Top tips for choosing a contractor

Choosing a contractor is a big deal, and that's why you should never rush into a decision. We have an excellent reputation, in part because we will never rush you to make a decision, and will always take the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Here are the top considerations when choosing a contractor:

  • Ask for the company's history: how long have they been in business; how many projects do they do a year; what types of projects do they specialize in? Do they seem to have good common sense? Do they make education and training a priority in their business? Are they well-respected in your community?

     

  • Ask for and check references. It's one thing to ask for a list of references, but if you don't follow through and ask the reference's experience with the contractor, you are taking a big leap of faith. Find out from the reference if you can visit their home to see the work that was done.

     

  • Make sure the level of quality of the contractor’s work is up to your expectations and ask about their warranties and their WSIB and liability insurance coverages.

     

  • Check to see if the contractor is a member of a professional organization like your local Home Builders' Association, and if applicable in your area, RenomarkTM. Visit www.renomark.ca for more information on this professional designation program.

     

  • DO NOT hire a contractor for cash or without a contract. Long gone are the days when you can seal a deal with a handshake. Protect yourself and your investment with an agreement on paper stating exactly what work is to be done, an agreed-upon completion date, and an exact budget; be sure to have two signatures and a witness. A contract does not have to be a fancy document drafted by lawyers to be an effective means of protection. And remember - it's unlikely Mike Holmes is going to come to your rescue if you get into trouble!

     

  • Beware of the door-to-door salesman offering to replace your windows or roof. This is one of the oldest scams running and often involves large deposits and incomplete work. Unfortunately these characters tend to prey on seniors or those most vulnerable.

     

  • Most renovations require a building permit. Don't let a contractor talk you out of one. When in doubt, check with your local municipality. Obtaining a building permits means that inspections will be done at several stages of the project by your local municipal building inspector. And without a permit, work could be halted and fines levied.