Comfort Level - Feeling comfortable on a personal level with that Contractor is key. This person with his/her crew will be in your home and your personal space. In many cases you will be handing a key to your home to this Contractor. Trust comes into play here as well, do you feel an overall sense of trust and comfort?
Transparency - If one has nothing to hide they hide nothing. Do not go on comfort level alone. Ask for pertinent details. How long have they been in the industry? What licenses do they hold? Ask for their WSIB or WCB (workers compensation insurance board) Account Number and then proceed to www.wsib.on.ca website and search their name under E-Clearances - you must verify that they are in good standing - which means that they have an active account and their premiums have been paid up to date.
Ask for Liability Insurance Provider and Policy Number - phone the insurer to verify.
Discounts - There are often supplier discounts. What applicable discounts are available from your Contractors supplier list, will the Contractor pass those discounts over to you?
Payment Terms - There should be an agreed upon payment schedule noted in your contract.
Contract - Be sure what is included in your contract and what is not included.
This should be detailed, it should include the scope of work, the start date and completion date, what the Contractor is responsible for and what exactly the Client is responsible for, and who is responsible for obtaining necessary permits if required. Deposit and payment structure, this varies, dependant on the project.
Be sure the Contractor's HST Number is noted on his Contract. With the internet and many renovation shows televised I personally am finding more and more homeowner's asking the right questions, they are testing the Contractor and asking for instance for a bathroom renovation what waterproofing membrane we are using and if we use one. This is key when comparing quotes that these specifics are mentioned in the contract, in my contracts I do mention specifics, as much detail is best. After agreeing to and signing the contract be sure your Contractor signs a copy and leaves it with you.
Designer - For many of us we cannot imagine a space without detailed drawings and assistance. This is a nice asset to provide this source to a client. Designers can be of great assistance with regards to layout, new ideas, colour choices, etc. We work with a few Designers where we can provide you their contact information. Increasingly we are finding more of our clients do like the liaison with a Designer.
Warranty - This needs to be specified on your Contract - what is the warranty your Contractor provides? A minimum of 1 year up to 3 years is typical and manufacturer's warranties apply where applicable.
Trades - Ask the Contractor who will be performing the Electrical and Plumbing and all other related trades on your project, if he says himself - ask to see his licenses. Did you know if you hire someone to do electrical or plumbing who is not licensed and where if needed an inspection is not done your home insurer will not be covering your potential flood or fire.
Research - Performing a google search on your Contractors name should bring you some results unless they are just starting out in the industry. Do they have reviews online from past clients?
Communication - I personally interact daily with my clients, there are many different aspects that arise and I keep in close contact whether it be by phone, email, text - whichever best suits my clients.
Very Important - Do not pay your Contractor cash. A reputable Contractor will have WSIB coverage and an HST account. Homeowners that attempt to save money by not having a contract in place and paying cash most often will find themselves with poor workmanship and incomplete jobs. Reputable Contractors do not work for cash as we are building upon our business and building a name for ourselves in the Industry. You will find numerous Contractors who can complete your job for you at lower costs, yes, they are out there. They often will perform the electrical and plumbing without being licensed. Should you have an issue, your insurer will not cover you. Would you want someone hooking up your gas stove who is not a licensed gas fitter?
When you hire a Baeumler Approved Contractor your mind can be at ease as we have strict measures and a code of conduct to follow. All Baeumler Approved members are verifed yearly.
We wish you success with your renovations.