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Posted by: from North York
5/9/2012 at 5:09:16 PM

A contractor wants $2500 up front for material costs. Is that a normal procedure? I'm afraid he could just take the money and run.


Ted Nixon

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time5/9/2012 at 7:26:35 PM

What service is he providing? How long in business? do you have a contract in writing? called his referals? what is the price of the job? Is the deposit for labour or materials? Ask where he has supplier accounts? Did he impress you during the contract signing? Was he lowest bidder? Where is he from and how long there? where has he done work before?

Electrilight Ltd.

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Date/Time5/9/2012 at 7:34:42 PM


If you've chosen the lowest cost contractor, or the guy who can start tomorrow, or you haven't checked references, you should be afraid.

If you've chosen your contractor based on reputation, service, quality of work and you've checked references, wsib insurance, liability insurance, and their city of toronto renovators license, and you have a written contract, then you should feel confident in writing a deposit cheque.

A deposit is normal in the building and renovation industry.


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Ted in North York
Date/Time5/9/2012 at 11:15:41 PM

I checked 4 references and they were solid. The total job is under $5000 so the deposit is for more than 50%. We are signing a contract soon.

He is from north of Toronto but has done most of his work in Toronto. He buys from Home Depot. He says he has $2m in libility insurance. Didn't ask about WSIB insurance.

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Mark from CMJ Renovations in Oakville
Date/Time5/12/2012 at 7:22:39 AM

Hi Ted

This may be just the way this guy works, generally most contractors ask for a 10% deposit, for the most part it isn't for material it is to avoid the phone call from the customer the day before the job starts saying they have changed there mind leaving the contactor with out a job for the following days or weeks.

Make sure you have a written contract, I was going to tell you to go with your gut but it is obviuos you already have concerns. On a job this small as I stated most contractors would ask you for $500.00 and maybe amother 40% a few days in with the balance when complete.

Good Luck

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Kalee from Kage Mechanical in Victoria
Date/Time5/30/2012 at 2:11:18 PM

Deposits are Normal...ours is 25-50%.

Pay by cheque or Visa and get a written contract before handing over the deposit. This creates a paper trail and protects you and the contractor should problems arise.

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