Your Questions Answered! Yay!
I had previously (on another social media website, I can't say its name, but it starts with an "F", and ends in "acebook") asked you all to submit your questions (as I also do on my front page here but you're all too busy it seems), any question at all, and here are those questions for your reading pleasure! And the answers, of course.
"When hiring you, is it better to use your suppliers for materials, or buy on our own?"
Really, you're free to do whatever you'd like, but its a bit of both. Let's say its a bathroom renovation, which involves picking tiles for the main floor, shower floor, and walls, maybe countertop stone, toilets, tubs, vanities, and fixtures. I will recommend to you my favourite places (based on variety, price, and stock inventory), and I always give you my discounts whether you're paying or its part of the overall materials budget. I usually go with my clients as I also help out in the design, but sometimes availabilities cross and you are free to go on your own, I always tell you who to ask for so you'll be in good hands. Simply, for Tiles: you'll buy from a tile place, but I'll point you to who the better ones are. However, for tubs, toilets, etc, just let me know what you've found, wherever you found them, and you are free to purchase that through my suppliers as you will get the cheapest price that way.
"If a contractor is not insured and something gets damaged or burned, will my home insurance cover it?"
Seriously? The fact that you would even consider using an uninsured contractor is ridiculous. So my answer is: who cares!? If he/she is not insured, then he/she doesn't touch your house.
"Why does your pee smell after eating asparagus?"
Well, I'm no anesthesiologist, however, researchers believe that, during digestion, the vegetable's sulfurous amino acids break down into chemical components in all people. And because those components are airborne while urinating, the odor wafts upward as the urine leaves the body and can be detected as soon as 15 minutes after you eat this spring delicacy. But only about one-quarter of the population appears to have the special gene that allows them to smell those compounds. So the question isn't why your pee smells; it's whether you're able to smell it. If you smell a funny fragrance in your urine after you eat asparagus, you're not only normal, you have a good nose. Hope that helps.
"What's an average cost for a basement renovation?"
Well, that's hard to answer, as there are TONS of variables, some include size, design, or if there is a bathroom. However, a ballpark for research for you, around 1000 square feet will cost around $30,000, including pot lights, a full bathroom, permits, licensed trades, and completed in 6-8 weeks from drawings to the final passed inspection. I am always available for a firm estimate anytime, I love basements.
"What is a good number of references to receive?"
What, haven't you been reading my blog?? A good number is any number that makes you feel comfortable, however, in my opinion, if they cannot come up with at least 5 that are relevant to your project (ie, don't accept 10 references from deck jobs when he's quoting on your kitchen reno), then they're probably not experienced enough to ensure your investment is protected with a great job in the end.
"Why do good things happen to bad people?"
I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with me not being on TV.
"For a deck, screws or nails?"
Screws, period, for everything. The industry is just like any other, where progression and material advancement is necessary to continue to make things better, safer, and longer lasting. There's a reason screws were invented.
"Do screws make a project take longer than nails?"
A different person asked this question, it's great to see people thinking about details. Yes, screws take longer, maybe by a couple hours. Screws will make a fence or deck hold together for at least twice as long, so I'm pretty sure that you'll be just fine with waiting an extra 2 hours for your completed project.
Hope those helped, keep the questions coming and look out for Part Deux! :)