LEVIS, QUE. — Quebec’s Desjardins Group has announced it is now the majority shareholder of Reno-Assistance, a company that pairs clients with large-scale residential or commercial renovation contractors.
Reno-Assistance has developed a pool of over 1,000 residential and commercial construction professionals and contractors, stated a Feb. 1 release.
The firm also offers consumer-protection services. Reno-Assistance’s core business is in Montreal, Toronto and Quebec City and the investments by Desjardins will support the company’s plan to increase its footprint outside of those regions, the statement explained.
A 2019 survey found that 74 per cent of Montreal homeowners find it difficult to find a contractor they can trust. In the rest of the province, that number is 58 per cent.
The same survey found that 60 per cent of Quebec homeowners don’t check to see if their contractors are licensed, 75 per cent don’t investigate whether they have insurance and 80 per cent don’t check to see if they’ve been taken to court.
“Real estate is often the largest asset in any family,” says Martin Brunelle, vice-president of growth, acquisitions and development at Desjardins in the release. “According to homeowners we’ve surveyed, renovations can be difficult and cause no small amount of aggravation.
“Reno-Assistance offers a database of verified local contractors and personalized support and planning throughout the process, including in the event of litigation.”
The company site had 1.2 million unique visitors in 2019, more than doubling its 2018 numbers.
“I started Reno-Assistance after experiencing problems of my own with contractors and renovations that ended up costing me $50,000,” said Reno-Assistance president and founder Eric Perigny. “Since we launched in 2010, we’ve provided personalized assistance and consumer protection to clients planning projects over $3,000.
“We’re confident that we’ll soon have all the verified contractors we need to serve the entire province of Quebec and Ontario’s largest cities.”