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How to Choose the Right Contractor

If you’re ready to renovate, in addition to the dollars you spend, you’ll also want to invest some time in making sure your home improvements are done by the right contractor for the job.

EiEiHome spoke to Patrick Balfour of Balfour Enterprises Inc., a general contractor who has over 25 years of experience in renovation and home improvements. He shared 5 important tips to help homeowners know what to ask before hiring a home service pro.

1.  Ask specific questions

When questioning a contractor about your project, if they don’t appear to be concerned or if they respond with rhetoric, show them the door. This is an indicator that they only care about the money and not you or your home improvement investment.

2. Pay attention to details

You want a pro that will give you specific information and that pay attention to every detail. From start to finish, a reputable service pro should be able to explain what they are doing, why they are doing it and how they will deliver to your expectations.


3. Check that they are insured

Patrick explains, “It is very important that when the pro arrives with a quote, to ask for a current copy of their company insurance and their WSIB clearance certificate.” If they do not have either of these documents, do not hire them.

4. Look for specifics in the cost breakdown

When reviewing your quote, look for specific details and scrutinize for any hidden costs. If the quote is vague, be suspicious. Patrick will even go as far as repeating chosen paint colours on his quotes to reassure that the client has been listening and will make the extra effort to provide samples, for example, of the trim he plans to use, as well as the model number and supplier sources.


5. Do not let a contractor bully you

Do not accept a quote that does not verify every aspect of the price and don’t trust a contractor who won’t answer your questions or concerns throughout your project. You should be able to identify at each stage of your renovation, how much money you have spent to ensure you’re both on track. Before hiring a contractor, get a copy of the Construction Act, so you are fully aware of your consumer rights.

Editor, Dawn Boshcoff

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