How To Hire A Contractor

Newmarket Real Estate : Aurora Real Estate & Keswick
Aurora Homes For Sale : Richmond Hill Homes For Sale : Newmarket Homes for Sale

How To Hire A Contractor


Recently I had some clients fall prey to a contractor who charged a lot of money to do work on their home, made a ton of promises that he never delivered on, didn't show up or meet deadlines. One day they went to the house/job site to find his tools gone. This started an endless process to make him accountable and in the end firing him at a huge financial loss with work incomplete.
Unfortunately this type of story is fairly common when dealing with contractors. So how do you hire a contractor?

Many people believe a referral from a trusted source is the best way to go. I would tend to agree with this, however, there are further steps you should always take when hiring a contractor that could save you big time hassle and money in the end.

#1 - Interview. Always interview at least 3 contractors for the job, even if the person is referred to you! Any good professional will respect you for getting more than one quote.

#2 - References. Ask for contact information of at least 3 past clients who have used the contractor's services and make sure you call every one of them. Ask about the quality of the work and clean-up. Also ask if the contractor was on time for work, showed up when they said they would and if they completed the job as per the agreement (see #7). Find out if the job went over budget or if there were any surprises and if the contractor and their workers were pleasant to deal with and understanding of your needs.

#3 - Portfolio. Make sure you tell the contractor to bring his portfolio of completed work and study the quality of the work and the portfolio carefully.

#4 - Customer Service. Always ask questions like "Are you working on any other jobs while you are working on my home?" - see if you get a song and dance for answers. Notice the contractor's demeanor when you ask tough questions. Do they get agitated? If so, this could escalate during the renovation process if issues occur. Do they shrug off your questions with comments like "Don't worry, I've been doing this for 20 years, I'll take care of you." This is also a warning sign that they won't be open to communicate with you during the process. You should never get the feeling that they are doing you a favour.

#5 - Contract. Read the contract carefully and ask the contractor to leave it with you so you can have your lawyer review it. A lawyer review is not always necessary but mentioning it to your contractor will send a signal that you are very detailed and expect them to be as well.

#6 - Deposits. Make sure you understand clearly what the deposit or payment installments are going to be. Make sure that they add up to no more than 50-75% of the total with the final payment being 25-50%. This way you haven't paid up front for poor quality or unfinished work. The installments should be spread out over the course of the job, not all at the front end.

#7 - Be fair. Quite often unforeseen problems occur when a contractor opens up a floor or a wall or looks at the electrical. If they need to fix a problem that existed before they took the job, the cost may go up. Simply ask the contractor to explain the problem to you and research it so you understand. It's a good idea to budget 15-20% more than the quote for the job to deal with unforeseen issues, but don't tell the contractor that!

Taking the right steps will make things go smoothly. Don't get so excited for your new kitchen or bathroom that you cut corners on who you hire. Do everything right the first time!

Here at The Jay Miller Team we hire and work with many great contractors on a regular basis. Please contact us and we'll put you in touch with one of our preferred professionals.

Aurora Real Estate : Keswick Real Estate : Newmarket Real Estate
Jay Miller Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage
Aurora Real Estate, Bradford Real Estate, Newmarket Real Estate,
Richmond Hill Real Estate

(905) 717-3525 or (416) 860-6688

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