True North maintains a focus on customer satisfaction and quality. We strive to provide a high quality product while also focusing on the customers’ needs and expectations. True North does not shy away from challenges yet we also maintain the importance of safety of our team and others.
Professionalism is key to our business, respect for the customer and their neighbour’s needs is important to us as we maintain a safe and clean environment during the construction of the garage.
With our vast knowledge and experience we are open to sharing ideas with the customers to enhance the appearance and functionality of their end products. We maintain a solid ‘A’ rating with the Better Business Bureau and all uphold to all safety regulations when building a garage.
As documented by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, it is important to do some research before considering your contractor for your project. True North strongly agrees with the Associations code of Ethics, which sets out a framework for fair and honest business practices.
For reference please refer to the following sections to feel more comfortable when looking to hire a contractor.
Ten Reasons for Hiring a Pro
Having a garage built should be a positive experience - free from worry and stress. You should have full confidence in your garage builder and know that you are getting the best. That's why you should choose a professional garage builder.
- From start to finish. A professional garage builder will help you to put it all together - from ideas to design, products to plans, and construction to completion.
- Experienced advice. A professional garage builder has the experience and knowledge to help turn your ideas into great results. They listen, make suggestions, and look for the best way of doing things.
- Technical know-how. Professional garage builders understand construction, how to deal with challenges and problems, and how to improve the functionality and convenience for your property.
- Expert teamwork. Behind every professional garage builder, there is a solid network of staff, subtrades and suppliers ready to go to work for you.
- A proven track record. Their business is an open book. You are invited to talk with past customers, look at their previous work and check out their reputation.
- Accurate pricing. No need to be concerned about low-ball costing, inferior work or escalating prices once the job begins. Experienced garage builders know what it takes to do something right and how much it costs, and they'll tell you upfront.
- A written contract. Trust alone is not enough. Professionals back it up with a written contract that spells your project out in detail-what, how, who, when and how much.
- Liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage. Better safe than sorry. In the unlikely event of an accident or damage to your own or neighbouring properties, a professional garage builder’s coverage protects you from liability and cost.
- Warranty. Like any other consumer purchase, a professionally built garage comes with a warranty on labour. And with professional installation, there is no risk of voiding the manufacturers' warranties on materials and products. TRUE NORTH warranties the garage for construction materials and workmanship for 3 years in writing.
- Service, service, service. Professional garage builders are in business for the long term. They work hard to earn your trust and make every garage a great experience.
What is a Professional Garage Builder?
Hiring a professional garage builder is your best assurance that you will get the results you want and the best value for your money.
A professional builder is a general contractor, who can put your whole project together. The garage builder will assume complete responsibility for the work contracted and give you a warranty once it's completed.
- A professional builder has an extensive business network of suppliers, trades, installers and experts that they draw on as required for your project.
- A professional builder understands the technical aspects of construction in detail and knows how the development process works. They can assess your project and explain what is involved, as well as identify potential problems and provide solutions.
- If your project requires design services, your contractor can advise you on the most suitable approach and recommend a design professional. Design-build builders offer both design and construction services, and you may hire them for one service or both. Alternatively, professional builders are also experienced in working with architect's drawings.
- A professional builder has extensive knowledge and experience with the latest products and materials. They keep up-to-date and can help you make the selections that will work best for your project and budget.
- Professional garage builders are familiar with the regulations and bylaws in your community and how the system works. When needed, they can look after permits and inspections on your behalf. TRUE NORTH will not work without permits
- Professional builders can work with you on the financial aspects of your project. They know what things cost and can help you set a realistic budget to achieve your garage construction goals. And they know how to stretch your budget without compromising quality.
- A professional builder ALWAYS uses a written contract that clearly describes the work, materials to be used, timelines, price, and responsibilities of both parties and other details as appropriate.
- A professional builder knows how to organize and manage a project-scheduling workers, trades and delivery of materials; keeping track of expenses; maintaining a clean and safe work site; and minimizing the inconvenience to you. When necessary, they know how to deal with the unexpected and the surprises that sometimes occur in construction.
- Most importantly, professional builders put their customers first. They listen carefully so they know what you want. They provide you with names of previous customers so you can check out the company's track record yourself. They explain the process so you know what to expect, and once the work begins they give you regular updates so you always know what's going on. They also encourage you to voice any questions or concerns you may have as the work progresses. In brief, they work for you and with you to make sure that you are satisfied and happy with the final results.
Finding a Garage Builder
Finding the right contractor for your garage project is key to getting the results you want. The sooner you get someone involved, the more you can benefit from their knowledge and expertise. With a little legwork, you should have no trouble finding the person who is best suited for your project.
Get the names of building members of your local Better Business Bureau Membership in an industry organization is a solid indication of professionalism. Association members have access to training and the latest information on all aspects of construction, and they agree to the Association's Code of Ethics, which sets out a framework for fair and honest business practices.
Ask friends, family, co-workers and neighbours for recommendations. Also look around your neighbourhood for other garage projects underway and talk with the homeowners. Most people enjoy sharing their project experiences.
Visit home shows. This is a perfect opportunity to meet the professional builders in your community, check out their displays and pick up company literature. Many local Home Builders' Associations also have a booth at home shows where you can get helpful information.
Ask suppliers and retailers of building materials, products and hardware. Visit your local outlets and ask for the names of professional builders that would be suitable for your project.
"Let your fingers do the walking". As social media sites and apps such as Facebook, and Yelp, you can find several sources for sample projects, comments, and feedback with other builders in the industry to help narrow your search with ease. You may also look in the Yellow Pages™ under building contractors, garages, home improvement, home builders, alteration contractors and construction for the names of contractors. Keep in mind that anyone can advertise in a phonebook. Look for ads that tell you a little about the company's expertise and check for logos that indicate the professionalism of the company, such as membership in the local Home Builders' Association. Make sure you investigate the builder thoroughly before making any decisions about hiring.
Check local advertising. Look in your community newspaper for advertisements by established, reputable companies, and review flyers and other promotional materials that come to your door. Again, you need to be cautious and take your time to get to know anyone you find through advertising, before hiring them.
By the way... If your garage project is modest, you may think that the "top" garage builders in your community are beyond your budget. This may not be the case. In reality, most companies work on a range of projects, from small to large-scale projects.
Above all, take your time. Investing a little of your time upfront to find a builder will be well worth it in the long run. When you begin with a list of professional garage builders, the next steps are easy-interviewing, checking credentials and hiring the company that is right for your project.
What to Look for in a Garage Builder
As you collect names of suitable garage builders, you need to think about how you will judge the builders you choose to interview.
- Presentation. Professional garage builders operate in a business-like manner. They respect your schedule and show up for appointments on time. They present themselves well, are organized and deal with your questions and concerns directly. They earn your confidence because they follow through on promises - if they say they will call you back tomorrow, they do. How a garage builder deals with you before a contract is signed tells you a lot about how you can expect to be treated once the job begins.
- Communication. Construction is a "people business" and good garage builders are good listeners and communicators. Professional builders must "translate" your ideas and goals into a workable plan and a pleasant experience. This requires a solid working relationship and good rapport. If you're not comfortable with the garage builders you interview or don't feel you can communicate with them effectively, you should keep looking to find the right person for your job.
- Skills and experience. It takes years of experience in the business before most builders are ready to manage a major project on their own. It also involves a lot of different types of work, some of which require specialized expertise. Whatever the scope and nature of your project, your garage builder needs to have solid experience with that type of work.
- Professional reputation. Established builders will provide you with references from previous customers, and in fact, you shouldn't even have to ask for them. They also work with a network of other businesses within your community-banks, material suppliers and trades. It's a good idea to ask a builder for references to any of these people to find out about their reputation within the industry itself.
Price is a critical aspect of your garage building project. What will it cost to do the job you want? Alternatively, how far can you go on a set budget?
Determining the cost of a small project is usually fairly simple. On larger projects, it often happens as a series of discussions between you and a builder as you develop the vision and fine-tune the plans for your property..
Experienced garage builders can sometimes offer an educated opinion or price range on the spot, based on similar jobs they have done in the past - for instance, a per-square-foot estimate for standard garages. This can be helpful upfront to make sure that there is a realistic fit between what you would like to do and the budget you have in mind. However, be aware that the cost of a project can vary greatly, depending on many factors, including the current state of your lot with respect to existing infrastructure to be removed or vegetation and the types of products you want to use.
Bids, or estimates
For all intents and purposes, bids and estimates are the same, if written down - a garage builders offer to perform your project for a specified price, based on a detailed description of the work to be done. It will specify materials, products, labour, subtrades and so on, with accompanying costs. A written offer is legally binding and becomes part of the contract between you and the builder, should you accept it.
Make sure that you provide each builder with exactly the same information; otherwise you will not be able to compare bids. This information may include plans, ranging from simple sketches or diagrams to full construction drawings needed for projects that involve altering the layout of your property.
Specifications are detailed descriptions of the materials and products you want to be used in your project.
How many bids should you get? There are no hard and fast rules. On large projects, it is not uncommon for homeowners to interview several builders, check their references and previous projects, and then choose one company to work with throughout the whole process, including developing plans and budgets as well as doing the actual work.
In the end it comes down to trust and confidence - trust that you have chosen the right garage builder for the job, and confidence that you will get what you want.