Does the builder need to have a license in Toronto?

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Posted by: from Brampton
10/30/2014 at 7:27:56 PM


I am looking to hire a builder to demolish my old house and build a new house. I am not sure if legally they need to have a license.

Thanks for your help.

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Gilbert from Total Home in Kemptville
Date/Time10/30/2014 at 10:26:45 PM

Absolutely, he should be. Why would you trust your biggest asset to someone who is not trained and certified? Everyone with a truck calls themselves a contractor these days. I don't think by law he needs to be, but why would you trust someone who didn't go to school to learn there trade?

Just sayin...

Cheers and good luck with your search.

Gilbert lutes

Total Home

Certified Trades = Certified Results

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Date/Time10/30/2014 at 11:13:16 PM

Hey JJ,

The builder that you choose should be provincially licensed, bonded and part of the CHBA. However, there are builders that have great reputations and do great work that are not, check for references and definitely check their work.... in person.

Another thing to make sure of is to make sure that you can get along with this person, if you get a feeling that you are not able to be around them for the next year of planning and construction, they are probably not going to be a good fit for you and your family.

When checking on their references, ask about how they overcame unforeseen problems and how they were to deal with when overcoming these problems. All projects have issues that have to be fixed, it's how the "builder" overcame these problems and if they claimed responsibility for their mistakes and how quickly they fixed the issue.

Good Luck on your project!

Malbec Homes and Renovations

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Date/Time10/31/2014 at 4:15:50 PM

Hi JJ,

To answer your question, YES.

Many municipalities require Builders / Renovators to be licensed and Brampton is one of them. It is illegal to operate without one and carries heavy fines.

In Toronto we are required to take an exam in person at the Municipal Licensing and Standards offices as well as provide a Criminal Records Check on the owners and business documents. In addition the office has to be approved by Zoning prior to being issued a license.

You can check by contacting the City of Brampton Licensing department.

In addition, every person in the construction industry is now required to have and maintain W.S.I.B. coverage. There used to be an option for an Owner / Operator to opt out of the coverage but that does not exist anymore. It is mandatory for EVERYONE in the construction industry without exception. They must be able to provide a valid Clearance Certificate from W.S.I.B. prior to starting any work. Remember you are employing them which includes all of the Sub-Contractors and people who attend the site. If an accident happens and they are not covered (this includes the helper's helper, that only attended one day to help the Sub-Contractor hang wallpaper!) you as the employer can be found liable. The Clearance Certificate expires so also make sure that they provide you with one prior to each payment draw.

Next is liability insurance. Make sure that the Contractor has valid insurance and that you are listed as a "Named Insured" on their policy for the duration of the project. You should also notify your insurance provider and inquire about a Builder's Risk policy rider.

I hope this helps.

Best of luck

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Date/Time11/3/2014 at 6:47:10 PM

Yes your builder needs a licence in Brampton. Any kind of construction job that requires permits, requires a licence. Your builder would not be able to apply for permits without it. Now keep in mind that this is a buisness licence and has no bearing on your builders ability to do the job, his quality of work or compitency.

As for WSIB, it is required, however individuals hired by a homeowner are exempt from the requirement. Example if you hire an owner/operator electrician he is exempt. Now if your builder hires him, then he is required to carry WSIB insurance.

Your builder should have liability insurance, but I have never heard of the homeowner being listed on the policy. I can't imagine having to call my insurance company everytime I take on a new job. Get his policy number and call the company directly and ask if you are covered for the job he is doing for you. Not all insurance policies cover everything. Eg. I don't do roofing, so my policy does not cover that situation.

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Gordon in Toronto
Date/Time11/6/2014 at 11:50:05 AM

A Builder Renovator License is Mandatory as well as all the other requirements needed to be in compliance. Do your research, check with your building or planning division at your City Hall. You sound very green to this whole experience so DO your HOMEWORK.

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Josh from Welch's Drywall in Portland
Date/Time11/7/2014 at 9:35:20 AM

They don't need a license but they need a demolition permit from local city, town or township. They also need to have liability insurance for your safety and welfare so you can't be sued for some unexpected mishap that could affect your neighbours or yourself.

The big thing I tell everybody if you don't know the individuals you are dealing with,get referrals from past customers of theirs and get feed back from them so you can feel good about the decision you make.

Hopefully this can help.

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Jj in Brampton
Date/Time11/7/2014 at 10:16:43 AM

Thanks so much for everybody's help.

Another thing I was told is that they have to be registered under Tarion.

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