Home renovation can be a stressful and costly affair. That said, handing the job off to a contractor can be a big relief – so long as your contractor is qualified! In this segment of Ask The Expert, renovation expert Kas Kafael of Integrated Reno Services shares tips to help readers and viewers ensure they don’t end up in a nightmare situation with an unqualified contractor.
Q: What are some warning signs that the contractor I’ve hired might not be qualified for the job?
A: Some major concerns you should look out for are:
- If the contractor tells you he/she is ready to start on the job the next day. A good contractor will likely be booked for other jobs and shouldn’t be able to start immediately.
- If the contractor doesn’t have references, or doesn’t volunteer to give you any. You should always ask for a contractor’s references before hiring them for a job. Make sure those references check out, and if you have the time and opportunity, consider going to past job sites and seeing the work for yourself.
- If the contractor doesn’t have liability insurance. A qualified contractor should be able to prove to you that they have up-to-date liability insurance. They should also have up-to-date WSIB coverage for their employees.
- If the contractor asks to deal in cash. This is a major red flag in telling if your contractor is legitimate or not. A proper contractor will have his/her banking in order, won’t want to cut an corners, and will be able to provide invoices and proof of budgeting.
- If the contractor doesn’t provide a contract. Never, ever work with a contractor without a physical contract in place. Get this contract checked out by someone who understands legalize.