Ask for references

Ask for references and check them before you hire a contractor. Your local Better Business Bureau can help.

The more planning you do and research you put into finding a contractor, the better your chances of having things turn out to your satisfaction.

  • Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see whether any complaints have been filed against any firm you are thinking of hiring. Ask relatives, friends and neighbours as well as local business associations for recommendations.
  • Contact and interview more than one contractor. Ask for references and check that they are valid.
  • Ask for a written estimate of all costs, including labour and extra charges. Be suspicious if the quoted price seems very low.
  • Never allow work to proceed until you have completely reviewed, understood, agreed to and signed a contract.

Moving

To help you find a reputable mover, consult the Consumer Checklist for Choosing a Moving Company and consider the following:

  • Check that the company is bonded and has proper equipment.
  • Consider buying moving insurance. If the mover provides insurance, find out the limitations.

Home Renovations

For tips and information on hiring a home renovation contractor, consult the hiringacontractor.com website run by the Canadian Home Builder's Association, and consider the following:

  • Write a full, detailed list of the things that you want to achieve. If you change your mind part way through the project, the costs will also change.
  • Check with your municipal building inspection department to find out which permits you'll need (this is not your contractor's responsibility unless that is spelled out in your contract). Also, check with your insurance company to discuss any extra insurance requirements that will add to your final cost.
  • Keep the number of payments to a minimum and check with Your Provincial or Territorial Consumer Affairs Office for relevant consumer legislation.