The stuff of dinner party nightmarish legends, home renovations can be a stressful and often confusing experience. Miscommunication issues frequently lead to a final bill that is much higher than the original quoted price, resulting in a major headache for both the contractor and the homeowner. RENOMii Corporation, as in Reno-me, is a Kitchener-based company founded in 2013, has created a web-based tool to help take most of the confusion out of this process. RENOMii software allows contractors to create, update and track contract changes directly with the homeowner, speeding up renovations and ensuring a permanent audit trail. 

COO Kara Smith and CEO Scott Barker, image by Marcus Mitanis

Scott Barker, Co-Founder and CEO of RENOMii Corporation, has worked in the renovation sector for twenty years. Working to connect high-quality contractors with homeowners, he facilitated effective communications between the two parties, ensuring all approved work was completed. Realizing that there was no current tool to better manage the relationship between contractors and homeowners, he and COO Kara Smith joined the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo to kickstart their venture. 

"Most renovations start at a certain price but almost always see change. With those changes, costs begin to increase," said Barker. "If there is confusion between the contractor and the homeowner about what changes have been agreed to, the cost of those changes and how that impacts the final total, and it results in mistrust and bad feelings on both sides. Often, when final invoices are delivered, homeowners experience the classic 'sticker shock' because there is no record of the changes agreed to, and the resulting new total." 

The RENOMii interface as it tracks approvals, image courtesy of RENOMii Corporation

"Contractors easily create a project in RENOMii and then send any changes needed directly to the homeowner," said Smith. "The homeowner receives a notification to go into RENOMii, allowing them to review the cost of those changes, the possible delay, the resulting new total and approve or reject those changes. The homeowner's answer is instantly sent to the contractor and a record is generated by RENOMii." Barker added that this saves the contractor time and money, indicating that contractors are losing $1,500 to $2,000 on average per job. 

On Wednesday, an exclusive partnership between RENOMii Corporation and Home Hardware Stores Ltd. was announced, giving the chain the rights to sell the product in each of their Home Hardware Building Centres. The application is expected to be accessible in most locations by the second quarter of 2015, with a French version launching in the second half of this year. 

The software is available online for contractors at a pay-as-you-go price of $99 per project. An annual plan costs $1,299 per year or $125 per month, giving contractors unlimited projects, free support and 500 megabytes of storage. 

Mii Casa gives users the chance to design their own suite, image courtesy of RENOMii Corporation

The company has also launched Mii Casa, which allows condominium purchasers to design their home and choose upgrades. The software, accessible in the Cloud, eliminates the need for visits to showrooms. Developers are able to view the selections made by the purchaser instantly, reducing administrative burdens. The software is currently being used by Momentum Developments, whose One Victoria project in Kitchener has yielded a 30% increase in upgrades sales. Mii Casa software can be purchased for $100 per door or $25,000 per build. 

RENOMii Corporation hopes to attract 5,000 contractors to the system by the end of the year. To find out more about the software and how it works, visit the RENOMii website