How to Select Your Contractor?

There is no guarantee in any selection process.  You might use this website, other review sites, and even business organizations like Better Business Bureau.  A contractor can walk away with thousands of dollars.

Safe and Trusted Canada does not promote or validate any business. We have seen contractors with ten years of business history, with A+ratings with Better Business Bureau, suddenly go bankrupt.  We have seen consumers lose thousands of dollars and believe there is not a fail-safe system available.  All the consumer can do is reduce risk.

The following reduces risk.

Legal registration of the advertised name. If the contractor's name is not registered, it means they are not interested in developing a reputation that only they can use.  A business can change their name but will want to be able to show business history.  Advertising a website is not a legal name.

Licensing for their trade area, and their business category is essential. If they are not licensed, they may not be able to get a permit to do the work in the first place. Lack of permits means no inspection and may have further implications for you when you sell your house.

Does the business have workers' compensation in place?  Ask for their clearance documentation. Make sure this is part of your contract, as you a consumer may be responsible for the injuries of any worker on your property without it.

Does the business have liability insurance? What happens if there is an accident? As an example, a fence builder digs a hole and hits an electrical line or something worse.  A painter spills a 5-gallon pail of paint on your brand new rug.  A gas leak causes an explosion.  A painter is spraying your house also sprays the house r's house and car,  next door because of wind drift. Who pays for this?

Years in business seem to reduce risk. A company that has been around locally for ten years is a better risk than someone just starting.  Think about where you work now as an employee.  You are more efficient at what you do after years of experience than when you just had a year on the job.

Detailed contracts reduce the risk for the consumer and the contractor as well.  It is probably the biggest reason for complaints with the Better Business Bureau.  Nothing was in writing. What happens if things go wrong?  What happens when the workmanship or what was in the contract is not happening.  Do you have progress payments?  Do you have progress reviews?  Do you have Change of Work orders?

Did you get more than one quote?  Did you interview the contractor personally?  Did you ask questions?  Are you clear about what is going to take place?  Did you understand that there could be hidden charges based on what turns up in demolition?  Have you researched what might go wrong in a project?

Did you ask for references?  You are interested in recent references from homeowners that have no personal alliances with the contractor. Your friends or family giving you recommendations is great, but too often results in problems that lose friends and your money.

Who is paying for the materials?  Can you imagine getting your roof done and finding out that your contractor did not pay the roofing supply company?  Can you imagine having a lien placed on your house for the amount that the contractor owes the roofing supply company?  Can you imagine a plumbing company putting a lien on your house when the home builder has not paid their bills? We recommend that you seek legal advice for complicated transactions.

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