How to hire a contractor: Protecting your Pocketbook

Residential Contractor
Classic Home

How to hire a contractor for home renos

Spring is finally here and that “honey-do” list is getting longer. Sure, there’s revving up the lawnmower, servicing the heat pump and perhaps grad dress shopping, but for most it’s all the nit-picky problems you found inside your home during the winter that steal your attention.

It’s the drafty windows that need replacing. The cracked ceiling. The kitchen cabinetry makes your home feel 20 years older than it is. If you’re handy, you’ve probably tackled projects like these before. But if not, how do you find the right people to help you with your projects?

After you’ve prioritized the work that needs to be done – and associated a budget to it – start doing your research. The biggest mistake you can make is to hire a contractor based on cost alone. There are plenty of variables to consider beyond the scope of work, so take some time to look into each company’s reputation.

Specifically, do they offer guarantees on their products or services? How long is the warranty period? Do they have proper coverage for liability, insurance and safety? What do their previous customers think of their workmanship? (And did they meet expected timelines?) Most importantly, do they provide a written contract?

Protect your pocketbook

The right answers to these questions are what commonly separate the fly-by-night contractors from the professionals. Reviewing this information with prospective companies will give you peace of mind once you’ve committed to a project. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association recommends that even as you move forward with the work, keep written records of cost agreements and changes because “not every contractor plays by the rules.” The idea is to protect your home and your investment.

Life is full of challenges. Changing out your sink, cabinets, or flooring shouldn’t be one of them.