You are encouraged to collect the following information from your contractor before completing contracts:
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
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.
Ask your contractor for a list of past clients that you can 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?
Companies often hire sub-trades who specialize in fields that require additional certification (Plumbing, Electrician, Heating/Ventilation) or certain learned/mastered skills (Tiling, Painting). These companies may end up working on your job.
Talking with them is a great way to see the kind of companies your contractor associates with. Chances are, if they leave a bad taste in your mouth, their work will as well.
There are many online resources and forums that will help you qualify and find reviews. Baeumler Approved is a great place to start your process, but you are encouraged to check out some additional source to get a fully rounded picture.
Your intuition is the most reliable indicator when hiring a contractor or service provider. Hiring someone to work on your home; your most valuable possession, is a huge exercise in trust. Be sure that you are comfortable, that you communicate well and that you have a common goal in mind.
Before you begin, know how much you can afford to spend. Be clear with yourself and the companies you are working with about your limits.
There will be unforeseen issues in EVERY job, so they are not really “unforeseen”. You can avoid overruns by planning ahead for some surprises or by compromising with finishes and materials in the completed product.
Communication and flexibility through the entire process are keys to a healthy relationship between company and customer.
You have every right to expect a thorough contract detailing the work to-be-done, list and cost of materials, and expected timeframe.
If, as work progresses, there are unseen developments, request a change-order to incorporate any digressions from the original plan.
Before work begins and the contract is signed, decide upon a payment system that will work for both you and the company. Changes and materials cost money. Things will come up, but having a payment breakdown gives both you, and the company, a chance to check in on progress, compensation, and changes. Schedule regular check-ins to keep both sides abreast to changes/expectations.
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.
Keep in mind that the payment schedule is dependent on the scale and scope of work to be completed, as well as the material requirements of the job. 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
|Covers initial material, demolition, start of work|
|Demolition/clean complete, framing, rough-in|
|Plumbing, electrical, HVAC completed, Inspection approved, drywall begins|
|Completion of drywall, installation of fixtures, finishing|
|Final inspection, finishing and paint complete|
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