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When To Divorce Your Contractor

Getting a renovation contractor to start working on your home can be a tricky process.  Remember that a renovation is a project that needs to be carefully planned every step of the way.  eieihome spoke to Mark Nazar, owner of The Art of Renovation, about what you need to keep in mind when hiring a contractor.  Detailed below is a guide that will help you find the contractor who can help to turn your dreams into a reality.

Preliminary Research

Here are a few things to consider once you have a quote on you project; references, contractor liability insurance coverage, your obligations with respect to WSIB, previous projects completed by the contractor, any and all internet information you can find on the prospective contractor.  “I always tell people that if they can find a contractor that is a good tradesman, good businessman, and a good communicator they have found a good person and or company to work with,” says Mark.  Once all of your preliminary checks are done and you’re satisfied with your choice have the contractor draft up a contract for you to review.

Contract Review

Ensure the following things are spelled out in the contract; correct date, proper job site address, detailed project description, start date and completion date, as well as payment terms. Ensure that the contract fairly represents your rights. If, for some reason, any of these items are not followed or you are not pleased, raise a yellow flag and mention this to the contractor immediately and explain your dissatisfaction.  In most cases that should turn things around.  If not, you may have to terminate the contract.

Terminating your contract can be difficult, but if the initial agreed upon terms are not met, your contractor is in ‘breach of contract’ giving you legal rights to terminate the contract. This, of course is always a last resort and ideally should be avoided.  It is important to remember that in Ontario we have what is called The Construction Lien Act.  Simply put, if your contractor is feeling unjustly treated, they have the right to place a lien on your home as a means to recoup any monies they feel are owed to them at the time of termination.

Due Diligence

Remember, these pitfalls can in most cases be avoided if you are diligent and do your preliminary research of the contractor prior to hiring them. Review your contract thoroughly before you sign it to ensure your expectations of the scope of project are clearly outlined. Be fastidious with inspecting quality of workmanship.  Ensure that the quality of materials contracted for are being used on the project.  Ensure that the progress payment schedule is being respected and you are only advancing funds at the times spelled out in the contract for the work completed.  If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll have your contractor on track to ensure you have a quality renovation completed on time, which means you don’t have to divorce your contractor.

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