Please help! I need advice since I am young and inexperienced.

Question Icon
Posted by: from Longueuil
3/11/2011 at 4:23:54 PM


I am a young individual who is inexperienced in hiring a contractor but I am sincerely looking for help. Please guide me through, please.

I have received 2 quotes from 2 different contractors. The problem is that the price difference is substantial, and I am really unsure of what to do now.

First, let me list the repairs that needs to be done.

It's a 4 1/2 apartment and I recently had the plumber to repair a hot water pipe leakage under the floor of the entranceway and a leakage from the above apartment coming down through the ceiling in the bathroom.

1. At the entranceway, 4 ceramic tiles need to be replaced.

2. A section of the carpet has to be replaced, as well as the floor underneath the carpet.

3. A section of the wall needs to be replaced because it was punctured through.

4. In the hallway, the oil coming out from the tiles (oil was coming out due to excessive heat from the hot water pipe leakage) have to be cleaned up.

Where as the bathroom:

1. The entire ceiling needs to be removed and replaced with a new one.

2. The closet has to be fixed up, mould was appearing.

Those are the fixtures.

X charges me about $1500 for the work. X wants to put up Kemlite plastic in the bathroom to avoid painting over the gyproc. X give me a really vague contract, but I asked X to rewrite a new one and guarantee clause. X is slow at responding.

Y charges me about $5800 for the work. Y gives me a more detailed contract. Y tells me that his guarantee clause is one year. Y is faster at responding.

Whom should I choose?

Should I look for other contractors? Please help me. I don't want to be fooled since I may appear young to them. I just want a good and reliable contractor who can do the job once and for all without trouble.

User Icon
Date/Time3/11/2011 at 7:27:18 PM

The cost of completing a job professionally varies greatly depending on where you live. $1,500.00 seems cheap to me in my area, unless it's just for the labor. Ultimately without seeing a job it is very difficult to price it for you and tell whether or not you're getting ripped off.

I would suggest that you get a third quote to compare with. You should never hire someone you don't trust or feel comfortable with handling your project needs. As you have mentioned you should also make sure that they warranty their work. Anyone can guarantee anything they want these day's but a true professional will give you a written warranty and stand behind it.

I hope This helps

Joe Bartley

Jospix Construction & Contracting

User Icon
Bchc in Longueuil
Date/Time3/12/2011 at 12:12:57 AM

Hi Mr. Bartley,

Thank you for reassuring me about the written warranty. I will make sure to ask the contractors for it.

I live in the suburban area. The cost of $1500 includes labour and materials. It's just that this contractor doesn't sound enthusiastic on the phone. It worries me.

As you said, I have found a third contractor to visit the premises tomorrow. Hopefully I will get a better idea of what the job should cost.

Can anyone give me an example of what a contract should look like? Both contracts that I've received were very simple (only listed the work and materials). There was nothing about payment method, guarantee clause, insurance, etc. From what I read on this website, it seems like both contracts are missing a lot of information. Worries me a bit.

User Icon
Enrico from Olivo Contracting in Toronto
Date/Time3/12/2011 at 12:50:35 AM


Some important things to consider in the contract are:

- the company name and address - make sure you confirm it exists and address is right.

- licensing and insurance information should be included in the estimate and contract - if not ask for it and again please confirm accordingly.

- the details of the work should be listed same as with what they will or will not provide as agreed.

- both of you should have a copy and sign off and date on both.

- a written guarantee or warranty - it's usually only on workmanship but confirm.

- payment methods usually require an initial of 10% - 25%, and progress billing or advance billing afterwards.

- if they are charging you taxes make sure their tax account number is listed and confirm again with tax guys.

Usually if the "contractor" is lying, they will hesitate to give you one or many of these things. I apologize for not being able to give you a more complete list because these are just off the top of my head but I believe you get the idea.

Also, Do Not seem like you're in a rush or hint desperation because they will take advantage of that and price you more because you probably wouldn't want to shop around.

And remember that a professional will discuss with you any possible additional repair or work that may need to be done. Because sometimes, additional work that needs to be addressed first may be hidden underneath the surface.

As for a rough estimate on the work you've outlined and based on my pricing with materials, it may range between $2,800 up to the highest bid of the other contractor, and I don't believe it should be more than that. The lowest is definitely too low since you've mentioned it included materials. Please look for more quotations from other people.

As for the repair work, the mould should be taken care of properly if it's inside the affected area may need to be removed, if outside check if it's only surface mould (easier fix). If heavy mould is disturbed and not handled properly it can get in the air and spread.

Hope this helps.


Enrico Olivo

Olivo Contracting

(416) 897 9957

User Icon
PaMar Renovations Inc. in St Catharines
Date/Time3/12/2011 at 8:02:04 AM

As the others have stated, first and foremost, trust your instinct, if someone rubs you the wrong way, then walk away ! Their demeanor will show in their work !

There are many things to consider in a contractor< written warranty for sure, detailed estimate or written work agreement with precise issues to be addressed, time frame, how many employees, past experience, payment method, all of these should be addressed by you and to your comfort level.

Do your research on the work your requesting, and mostly research the people you are hiring !!!! Knowledge is power !

Make sure the people you hire are insured, the issues you are having could come back very easily if not fixed properly, from the interior wall leaks and such, check for mold and have it dealt with now !

Hope this helps, and good luck in your project ! cheers

There are a lot of good contractors on this site, I for one would be happy to answer any questions at anytime !


User Icon
Bchc in Longueuil
Date/Time3/13/2011 at 1:58:48 AM

Hi Timm and Enrico,

Thank you very much for the great advices. I will keep them in mind.

In a way, I am very upset that all of you live in Ontario. I'd like to hire you guys as my contractor. I just find it so difficult to choose a contractor in Montreal or maybe I am just unlucky and cannot find a good one. I went through the search for contractors on this website so many times that I don't even know who to choose anymore.

Don't get me wrong, this is a great site for finding contractors and providing important information from reliable sources but at the same time, reviews from customers are really lacking to the point that I am still feeling very uncertain about my choices. If only everyone were more active on submitting honest testimonials, this would be help me immensely.

User Icon
Rod. from Artall R.M. in Toronto
Date/Time3/17/2011 at 7:03:57 PM


It looks to me, that you know exactly what needs to be done, by reading your description.

That is the most important part of finding good contractor for your project.

I did not understand (see), that you have posted your project on this web site!?

By doing so in detail, as you've posted here, I am sure that you will get enough

responses from good contractors in your area to chose from.

Very often I am in need of help from collègues contractors, and from my point of view,

the cost estimated by "X" was to low to get serious attention, as well as some one who

will be too high.

Post (or repost) your project on this site, and start "fishing".

Good luck,


Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.