To make things easier for you, we've put together some tools that help define your exact requirements and provide the basis for planning out your project.


  1. Identify what your requirements are and your wish list of features and functionality – our Project Checklists can help you do that.
  2. Identify any problems or irritants.
  3. Collect design and functionality ideas.
  4. Establish a ballpark budget that you are comfortable with.
  5. Build, review and adjust plans.
  6. Reconcile your priorities based on your budget.


  1. Assess how much help you are going to need: will you do it yourself, part of it… or turn it over to someone else – Project Management, Design, Engineering, Contractors, Trades (i.e., plumbing and electrical).
  2. Determine your timeframes and critically analyze the impact of potential disruptions on your day-to-day lives.
  3. Pick your contractor – know who you will be dealing with.
  4. What to look for in a contractor.
  5. Work with your contractor (as applicable) to understand each step of the process.
  6. Obtain necessary permits.

During Construction

  • Understand timelines and dependences
  • Establish how you would like project members to work with you
  • Work with your contractor to minimize disruption and mess
  • Determine what your role is and what is needed to keep things on track
  • Understanding your project responsibilities
  • Decision making
  • Dealing with the unexpected
  • Making changes on the fly
  • Managing the budget

Once We’re Done

There should be no surprises. You have been involved at every step of the process. But we’re not quite finished:

  • Inspections: Close outstanding permits
  • Be proud of what you have accomplished and think through how the next project could be even better

How do I make the hard decisions… deal with the unforeseen and the changes… or minimize the potential disruption and mess…?


As a home or business owner you’ve heard the horror stories. And as a general contractor, so have we. Our approach at Tom Fair Construction is to understand what you are looking for and to treat your home or business as if it were our own. We know what we would expect… and that is what we set out to deliver.

In choosing a contractor, pick a professional that has your best interests at heart. We believe a contractor should:

Construction Canada is one of many sites that provide some good advice on what you should look for in a contractor.