I just purchased my first home on my own. That in itself is very exciting at least for me!
I am not looking at renovating my kitchen - new cupboards, floor etc.
but I honestly don't know the first thing about hiring a contractor.
Obviously getting several quotes and meeting the person who would be doing the work are essential. But if I could get the cardinal rules...so to speak - I would greatly appreciate the help.
My gut tells me to hire someone as local as possible - and someone with as much experience as possible.
But can I ask for references/referrals?...past customers?....
I see there are a few contractors who respond to this board and I would love to hear back from any of them.
Not only can you ask for references, insurance etc. You must ask. This is your home and an inexperienced or unskilled contractor can do major damage. You are entrusting a contractor with your home and your money. You must get atleast 3 recent references for the same type of work you require and ensure that you do infact make the calls. Inspect insurance and licence and make sure your contract covers all the bases. In my experience you must also trust your gut. If something seems off, don't hire him. Quotes should be in the same neighbourhood give or take. If one seems expecially cheap compared - beware - this contractor may have ill intentions or under priced the job which leaves potential to walk away unfinished. There are some basic and logical rules to follow and your best bet is to go on the Mike Holmes or Holmes on Homes website where you will find a detailed list of advice on how to hire a contractor, what to look for and what to be aware of etc. It offers a wealth of fantastic advice and is far more thorough than I can be here. Good Luck with your project and your first home.
Thank you Shawn.....I very much appreciate your words of wisdom.
My gut has already come into play on this project and of course I have been around the block a while and common sense does prevail.
But your words do well to remind me not to be foolish....and I have kind of slowed down my enthusiasm a bit and replaced it with some logic.
I am really in no hurry.....and the contractor I hire should also not be too hasty....and willing to accept my own boundaries....in this regard...
thanks again for your reply.
I do agree with the stuff he says but there are some really bad apples mostly in the Toronto area. One thing s for sure you can find out about any company you wish on the internet. Most good companies post articles on different sites and article directories. Good companies also get paid for there articles because they are quality comments that have to be proved first. Before you hire any company you should take the advice that was given to you already be careful and research the company you are dealing with. Most good contractors are list in some chamber of commerce as well. we live in Fort Erie and travel all over Ontario helping seniors most seniors will check the local chamber of commerce. we are members of the Greater Fort Erie Chamber of commerce. The reason for this and most companies won't list there name with them is if a senior gets a pour job done and reports you to the chamber the chamber is on the phone with you that same day telling you to fix it or refund there money. BBB is just complaints. The chamber of commerce is a government organization that protects all Seniors. hope this helps.
Here is website on how to hire a contractor by mike holmes:
Yes Yes Yes ask as many questions as you can ask for licenses insurance , repeat customers, always ask because there are alot of good contractors but just the same as bad contractors the bad ones do the run around when asked questions and get all offensive so Yes do your self a favor ask ask ask .......its your house its your money at the end of the day so ask your the boss.
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