Tips for Choosing a Contractor

Choose the wrong contractor, and your home renovation project can quickly turn into a nightmare. Educate yourself!

Whether you’re adding a new room, updating your kitchen or re-shingling your roof, home improvements can be a challenge.

RenovationsWhile some homeowners may have the ability to do the work themselves, most people will save time and money by hiring a professional. Finding the right contractor is vital. Choose wrongly, and your project can quickly turn into a nightmare of unmet deadlines, ballooning costs, shabby workmanship and stressful arguments.

To begin with, ask for recommendations from family, friends, coworkers and neighbours. Building supply companies, hardware stores and local builder and renovator associations are also excellent options. Next, contact your local office of the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against the firms you name. Then, call and check the references. Contractors with nothing to hide will not be offended by these inquiries.

When it comes time to make your choice, always deal with a professional. Protect your property — and yourself — by dealing with a reputable firm that operates in the open market, legally and responsibly.

When it comes time to make your choice, always deal with a professional

Professional contractors and subcontractors follow stringent guidelines to protect themselves and those they do business with. Professionals will have all the necessary insurance; their policies will be up-to-date, and they can provide you with a certificate of insurance.

Although you may save money in the short term, uninsured contractors expose you to significant financial risk in the event of an injury or property damage. You could be liable if an employee of the contractor is hurt while working on your property or if they damage your home or your neighbour’s property.

Before starting any renovation on your home, be sure to call your Noble Insurance broker and check your coverage with us.

TileRepairYou want to make sure your investment in your home is adequately insured from the get-go, as renovations increase the value of your home, and materials’ values can quickly add up. Calling us first will ensure you have adequate coverage under your policy to protect the investment you’re making in your home.

At the end of the day, once you’ve checked references, confirmed insurance and legal credentials, and agreed on a price, schedules and materials, pick the contractor that you like and feel you can communicate with. It’s a long process, and you’ll be glad you did.

 

Beware of contractors who…

  • Quote prices before seeing the job.
  • Knock on the door and claim they can give you a “special price” because they are doing work in your area.
  • Offer discounts if they can “use your home to advertise with.”
  • Demand unusually large deposits “to buy materials.” Most reputable contractors maintain charge accounts with their suppliers.
  • Will not supply you with detailed a written contract specifying what they say and what they will do.
  • Have an address that is a post office box, a telephone number, or an answering service address.