors to place their bids on a specific project.
Step 1: Initial Site Visit
A designated, Senior-Level Contractor is selected to conduct a visit to the property, which includes personally reviewing the final drawings and the proposed work with the client, which gives the contractor a more personalized idea as to exactly what the client wants. The contractor then records and submits all of the information regarding the work to be performed throughout the project.
Note: The “viewing” contractor accesses a remote, secured data system developed by The Renovation Co-op that helps create the detailed “Scope of Work” (descriptions of all items to be performed as part of the project).
Step 2: Bid Preparation
Step 2: The information is submitted to the Co-op’s Bid Preparation Team. The group reviews the information and then creates a targeted list of those contractor-members who regularly perform the same type and level of work required to fulfill the client’s project, and who would be best-matched to work with that client.
The selection of each contractor in this targeted group of contractors is also determined by each contractor’s stated, preferred geographical radius to the location of the work, as well as his/her own posted availability on the system.
Step 3: Invitation to Bid…
Upon determining the targeted group of member-contractors, a Bid Request Package (also called an “Invitation to Bid”) is submitted to each of these contractors, which includes copies of the Final Permit Drawings, the Scope of Work and any additional comments entered by the viewing contractor.
Step 4: Contractor Bidding
The effectiveness of the process ensures that every contractor will submit a bid price for the same, detailed information that was originally entered by the viewing contractor.
Note: When viewing the project, the senior contractor accesses a secured, remote data entry system that precisely describes the Scope of Work (Description of the work required to complete the project).
Unfortunately, too many contractors in the industry will rely solely on the statement “Perform work as per drawings…” in the wording of their contracts, which over-simplifies the contract and leaves too much room for confusion and arguments when it comes to performing the actual work.
With our estimating system, all of the details are entered into the contract.
Each bid request contains a date limit by which the contractor must enter his or her bid.
This “Bid Response Time Window” is determined by the size and scope of the work. However, the targeted group of contractors must be given enough time to check availability and pricing from their sub-trades, suppliers, etc. before they commit to a price.
Note: Each responding contractor must guarantee their bid price for 30 days following his/her bid submission.
This is one of the main reasons why the Co-op will not process an estimate until the drawings and permit processing are completed.
Step 5: Subsidy Funding Request
Upon completion of the bidding process, an automatic request is sent to The Canadian Renovation Funding Program to seek any subsidy funds or rebates that may be available to credit towards the project. In addition to its role as a free loan advisory service
The Program is also responsible for the fiduciary management of all Subsidy and Rebate Programs on behalf of The Renovation Co-op.
The granting of subsidy funds for each request normally takes 4-6 hours, and is largely based upon the availability of funds at the time of the request, the geographical location and the type of project.
Step 6: Online Estimate Review…
An appointment is arranged between a Renovation Co-op Service Rep and the client to simultaneously review the completed estimate through our secured, web-based system.
During this 5-minute review, the rep must verify that the client fully understands what is being presented, and that the client can properly navigate through the sections of the estimate. See example below…
Subsidy Withdrawal Policy:
As stated within each estimate, if there are Subsidy Funds being offered within the estimate, those funds are withdrawn after 5 business days following Estimate Review.
Note: Once the automatic request for subsidy funds has been approved, those funds are placed on hold and set aside for 5 business days pending a deposit or contract between the selected contractor and the homeowner. If there is no deal signed between the two parties at the end of those 5 days, the subsidy amount is withdrawn from the estimate, and the funds are placed back into the main Subsidy Discount Fund.
If the client accepts the deal, the subsidy discount amount is deducted from the final sale price, and the contractor is later credited (“subsidized), with the same discounted amount by the Funding Program.
The 5 business-day withdrawal period, during which the funds are segregated and held, virtually guarantees to the contractor that those funds have been set aside and will be available if there is an agreement signed with the client.