Choosing the right contractor and protecting your investment

Whether you’re adding a new room or two, replacing an out-dated kitchen or re-shingling the roof, home improvements can be challenging.While some homeowners may have the time and skills to do the work themselves, most people will save time and money by hiring a professional. Finding the right contractor is veryimportant. Choose wrongly, and your project can quickly turn into a nightmare of unmet schedules, cost over-runs, shabby workmanship and endless arguments.

Where do you start?
Ask for recommendations from family, friends, co-workers and neighbours. Building supply companies, hardware stores and local builder/renovator associations are also excellent options.

Always deal with a professional
Protect your home — and yourself — by dealingwith a reputable firm that operates in the open market, legally and responsibly. Professional contractors and sub-contractors follow stringentguidelines to protect themselves and those theydo business with. Professionals have all the necessary insurance. Their policies are up-to-dateand they can provide you with a certificate of insurance. Your peace of mind is worth it.

Protect yourself
Although you may save money in the short term,uninsured contractors expose you to significant financial risk in the event of an injury or damageto your property. 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 us, your insurance professionals. You want to make sure your investment in your home is adequately insured under your policy from the get go, as renovations increase the value of your home, and materials values can quickly add up. Calling us first will ensureyou have adequate coverage under your policy to protect the investment you’re making inyour home.

So, check your coverage with us. Then, once you’ve checked references, confirmed insuranceand legal credentials, 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 cangive you a “special price” becausethey are doing work in your area;

Offer discounts if they can, “use yourhome to advertise with”.

Demand unusually large deposits“to buy materials”. Most reputablecontractors maintain charge accountswith their suppliers;

Will not supply you with a detailedwritten contract specifying what theysay and what they will do;Have an address that is a post officebox, a telephone number, or answeringservice address.

Contact Us if you have any questions or click here for a pdf of this page.