Before getting in touch with any contractor do proper research. Read this list of important things to know to save time and money!

1.

The Required Governing License

Make sure the contractor you are doing research on has the required governing license depending on the city government such as the Metro License and void any contractor whose license has expired or revoked.

2.

Avoid Complaints.

Check with the appropriate governing body whether complaints were filed at the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It is also recommended to look for client reviews and comments online. Note that some negative reviews can be fake complaints written up by competitors attempting to harm a contractor’s reputation.

3.

Search for Company Registration.

Double check the contractor’s information by checking their business registration at the Integrated Business Service Application, otherwise, signing a contract with an unregistered contractor could mean signing nothing at all.

4.

Sues by previous clients or suppliers.

Take a look at court records at the Governmental databases like CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) to find out if the contractor you are researching on is speaking the truth.

5.

Request to see Previous Projects.

Anyone can lie showing “stock” images when you ask to see their portfolio so, if possible,  request to visit past client’s completed renovation to ensure they’re real projects and find out  how everything went during the renovation process.

6.

Always check Testimonials.

Ask the contractors if he has completed similar projects to yours in the past as actual pictures or videos of the project and ask the contractor to provide you with client references so you can contact them yourself.

7.

Insurance.

Ask to see the contractor insurance certificate to make sure it’s still valid and hasn’t been revoked in case something goes wrong during the renovation process because your insurance might not cover it.

8.

Suppliers.

Ask the contractor where they get their supplies from and since when. If the contractor has been getting supplies from the same suppliers for quite a while can also hint you about how reliable a contractor is.

9.

Timing.

Is highly important that renovation goes according to a plan established from the beginning and to put together a detailed calendar of the work being done. Communication is key in life and in renovations to resolve any issues quickly and not run behind schedule.

10.

Cost Variations.

There are always some extras in projects making their cost go up but make sure the initial quote/contract is as detailed as possible including all materials to avoid surprise invoices and ask the contractor to explain under which circumstances your project’s cost can vary.

11.

Customer Service.

Establish who will be running your project since this person will be your main contact throughout the entire renovation process attending any request and taking care that information won’t get lost. We know that communication is key in every circumstance including renovations.

12.

Payment Method.

Is recommendable to opt for an agreement that will request a reasonable amount as a down payment at the beginning of the work and then allows you to pay according to the value of the work completed ensuring that the work will actually begin according to calendar.

13.

Agreement.

The more details you find in an agreement, the better protected parties will be in case of conflict. An agreement must contain the contractor’s name and address, beginning and end dates, detailed materials with measurements and costs and a minimum amount of clauses protecting both parties.

Get prepared to meet a few of them and ask some agreement-specific questions with an objective interview!

The best contractor will be the one with the most transparent agreement along with outstanding communication.

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