Homeowner Checklist

You are encouraged to collect the following information from your contractor before completing contracts:

Get a copy of Worker’s Compensation Clearance Certificate

All subcontractors and companies with more than one employee are required to be registered and in good-standing with Provincial Workers Compensation. For more information or to obtain a clearance certificate, visit your Provincial authority:

COMPLETE LIST - www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/information/wcb_canada.html
BRITISH COLUMBIA – www.worksafebc.com
ALBERTA - www.wcb.ab.ca
SASKATCHEWAN - www.wcbsask.com
MANITOBA - www.wcb.mb.ca
ONTARIO – www.wsib.on.ca
QUEBEC – www.csst.qc.ca/en/Pages/all_english_content.aspx
NEW BRUNSWICK - www.worksafenb.ca
NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR - www.whscc.nf.ca
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES AND NUNAVUT - www.wscc.nt.ca
NOVA SCOTIA - www.wcb.ns.ca
PEI - www.wcb.pe.ca
YUKON - www.awcbc.org

Verify your contractor’s insurance coverage.

Most contractors will have a minimum of $1,000,000 liability insurance to cover loss or property or disaster. You have the right to request a certificate of insurance.

Talk to References

Ask your contractor for a list of past clients that you can reach contact to inquire about past work.

Questions to ask:
1)    What work was done?
2)    Was communication respectful through the process?
3)    What did you think of the pricing given the quality of work completed?
4)    Was the company respectful of your property?
5)    Was everything completed on-budget and on-time?
6)    Do you feel the contractor was honest and open to you?
7)    Were contracts provided?

Talk to Trade References

Companies often hire sub-trades who specialize in certain fields that require additional certification (plumbing, electrician, HVAC) or certain learned skills (tiling, painting). These companies may end up working on your job. This is also a great way to get a sense as to the kind of companies your potential contractor associates with. Chances are, if they are subpar, work may be as well.

Do Some Digging

There are many online forums that will help you qualify and find reviews of potential companies. Baeumler Approved is a great place to start your process, but you are encouraged to check out some additional forums to get a fully rounded picture.

Trust Your Gut

The most important thing to consider is the way that you respond personally when meeting a potential contractor for the first time. Hiring a contractor or service provider is much like forming a long-term relationship; you need to be comfortable, trust the other party and have a common goal in mind.

Know Your Budget

Before you begin, know how much you can afford to spend. Realize that there will be unforeseen issues in every job. You can either plan ahead for some surprises or compromise with finishes and materials in the completed product. There are no hard and fast rules and no guarantees.

Get a Contract

You have every right to expect a thorough contract detailing the work to-be-done, materials, cost of those materials and expected timeframe. If as work progresses there are unseen developments request a change-order to incorporate any digressions from the original plan.

Set a Payment Schedule

Before work begins and the contract is signed, decide upon a payment system that will work for both you and the company. Realize that materials cost money and thing will come up, but having a payment breakdown gives both you and the company chance to check in on progress, compensation and changes.

There are many sources online to find examples of payment schedules. You are free to negotiate with your provider to determine the most appropriate plan for your job.

Example Payment Schedule

Keep in mind that the payment schedule is dependent on the scale and scope of work to be completed. Homeowners are encouraged to discuss stages and progress of work in advance to ensure a clear understanding of the terms of payment.
 

Onset - Contract Signed
10-15%

Covers initial material, demolition, start of work

Step 2 
20-25%

Demolition/clean complete, framing, rough-in

Step 3
20-25%

Plumbing, electrical, HVAC completed, Inspection approved, drywall begins

Step 4
20-25%

Completion of drywall, installation of fixtures, finishing

Completion
Final Balance

Final inspection, finishing and paint complete