How To Choose The Right Contractor For The Job
When choosing a contractor for any project around your home and office, there are a few things to ask for and to consider. Please don’t be shy if you are inviting a company to work on the largest investment you may have; you need to be firm but bold in your inquiries. If those bells start going off and something doesn’t feel right – run in the other direction!
Here is what you need to ask for:
- Proof of insurance for the type of work the contractor will be doing: watch out for exclusions such as working with an open flame.
- WSIB coverage for the work performed: ensure the contractor is in good standing and paid up to date.
- Licenses and certifications if the work dictates: electricians, plumbers, engineers etc.
- References: these should be reasonably current; no older than a year of two at most. They should be for work similar to what you want done.
- HST Number: if you are claiming the tax for any sort of government rebate program you will definitely require the contractors HST number.
- How are payments to be handled? Deposits? Draws?
Things To Consider:
Ask if the contractor has had any problem jobs and how they resolved them. A company that has been around for a while will have had problems and an honest answer will center around their customer and service departments.
- Ask who would be the likely Foreman in charge and what is their experience.
- Do they have a service department as well as after hours service; if this is an appropriate question.
- How do they set up their jobs? e.g. Tarps to protect plantings, space for trailers, storage for materials etc.
- The biggie; what about clean-up and disposal?
- What kind of “feeling” did you get when you called the office? When you spoke with the sales staff?
- What do suppliers say about this company?
While not every one of these points is a deal breaker necessarily, you will need to weigh the answers as a whole. But and this is a big BUT, there are two things that cannot be compromised on; Insurance and WSIB!
God help the home owner where an accident happens on their property where there is no coverage – it could ruin them financially. Even your own insurance can be void if a licensed contractor is not used.
Choose wisely and you can greatly minimize your exposure to risk, and your risk to high blood pressure caused by a silly contractor.