It’s easy to find someone to do that renovation work you want done around your house. Just call the number on one of those hand-drawn ads posted on utility poles in your neighbourhood. Or you could do some legwork and try to find a reputable contractor. You’ll be happier with a job done well. Word of mouth is often the best way to find the right person for your job. If you know someone who’s had work done in their home and they are pleased with the results, ask for a name and number. Local and national home building associations also recommend contractors who meet insurance and licensing standards. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association refers contractors, renovators, land developers and other specialists who are members. The CHBA accepts inquiries, and their website has a searchable database for members across Canada.Get two or three quotes for the work you want done. The quotes should be written and spell out exactly the work you want done and how long it should take.
The lowest quote may not necessarily be the best.”If the bid is much lower than others, find out why,” home renovating expert Mike Holmes told CBC News Marketplace. “It may be because of corner cutting. Trust your instincts. If the red flags start to wave so much in front of your face, ask the contractor to leave your home.”Don’t let a contractor pressure you into making a quick decision to either hire him/her or hand over money. Commit only when you are ready.
Any contractor who comes onto your property should have a valid renovator’s licence. It is your right to ask to see it. If the contractor is reluctant to show it to you, you should be reluctant to hire him/her.Requirements for renovators’ licences vary from municipality to municipality. Check with your local government for the rules in your area before hiring a contractor. Other tradespeople who work on your property should also have the proper certifications. If a person claims to be a licensed electrician, they should be more than happy to provide you with proof. Same goes for a plumber.
Your contract should outline exactly what work will be done in the renovation. It should include all drawings that can be done in advance of the project. It should also include a timetable for the project, with start and end dates.