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Beware of the Cowboys – 5 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

As a home owner, you undoubtedly want to protect your biggest investment right?

If you are a “Do It Yourself” owner, more power to you because you will make sure any repairs or upgrades to your home are done right.

But when you encounter those times when you are unable to do it yourself, you will be in a position to hire a handyman, repairman or contractor to do it for you.

5 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

  1. There is no better way to find a reliable contractor to work on your home than to ask your family, friends and neighbours for a referral or testimonial. You can quickly identify who you can trust and who to avoid.
  2. Always get at least 3 estimates done before your decision on who to hire. Make sure the estimates are detailed in what will be done, how much it will cost and any other fees and charges that may not be included in the estimate. Check to see if there are guarantees, i.e. money back if not satisfied or warranties. Ask what payment options are required (i.e. deposit up front or due on receipt of work done). ALWAYS ask for hard copy estimates, not verbal.
  3. Be prepared with your questions when someone comes to do an estimate. Do some research on the work you need done and what options are available to you, i.e. are there city “codes” you have to abide by, are the materials environmentally safe.
  4. NEVER buy from door-to-door salesmen without checking on them first. Whether it is someone doing work on other homes in the neighbourhood (ie. Roofers) or they say they are representing an existing company (i.e. representing Direct Energy to switch out old water heaters for new) do not sign for the work until you are satisified they are legitimate.
  5. Clarify when and how the work will be done (i.e. one day or more, a specific date).

If you have hired a contractor and can think of any other useful tips, we would appreciate you adding them here in the “Comments”…..and thank you!

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