Residential Remodeling Contractors

Guide to the 5 Types of Residential Remodeling Contractors

Would you believe there are five distinct business models for residential remodeling contractors? This means that not every contractor will be a good fit for your project.
Did you know that the business model of a contracting company greatly influences the cost of its services? In addition to the experience, you will gain? Have you ever called a contractor only to discover that they do not provide the services you require? It’s extremely aggravating! Here are some suggestions for who to contact and what “types” of projects to pursue.

Contractors for Residential Remodeling

In Calgary, they are frequently referred to as home and garage remodel remodeling contractors. Home and remodeling are very popular in Calgary, Alberta.

There will be hundreds of contractors to choose from. However, make sure you understand what you are (and are not) getting for your money!

These general contractors are frequently less experienced than Design-Build contractors and prefer not to work on homes that will undergo structural changes (ie: tearing down a wall or beam). Most professionals in this field have more experience in “building” than “designing.” Home and Garage remodel take far less time, employ far fewer people, and are far less expensive than whole-house remodels or design-build projects.

It would be difficult to find a “remodeling contractor” who primarily focuses on exterior home renovations. Exterior home renovation contractors are typically specialized trades (ie: concrete contractor, roofing contractor, garage contractor).

Pro Tip:

When interviewing, find out if this is a well-established company with a team or if the contractor is an “all-in-one”: owner/builder/salesperson/accounting person/warranty person/etc. Find out how they handle the products as well. Also, do you have to supply them, and is this a separate cost from the labor?

Whole-House Remodeling and Design-Build

These are residential general contractors who can turn a plain box into a dream space. Design-Build firms are in charge of the architecture, design, and construction management of large home remodeling projects.
Design-build contractors have formed corporations. They have design and architecture staff in the office. On top of project managers, there is usually an accounting department, a design department, and administrative staff. They usually employ their own installers (although, sometimes they may subcontract out their work as well). Design-build contractors and whole-house remodeling firms are the Lexus of home remodeling.

Pro Tip:

If you work with a “true” design-build firm, you will almost certainly be given a budget range for the entire project along with a proposal for a “design agreement.” When you hire a residential remodeling contractor for the “design agreement,” you are agreeing that this is the contractor you want to build your project if you go ahead with the remodel.

Home Improvements

General contractors are also home addition contractors. They could almost be combined with Design-Build and Whole House Remodeling contractors.

However, we did not combine them in this article because some home addition contractors do not provide design services. Some home addition contractors are actually BUILDERS. The distinction is that they would rather build than design. So, if you hire an architect or designer separately and only need a home addition builder, these are the people to call!

Pro Tip:

Determine whether the contractor is a sole proprietor and what type of team supports the company. If the owner is the one working on the tools, find out if he is also in charge of generating new business. You’ll want to find out if the contractor’s need to balance earning new business and building your project will cause a delay your project.


Restoration is not the same as remodeling or renovation. However, for those outside the industry, the terms are all used interchangeably. After a fire, wind, or water damage has occurred in the home, restoration contractors are hired. They are insurance-approved remodelers with extensive experience working with insurance companies. Typically, these contractors do not update the home. Rather, they are there to restore the home to its pre-natural disaster condition.

Pro Tip:

If you have a fire or a flood. A residential remodeling contractor cannot increase the amount of money you can receive from your insurance company. Because it is a different business model, most kitchen and bathroom remodeling companies will not bid on restoration projects.

Residential Service Providers (Trade-specific contractors)

Trade-specific contractors are almost always emergency service providers. For example, if your toilet is clogged, you would contact a plumbing contractor. If your air conditioner broke down, you would contact a heating and air contractor. Other non-emergency contractors include tile setters (if you want to re-tile your flooring but not remodel your entire bathroom) and roofers (although your roofer is not licensed for wood replacement, so be aware of what their license allows them to do!).

Pro Tip:

Yes, you can be an owner-builder and hire tradespeople if you want to. Know the risks, as well as the benefits and drawbacks!!

Residential Remodeling Contractor, Classic Home Improvements

Classic Home Improvements is a business in Calgary, Alberta. Design-Build (whole house renovations and additions), home and garage Remodeling, and Exterior Home Improvements are among our home services (YES, we do it ALL!).

When you hire our team for your home remodeling project, you will be assisted by an interior designer in selecting your finish materials from our showroom. You will also have a dedicated project manager and an online portal to track the progress of the construction. All you have to do is choose your materials, stay out of the construction zone, and get to work.

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