How to get a contractor?

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Posted by: from Sudbury
7/17/2012 at 8:20:15 PM


My wife and I have been planing a full interior reno (heating, plumbing, electrical, flooring, bathrooms, kitchen..etc.) and the roof too, which has a leak. We had a contractor to do the job, then he just never got back to us. Then we got another contractor who agreed to get us a quote and do the job, never got back to us with the quote.

So now it's very late into the summer for this job which we are even able to move out so the work can be done wothout us being in the house, and the house is now close to unlivable because everytime it rains more water gets in from the leak in the roof. We have a two year old daughter that we don't want to have exposed to these conditions as well. We don't really beleive at this point that we can get anyone to do the job.

What do you suggest? should we call our insurance company and let them deal with it and buy us another house or get the reno done?

Thanks for your time.


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Date/Time7/17/2012 at 9:15:37 PM

Unfortunately I can't explain why some contractors treat customers this way. This time of year most of the good contractors are already booked up. The larger the jobs they do, the longer the lead time they need to start. So you might not get anyone till the winter. Don't hire someone just cause they can start soon, you will regret it, if you don't check them out first. By the sounds of it I would get a roofing contractor to fix your roof ASAP.

The rest of your reno has nothing to do with the roof and that will give you time to find someone for the rest. I would never use an insurance recomended contractor. You have to think of the type that they usually hire, fast and cheap.

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Date/Time7/17/2012 at 9:21:25 PM

Hi Michael

As for getting a contractor anyone who has the experience to do a project of your scope wouldn't hesitate on quoting it and following through with it, and it is unfortunate that you have experianced what you did with the provious contractors.


Paul Celli

Centerline Contracting Inc.

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Date/Time7/17/2012 at 9:23:00 PM

Alway best to make plans in the spring for the summer. Everyone gets very busy in the summer, hard to get anyone. It might be best just to be your on general .

Call a good roofing company, get the roof done. Then framer, plumber and so forth. You could try to make a claim with insurance, But they might just say that the roof is too old and you should have repaired it, And just pull your insurance on the home untill you do.

If you go and buy another house, you might find your self back in the same situation over again.

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Date/Time7/17/2012 at 9:25:15 PM


I find it hard to believe you can't find a general contractor to take on your project. I'm not sure what insurance company you deal with, but I doubt anyone is going to cover you for what you think you are entitled to. Insurance is for accidents. If I take my car apart and can't put it back together, I don't call the insurance company.

Regardless, get a roofing company to come in and address your roof. You need to protect the structure of your home and neglecting a leaky roof because you can't find a

GC is inexcusable.

Good luck.


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Robert from Robert Graul in Montreal
Date/Time7/17/2012 at 9:28:40 PM

Hello Michael,

Chances are very unlikely your insurance company will buy you a new house...but you could get them to recommend contractors in your area...that is where I would start (over).

Don't give up...your home is the foundation of your family.

Best of Luck !


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Date/Time7/17/2012 at 9:28:57 PM

Sorry to hear about all your contractor problems.

Firstly I never respond to the Ask The Pros section of handy Canadians. I accidentally read your question and can sympathize having a 4 year old child and understanding how dangerous mold can be.

All I can say is being a contractor durning the summer is brutal. Usually we quote during the spring and get swamped during the main 3 months of summer. When fall comes around we kinda get caught up. Then when the winter months come along we bid aggressively to keep our head above water.

If you can find a way to get the leak under control then try to book a contractor for September you may have a better chance.

I should also add that some insurance companies have contractors that they recommend. I used to be one of them. But I have been in several situations where the client was totally responsible for finding their own contractor. Check with your insurance company.

I know it can be frustrating and I am sure these contractors are good people........just poor at communication.

Good luck


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Victor from Alarmshield Inc. in Kitchener
Date/Time7/17/2012 at 9:48:10 PM

Hi Michael,

I would agree with one of the posts, get a roofing contractor to fix the roof, then you ca worry about doing everything inside.

There are many contractors out there who would love to do a job no matter what time of the year it is.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best,


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Date/Time7/17/2012 at 10:01:29 PM

My name is Adam Peckham, I am the owner of BayHill Quality Contracting.

I have been in the renovation and construction industry for 15 years.

I have a 4 year old son and an 8 week old daughter, I understand exactly how you feel and am disgusted by your story.

Good contractors are out there, good honest people who take pride in the quality work they provide.

A good place to start is with a BNI group or local entrepreneur. Us small business guys generall stick together - support the small guy. Another option is go to the local hardware store - most stores now offer in home services for most major types of work.

Best of luck;

Adam Peckham

BayHill Quality Contracting

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Date/Time7/17/2012 at 10:11:37 PM

Hi Micheal

I know how frustrating this must be, some contractors mean well but get to busy, or they found a easier project.then there are allot of contractors who are to afraid of the complexity of pricing such a large renovation.

I do agree that the roof is very important as long as you are not changing the dwellings foot print.


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Date/Time7/18/2012 at 10:28:16 AM

Hello Michael

I would suggest that you have the insurance company take care of the leaking roof or even call a roofer to look at the leak in the roof and find out the cost of repairing the roof as this should be completed quickly to prevent the water causing interior damage.

Hope all works out for you as I do not want to see your daughter exposed to the conditions.


Lou Frustaglio

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Date/Time7/18/2012 at 12:10:32 PM


Without seeing the project it would be hard for me to tell you what options are open to you. By the sound of it perhaps it was too big an undertaking for the Contractor and so that's really the dilema and whatever the pricing was maybe it was lower and the Contractor felt he was not going to make any money at it.

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Date/Time7/18/2012 at 2:38:17 PM

Hi Micheal,

Sorry to hear for all the trouble you are going thru.

Have a great day


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Date/Time7/20/2012 at 9:19:12 PM

Get the roof done ASAP, to protect what you have and address the rest later.

Don's Handyman Service

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