Factors to consider when hiring a contractor for your reno.

We’ll be the first to admit that you won’t likely find Contractor listed among the most trusted occupations. A major Canadian bank’s research discovered that 80% of homeowners in the market for renovations do not trust contractors. That’s not good. We understand our industry could do better. There are good contractors out there. The most important decision you’ll make with your reno is who you hire. If you’re only driven by price, you may end up regretting your decision. We don’t want to discount the importance of paying a fair price for quality work from a contractor you trust. If you find a contractor you trust, you’re more likely to find a fair price. Hiring the lowest priced contractor won’t necessarily serve you well in the long run.

Here are a few factors to consider when hiring your contractor.

Experience: Look for a contractor who has experience in similar projects. Ask for references and check them to ensure they have a successful track record. Check online reviews. Do they have a long-term success rate. Are their customers happy with their experience.

License and Insurance: Ensure that the contractor you hire has all necessary licenses and insurance to work in your area. This protects you from any liability in case of accidents or damage during the project. In Ontario be sure that they also have WSIB coverage.

Communication: A good contractor should have clear communication skills and be able to explain the project to you in detail. They should also be responsive to your questions and concerns throughout the project.

Project Timeline: Ask the contractor for a timeline of the project and ensure it works with your schedule. Ask how they respond to unexpected delays or construction errors. It happens.

Customer Service: You can learn a lot about a general contractor by simply asking them what customer service means to them. Another item to look for when checking reviews.

Accountability: Are they a member of a local builders’ association, are they approved by local accountability group, such as Renomark or Baeumler Approved. A good contractor will willingly want to be part of a group that supports strong construction and business ethics.

Budget: Make sure the contractor provides a detailed estimate of the project cost, an itemized detail of all material, labour, and subcontracting is a good sign of highly regarded transparency. It is also important any deviations from the estimate not proceed without your approval. A good contractor will provide some sort of change order system for changes that fall outside the estimate.

Quality of Work: Ensure the contractor has a reputation for delivering high-quality work. You can ask to see examples of their previous work or check online reviews to get an idea of the quality of their work. Ask how many years of experience the crew or subcontractors have that work for them.

Contract and Payment Terms: Ensure the contractor provides a detailed contract that outlines the scope of the project, payment terms, and any warranties or guarantees they offer. Make sure you understand all the terms of the contract before signing it.

Overall, hiring a contractor for your renovation requires careful consideration. Your home matters to you, it should matter to them. Ultimately, the most important factor is that you’re confident your contractor is reliable, trustworthy, and will deliver high-quality work at a fair price.

If you’re considering a renovation, whether its a kitchen, bathroom, basement, a house remodel, or an addition, we’d love to hear from you.


Be sure to check out our other blog post we wrote that might be helpful: Five Red Flags When Hiring a Contractor

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